When we were in the early stages of my son’s diagnosis, I can remember one of the hardest things for me to face were my thoughts about what this diagnosis meant for my son and our family. What I thought motherhood was going to look like, the hopes and dreams I had for my son, the “happily ever after” marriage that I imaged my husband and I having. All these things were threatened in one way or another when we received that label for my son. And this same mental battle would happen again and again with each treatment we attempted, all the different therapies we employed, and through every phase of acceptance we put ourselves through.
When we envision a life that we want, a life that fits the stories and beliefs we hold in that moment, we do so with such limited scope. We settle in to what our mind feels is familiar, take action, hardwire those synapsis’ in our brain- rinse and repeat. Then when life presents other plans, well, chaos ensues within us and we don’t know what to do with ourselves.
In my darkest moments, when I’ve been confused, tired beyond belief, and left wondering what to do next. Without fail, fear would come knocking at my door packed with doubt and worry. These feelings were so heavy, so palpable at times, that refusing to give in to this fear was no easy feat. What I’ve come to realize is that the dynamic between fear, hope, and faith is one that becomes so crystal clear once you’re able to step back and recognize these patterns within yourself. Easy? No. Possible? Absolutely. But the key is held by understanding the simple fact that hope is stronger than fear, but faith trumps all.
When you say for example, you have hope for your child’s future or a treatment, or whatever. You have to step back and examine are you hoping from a place of uncertainty or from a place of expectation? The difference plays out in how we frame our thoughts and ultimately our ability to translate these thoughts into action.
When you hope from a place of expectation you do it with the calm and steady reassurance that it will turn out despite whatever traps, obstacles, or emotions present themselves along the way. You may not know when or how it will unfold, but you just know deep down and are able to take meaningful action that is in alignment with your higher intelligence. When you hope from a place outside of this, it may look and even feel similar, but it carries with it a different cadence. It’s hoping for a certain outcome but blindly going along with mainstream protocols and opinions that produce the same mediocre results. It’s having hope that things are going to be different but not taking any responsibility in your choices or behavior. It’s being trapped in the insanity of your thoughts and turning a cheek to the greater intelligence that runs through you.
When you hope from a place of uncertainty you are hedging a bet on the possibility that it won’t work out and that leaves the door cracked for fear to take hold. Now, I’m not suggesting that we make unrealistic expectations only to feel disappointed when they don’t turn out the way we wanted. Nor am I suggesting that we take impulsive actions based on a whim. What I am suggesting however, is that we live with hope that our life intelligence is there to support us and take a leadership role when it comes to our own thoughts, beliefs, and our actions. With that in mind, no expectation is too unrealistic. And that my friend, gives us the keys and leads us to take action based on what I call unshakable faith.
I want to bring a real-life example that will maybe help tie this together. When my husband and I started to really accept, I mean really really accept my son’s diagnosis, I had an aha moment, almost out of nowhere. I decided that I was going to surrender the outcome. That going forward all the decisions, all of the medical treatments, all the therapies, the lack of language, the lack of interaction, the promise of an independent and healthy future. All of it, was going to be surrendered. I decided that going forward I wasn’t going to chase an outcome enforced by my mind, or the minds of others. The only thing I truly ever cared about before, during, and after the diagnosis is that my child was loved; That he was taken care of, and he was given everything in my power to be happy and healthy.
Surrendering the outcome and getting past the label would allow me to fulfill this love, and to focus on giving my child the right support so he would live up to his fullest potential. And I did it, I got past my mind’s fear, my anger, my guilt. I surrendered to a hopeful future for my son and our family. Or so I thought. Except I didn’t change anything we were doing. I didn’t have the awareness of what he or my family really needed. I thought differently yes, I had a new set of values, but we kept doing more of the same.
Shortly after my big “ah ha surrender moment”, life came through with another set of problems not only for my son, but this time with my marriage. Despite attempting to change my thoughts and placing incredible hope that my son’s future was going to be okay, we faced the same tough decisions about medical treatments, therapies, lack of language, and behaviors. His gut issues flared, behaviors were out of control, regression set in. More therapy, more treatments, more tests. More tension between my husband and I, more things to stress over, more of the same.
Now, I could have stopped here and let things be what they were, and to be honest I wouldn’t blame anyone if this was their tipping point. But this is where faith came in strong for me. I slowed down and took another deep look into what was really happing within myself. I centered my thoughts and relied on a higher intelligence. I took a leap of faith that led to me taking real responsibility for my thoughts and my actions. I naturally discovered hope from a place of expectation and held strong with confidence in the actions I was being led to take. I met Dr. Chevalier and was assisted to find freedom for my family. I allowed my faith to lead the way and backed it up with action.
Faith is knowing with confidence that the right next step will always be revealed, despite feeling the vast emptiness inside or being presented with external challenges. It’s somehow finding the strength to persevere and continuing to show up to a higher calling. It’s taking responsibility for your thoughts and aligning your actions from within. When you have faith, you will naturally and organically find hope from a place of expectation. Acceptance becomes action for the right reasons. For this reason alone, faith will always get you through no matter what.