This is the last in a 7-blog series about support for parents and caregivers of special needs children. It can also apply to other situations. Because the best person to find solutions to your concerns is you, prompts and exercises are provided to gently lead you in your best direction. Click to go to the first blog in the series or to the previous blog.
Do parents of special needs children desire a life filled with peace and joy—one that accepts and includes support for our unique circumstances? Of course we do! So far, this series has focused on finding support from people. But in complex and ongoing situations with no easy answers, relying solely on ourselves and other people often isn’t enough.
The most powerful and reliable form of support that we can ask for and receive comes from Spirit. It’s true. I saved the best for last!
Earlier, we discussed the way many of us learned as children to think about support—the Idealized Belief System—and discussed the alternative Pragmatic Belief System. We compared the two, and considered how to be more aware of our current relationships. We talked of gently shifting our relationships in ways that better support us, and also considered how to directly support ourselves.
Meanwhile, Spirit—or however we identify our loving higher power—is the force that can support, permeate, and influence everything. The categories of Self and Spirit don’t even appear on the Idealized Belief System, but in the Pragmatic Belief System, Spirit is foremost and surrounds everything else.
Yearning for concrete, practical help?
As parents, we yearn for answers and solutions that work. Spirit can effectively and directly address our problems. I won’t delve into philosophy or theology, other than to say again that Spirit can be our most important ally.
How? Many ways. Spirit can modify situations and perspectives to ease our path. Spirit can work through other people to provide us with physical, emotional, and financial sustenance. Spirit puts good ideas in our heads, and otherwise supports us in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Often when we look back after the fact, we may be astonished at how everything “just came together” perfectly, and at the exact right time.
Here’s a paradox
We assume more power over our lives when we consciously assign problems to Spirit. Not that we do nothing—of course not. We continue with our current level of maintenance, and we wait and listen before making a drastic change.
We trust that Spirit is there to help us and are open to allowing Spirit to provide what might even seem like a miracle. We reach out to Spirit for help and know that help will appear in the best form and fashion.
Please note: While organized religion is a vital part of many parents’ spiritual path, I am referring instead to the personal relationship we each have with Spirit. Each of us can enjoy a positive connection with Spirit; we need not rely on others to facilitate unless that’s our choice.
How do we create this personal relationship with Spirit?
That used to be one of my stumbling blocks. After all, it’s not like we can have a conversation with Spirit the same way we do with humans, right?
Well, yes—we can talk directly to Spirit. These conversations aren’t the same as talking to another person, obviously. They are more fun, more fluid, more creative, and more amazing. Spirit responds, not necessarily with words, but in a loving and encouraging way, and will support us in ingenious ways if we are open to it.
Ways to reach out
Prayer and meditation are the two most common ways of communicating with Spirit and the ones we hear about the most. There’s a saying that prayer is like talking to Spirit and meditation is listening. We don’t have to be formal; Elizabethan English isn’t required for prayer, nor Sanskrit for meditation.
If prayer and meditation don’t resonate with you, or make you uncomfortable for whatever reason, there are other ways to connect. How? Just be yourself!
Begin a conversation with Spirit, either in your head or out loud, as you would with another person. There’s no right or wrong way: just chat, describe your feelings, and ask for help! Talk from your heart, as you do with someone you respect and trust. Don’t forget to be grateful for the good things you already have.
If talking feels awkward, we can also write to Spirit. It doesn’t matter how; we can draw with sticks in the sand if we want. Spirit knows us intimately, loves us, and is delighted when we initiate a conversation in whatever way feels natural to us.
So: We share our frustrations. Ask questions. Ask for support. Notice the good things. Then, we trust that our worries and problems will be handled in time by Spirit, and we are open to the solutions.
This is where it gets fun
Spirit has a gazillion ways to get messages through, to further the conversation and to guide us—with infinite wisdom and in a way that is certain to resonate. It’s individualized. Spirit will communicate with me differently than with you.
Be open to noticing Spirit’s creative, loving responses.
- They are often repetitive. Over a short period of time, we may see, hear, read, and feel things that point us in a certain direction. Spirit’s messages “feel right” in our hearts and do not cause anxiety. They instead result in a calm knowing.
- “Coincidences” can also be Spirit’s way of getting through to us. Notice them, and remain alert for similar signs.
When we ask, guidance and support will eventually appear as surely as you are reading these words. (A previous blog touches on this.)
If you are new to communicating with Spirit
Maybe this just seems weird. Maybe you’re preoccupied with necessary tasks of daily living, or otherwise concerned about missing messages. If so, ask that your signals be loud and clear—ones you cannot miss. And, if you think something may be a signal but are unsure if you’re interpreting it correctly, ask Spirit for corroboration. It truly is that simple!
You can’t really reach out in a way that is “wrong.” Just be honest and open, especially with yourself.
What if you feel you aren’t being heard? Relax, you are. Continue to engage with Spirit. Your part is simply to initiate the conversation, then remain open to the answers. Spirit’s role is to create solutions that are best in the long term and to get them to you. And believe me, Spirit can figure out how!
We are never alone
Even if, and especially if, we sometimes feel alone—we aren’t. We don’t have to go it alone unless that’s our choice. We can always turn to Spirit for warmth, love, support, and understanding. Spirit is there to help us when we simply ask, trust, and listen.
Continuing the Conversation
Re-read your journal. What has changed since you began this series?
- What expected or unexpected instances of support have you noticed?
- What shifts have you made in your thoughts about relationships and support? Are you considering, or making, changes?
- Are you more aware of various ways you can support yourself? Are you taking action?
- Will you communicate with Spirit in ways that allow Spirit to better support you?
I encourage you to continue journaling. Over time, your journal will serve as a personal resource that demonstrates how your circles of support have evolved.