There are events that occur in our lives that change our path to something radically different in just a few minutes, or hours. Last month, one of those life changing events happened to my family.
When Beans came home from school hurt on the 10th of last month my journey as a mother took a sharp turn. I pulled everything to a halt, as I searched for answers as to what happened, and what I can do to help Beans get the education he has a right to receive. I didn't count on the odds being stacked against us. I didn't anticipate so much hostility from the people that are supposed to educate my child, and have his best interests at heart. The shocking amount of covering up for each other, and adversarial nature of all involved was a life lesson I wish I never got.
As my biggest fears were realized in this situation I realized something else. I realized that my biggest, most tallest fear was that I was incapable. The way in which I underestimated who I am, and what I can do is by far my biggest weakness, and my biggest fear producer.
I realized that in this moment of adversity I could fight it, and get stuck on the part where we are the victim, or I could move forward on this path that I have been suddenly thrust upon. I began to see the new situation, and the new found path as a journey full of opportunity, borne of unfortunate circumstance.
It is unfortunate that the school faculty was faced with some life-changing decisions, and they chose their own well being over a disabled child's, but that was their choice. It wasn't mine to make, and I can't force it. That is their path, and their consequences. They made their character clear through their actions, because actions are what make our character. We can say we believe x, y, or z, but our beliefs don't make us who we are. Our actions do, and I choose to take the high road.
Don't get me wrong. I am still advocating for my son. I may not change anything for Beans right now, but I might shed a little light on a terribly corrupt system that needs to be mended to protect the ones that are most vulnerable. I will never give up on advocating for disability rights, and standing up for those that need it most.
What I am doing is unsticking myself from my previous held beliefs that I am limited, and that Beans is limited. True that I would have preferred different outcomes to this whole situation, but we can't always choose our circumstances. We can only choose how we respond to them. I have heard that our lives our dictated by 10% what happens to us, and 90% of how we respond. I am not sure that I agree fully with that whole concept, or if I feel that we can really apply statistics to such a broad concept of life, happiness, and well being BUT I do feel that in most areas of our life it's what we do with our strong emotions, and big life events that matters.
I went into this situation with so many of my fears exposed, and hot buttons pushed. Each time facing something that I thought I'd never have to. From a hurt child, to injustice, to discrimination. I thought I could not face these situations. I thought I could never do this or that. It's too hard, too impossible, too whatever. But, then I thought for a moment, and asked myself
"What if I can?"
So, now I am operating on the idea that I just might be capable. I am throwing away the idea that I need things to be a certain way for me to cope. I am seeing the beauty of standing on my own merits, and my own ability even when my path is dark, unknown, and scary. To know that I can handle more than I could ever imagine has really opened the door to more possibilities than I ever knew were there, turning tragedy into something precious.