Looking Forward

This week for some reason I have been reflecting about blame. About fault. About guilt. I guess most of us have these feelings at some time. But what are their use if they are just negative emotions that hold us back? Looking back means we aren’t looking forward, and to avoid tripping over things I find it’s always best to look where I’m going.

Not looking back has been a recurring theme in our podcasts as parents try to make sense of this different lives we all lead as parents and carers to children who have additional needs. In the Get Your Cranky Pants On podcast Robyn talked about not mourning the child we thought we might get. She, like the rest of us, would never swap her son for the world. But I think most of us at some time or other feel life for our families is more difficult than we wish it was.

But I don’t think we should waste our energies looking at what might have been. In fact I don’t think it is worth looking back to ask what happened or try to make sense of where we find ourselves. We are where we are, and at least for me having a point or person to blame, won’t do me any good. All blame will do is focus my thoughts on the past and get me asking why my life doesn’t fit into some accepted standard I’m never quite sure who invented. Why would I waste my time and energy re-writing in my head all the things that have already gone? That is distracting me from the present.

Thoughts in my head about the past aren’t serving my daughter in the present. My energy directed at the here and now is going to change her future more than my finding a definitive point of blame. There are enough battles to fight just to get her what she needs without distractions in my head.

The one thing that does slip away and never comes back is time. Time is so precious, and we can’t buy more of it no matter how much money we have. When I was twenty, I couldn’t imagine thirty let alone forty. But as years go by I realise the one thing I will never get back is time, so I should use it wisely. That means being in every moment, today.

Enjoying now means I can look forward to enjoying the future. It means I mentally set myself free so that what I do with my daughter today has a bearing on tomorrow, and the next day. I can learn with her. I can grow with her. I can affect something that is bigger than just me. Then maybe my life will be well lived for today – for tomorrow.

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