“And, they all had this similar look of fatigue, age and failure.”
Her name was Deidre. She was a Mom of a 5 year old little boy with Down Syndrome named, Duncan. She was about 30 years old but her face, her stooped posture, and especially her eyes, looked like a 45 year old tired, downtrodden, overwhelmed woman… ready to give up.
It was on a cold winter’s evening, many years ago. I was doing a speaking engagement at the local community college to Deidre and her group of about 10 parents. These women all had children with special needs or developmental delays. And, they all had this similar look of fatigue, aging and failure. My assigned topic was child development. But, they wanted to focus on the lack of support services for the families of special needs children in our community.
They were getting more upset as they convinced themselves they, and their families, were being victimized by their community’s lack of sensitivity and support. While their concerns were legitimate, I wasn’t going to be able to fix the system during my presentation. So, I thought I would offer them something else that might be useful. So, I used what I call “My Magic Wand Story!”
“I’m a great Mom because of my handicapped daughter, Debby…no doubt about it!”
If you have read any of our previous newsletters, you will know we apply the natural law of symmetry to common human challenges. This enables anyone to uncover the balance and synchronicity so they can move through their current perception to a more truthful, enlightened and self-motivating one.
So, I explained the idea of symmetry to the group and offered several examples. Then, I told them I was going to ask them a question, which perhaps, they have never been asked before as a mother of a child with special learning needs. They seemed curious and so I continued,
“What is, and has been, the most important benefit to you that your child has special development needs? And, the benefit to you is so significant it actually counterbalances the demands of parenting your child?”
There was a long silence and I was starting to think I had not offered enough examples to illustrate the law. Just as I was going to elaborate more, a Mom said with glistening eyes,
“It has given me a focus which was lacking before her birth in my life. I’m a great Mom because of my handicapped daughter, Debby…no doubt about it!”
“… Dawn has given me a purpose in life…”
The second mother said it had saved her marriage by giving her and her spouse a shared point of focus. She said the shared value of their child was the cement that held the relationship together.
Then, another said, her son, had enabled his two older brothers to learn to be responsible and caring people. She added their love and devotion to their brother continues to this very day since they were providing child care this evening so she could be here.
Finally, Deidre spoke up. With tears running down her cheeks, she said,
“Being a Mom to her Dawn has given me a purpose in life which has been to become an advocate for others. It started with my daughter, but has extended to many other people in my community.”
She went on to add that she took great personal pride in her advocacy roles and owed it all to her daughter, Dawn.
As I watched these Moms talk from this more balanced perspective, I witnessed a transformation on their faces. I saw faces now projecting caring, power and enthusiasm. As they talked, each face became more youthful, more engaged and more grateful than before.
“… she will change forever how you see yourself and your future!”
Now, I know what was going on. These women, these mothers of special needs children, were playing with their ‘telomeres’, playing with their future, playing with their aging process.
Let me introduce you to Elizabeth Blackburn and her Ted Talk, The Science of Cells That Never Get Old. Elizabeth won a Nobel Prize in medicine in 2009 for her pioneering work on telomeres and telomerase, which plays central roles in how quickly we age. She is president of The Salk Institute and author of the New York Times Best Seller, “The Telomere Effect.”
Elizabeth may look like someone’s grandmother, but if you listen carefully to her brief talk she will change forever how you see yourself and your future! I challenge you to listen to her wisdom and try not be impacted by how you see your own life and your own future!