Love, Disability and Single Parenting, Part Three
I could not find any time for myself until one day someone suggested that I consider creating a vision of what my life would look like if money was not an object and finding the perfect care provider could be done with ease. I resisted the entire exercise, thinking him insensitive and crazy, just the thought was completely upsetting to think of myself first.
“What a jerk, he has no idea what I do and what this life is like.” It’s not possible! How could someone not see that! But the idea continued to pique my curiosity. I secretly mapped out my perfect life. I made it crazy big—no limits to the thoughts I conjured up. Just free flowing feelings of things that sounded outrageously wonderful to do. Travel, weekend trips to the desert where I could really check out, some nights away from home on a regular basis to get some good sleep and have a life, to enter a 100 mile mountain bike race where I would spend lots of time training and live in a “me” world for a little while.
I went full boar with my wish list. After I created it and regularly imagined how I would feel if this could really happen—amazing things began to happen. A care provider came into our lives that was very reasonable and truly loved my son. I took a huge risk and went from a salaried job with insurance benefits to a commission only real estate job which ended up giving me more time, freedom and cash flow. Abundance began to flow.
My dreams were becoming reality. When the real estate market tanked, magically I met a woman who suggested I apply to be on a pilot program for our state that could assist with some financial help for his care right in our own home. This was a blessing for both my son and I. He had graduated from high school and was ready for more independence too! It took someone pushing me beyond my belief systems to take the time to map out a life that was beyond my imagination.
What does a relationship look like? Think of it as off time to nurture your soul, having fun, rejuvenating your energy, and sharing things with someone outside of your child. Feeling guilty already? Just remember, that being rejuvenated is good for your child as well.
Don’t make excuses! You could fill up the rest of your living days with lists of what you need to do for your child. You MUST take some kind of action to make time for yourself. Don’t think big, think HUGE and see what shows up.
Give Gratitude. Look at the level of unconditional love you already bring into the world—you live at a heightened level of love, joy, patience and being in the moment that most people cannot even comprehend. Do you know who you are without the identity of caring for this child? Who is that wonderful person that lives inside of you? Think it, breathe it, live it.
Live your life authentically. It’s always when you decide to do your own thing and live your own life that love comes along! Dance, sing, write but GET OUT and enjoy life once in a while. Don’t go places to meet guys, the important distinction here is that you need to be authentically getting out to do things that YOU are having fun doing.
Get in touch with the limitless love inside of you. Where I got confused was in thinking that I had only a limited amount of love to give and therefore was going to save it all up for my son. The love inside of you is limitless and knows no bounds, only those made up in your head. Love the people in your world. As Carolyn Myss says; “And if by chance they love you back, that is God staring you in the face.”
I don’t listen to Bread anymore, but when I thought back about that strong vision of living life in Aspen with my guy, I realized we are that couple, walking down the Aspen streets holding hands in the snow on our way home from dinner out with friends in town. We go on hut trips, ski up the mountain by moonlight and ski down with our headlamps, we go to concerts, the ballet, and ski with my son despite his special needs.
I am living the dream of the 13 year old girl who longed to live a fairy tale. I just never dreamed up all the exact details of living it with a son with special needs. But, if I had the chance to reinvent it all again—I wouldn’t change a thing. I could never have visualized all the richness and love that I’m fortunate enough to experience with both my child and my boyfriend. It’s better than I could have imagined.
Love attracts love. Fear attracts fear. You are only subject to what you hold in your mind. If you are holding negative thoughts or beliefs about your ability to have a wonderful loving relationship you will consciously or sub-consciously make that thought apply to you. The world responds to your intentions and inner feelings you have about your situation.
“And lately I’m a prayin, that you’ll always be a-staying , beside me…” -Bread
Katie Grange is the parent of Max Grange, a young adult with significant disabilities who lives life to the fullest in his community of Snowmass Village, Colorado. Katie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.katiegrange.com and www.katiegrangeconnects.com