I found that one of the first steps to help me during a challenging time is to have awareness. Awareness at the simplest level means being aware. For our family, it was being aware that our child’s aggression, excessive worry, avoidance, and stomach aches were caused by Anxiety. When we are aware, we can respond the best way we know how; which can be a process, as we don’t always know what the best path is to take or perfect response. Awareness can bring its own struggles of hopelessness, blame, anger, and change. Sometimes you might feel you are more aware then your spouse or other family members because you spend more time with the child. This gives to different levels of awareness in each person. We also need to show the child empathy for what they are experiencing, which is an untaught social skill. Our empathic accuracy depends on the amount of awareness brought to the issue and how empathic the person.
Once we have awareness, I feel we can move onto acceptance. This can be more challenging and require actual work. Acceptance comes from a place of understanding. Acceptance requires facing the truth of the situation and this can be uncomfortable.
Acceptance and awareness come from vastly different mindsets. Awareness is knowledge or perception of a situation or fact. Acceptance is the process or fact of being received as adequate, valid, or suitable. Awareness is all about the problems and the difficulties. Acceptance seeks to meet us where we are, or at least far closer than awareness does. When you accept something, you simply allow yourself to feel okay rather than sitting in the struggle.
No matter where you are in your journey; awareness or acceptance, I have been there. Our family went from accepting our daughter’s first mental illness diagnosis to more diagnosis, and even additional challenges, to walking off that path to create a new direction.
The word "accept" is a verb. It's an active process, one that must be practiced consciously. Practicing acceptance does not necessarily mean you won't be able to make a change. You can accept your situation and still change it. After 6 years in the mental health system, we went a different route of using holistic modalities to address our daughter’s unique needs. She no longer felt numb by medications and her unique gifts began to shine. She is now 18 years old and thriving.
We have an awareness that our daughter is a gifted, highly sensitive and highly creative child. I share what I have learned along this journey because it is my wish to help other families. These unique children and their parents have become very important to me, they hold a special place in my heart and in my life. It is said that passion grows out of an emotional experience or connection. My passion is supporting the social, emotional, and educational needs of the gifted, highly sensitive, highly creative and other unique children.
I love serving families, reach out and connect for a free discovery call and see if I am a good fit with my services.