The Other Side of The Journey: Walking With Me
This month's blog post is written by my husband. We thought it was important to share 'the other side' of the story.
He writes about compassion, understanding and about walking with a loved one on the journey that follows a diagnosis.
Knowing yourself is one of the first steps toward fostering an inward facing attitude of compassion. Many of us find it relatively easy to be compassionate towards others, but much harder to direct that compassion towards ourselves. This is particularly true when we see that we are different from others, and judge ourselves harshly for being different.
When Emma discovered she had dyspraxia it brought a new understanding, and over time a realisation that many previously held negative beliefs about herself were not true. This was a process of inward compassionate transformation. It allowed her to stop hiding things that she previously had thought marked her out as defective, rather than just different.
Different is not a quality we should be afraid of. We are all different. We are all unique. Uniqueness is what marks out one soul from another. However we all want to belong to a group, a family, a society; and so we sometimes fear that our differences will stop us belonging. This is a tension that deserves recognising if we are to move beyond fearing differences, and begin compassionate acceptance of ourselves and others around us.
It is easy to mistake differences for flaws. We all have flaws, none of us are perfect. When someone you love is making a mistake, you naturally want to help them notice and correct it. You want the best for them. This can lead to conflict when perceived mistakes or flaws are actually just differences.
As Emma worked through her understanding of herself in the context of dyspraxia, she was able to let go of trying to correct things that she previously thought were flaws. She began to embrace the dyspraxic differences that make her unique. To others around her this was a change that was sometimes difficult to understand: Had she given up? Was she making the right choices? This did lead to times of sadness and upset. Over time, as Emma was able to understand herself better and then explain this understanding to those around her, it gave others the opportunity to show her compassion and acceptance.
I think the main point is this: finding out that you have dyspraxia is a journey that you aren’t walking alone. Those who love you will need to walk with you. Some might not be able to walk as fast as you. Have faith in their love for you, and give them time to show the compassion that you are learning to show yourself.