Our life is constantly changing. No two days are exactly the same. Sometimes the sun is out and other days, it is rainy. Sometimes it snows and other days, it is windy. Just like the weather, humans are constantly growing and evolving. We have a choice, though, in how this happens.
Parents can feel overwhelmed with the unpredictability of a child’s actions or behavior. A simple trip to the grocery store can quickly turn into a nightmare when a child throws a fit because they want a candy bar. This unpredictability becomes more complex when a child has a medical challenge such as autism or Down syndrome. A parent is left feeling helpless and defeated with thoughts that they cannot change their life.
Life, though, can change. Our journey in life is like riding around in a car. When we believe that life can’t change, we are in the driver’s seat, but our hands are not on the steering wheel. We are a passenger in a car that is driving itself. The car is swerving and turning without any input from us. The ride is frightening as we watch, hoping we don’t wreck. The belief that life can change is what allows us to grab the wheel of the car and lead it down a path. There is still some unpredictability to the journey such as a police officer hiding around a turn, but we no longer are afraid because we are in control and going the speed limit.
Changing our life is in our control. Grabbing the wheel of the car involves learning to set goals, create habits, and be aware of thoughts and feelings. This takes practice and change can be slow, but patience can result in significant progress if we commit to moving in the right direction. The grocery store trip no longer needs to be a nightmare, but can turn into time to enjoy your child who is getting to explore something new.
Learning these tools changed my life. I am proof that life can change. My life is very different compared to a few years ago. I have big goals that I am committed to achieve. I feel fulfilled and enjoy the relationships that are important to me. I am organized in how I use my time and I am very aware of my thoughts. Sadly, the conditions of my life haven’t changed and my children’s health challenges will be constantly present. I still hope for a magic cure to Kyleigh’s diabetes and Wren’s depression and anxiety. I still worry about my children, but my life changed when I stopped letting “worry” drive the car and instead I took hold of the steering wheel.
We are never stuck in life. The conditions of life may never change, but how we think, feel, and respond to them are in our control. The results that are created when we take charge and drive the car can be amazing. Our brain can work against us, but it can become an incredible gift if we learn to control it. This is how life changes. This is how we grab the steering wheel.
Who is driving your car?