Pain Pushes

By Brigitte Shipman | Nov 11, 2020. | Autism, Pain, Parenting, Lesson, Life Lessons

The day I heard the words “We think your son is autistic” was the very first time in my life that I felt unbearable pain. This was 25 years ago and it was all consuming and took over my mind, body, and spirit. My ears were ringing and then I left my body for the rest of the parent/teacher conference.

I could hear everything that they were saying to me, but it was a moment that I was not able to process. Once the conference was over I remember driving home numb, and in disbelief. As I reflect, there was a deep knowingness that came up from my gut. I knew it was true but I was taken over by deep pain. I drove home in a daze. When I got home I began making the painful calls to my husband to come home, and to my parents to find wisdom in their words.

When pain arrives it is unbearable and not welcome in our lives. This day of deep pain was my first life tsunami. It came and swept me out of my life that I knew and placed me in a foreign world. My beautiful son looked the same, smiled the same, but now had a different life path.

These words have given me comfort:

Pain pushes

Pain teaches

Pain is real and raw

What did pain teach me? It taught me to use it. The deep pain I felt taught me how to become stronger and to deepen my resilience.

I used my pain to push myself to find answers. When I found answers, I used my pain to teach others.

Pain does serve. Pain taught me patience, kindness, and how to become more authentic. Pain pushed me into living with more gratitude for each day.

As I practice gratitude each day I have noticed that colors are more vibrant, the moments with loved ones are more precious, and I give thanks for the ordinary day.

Pain has taught me, and may be teaching you, that it is real and raw and part of the human experience. We all know pain. What we choose to do with our pain is how we decide to live our lives. I know how to go from overburdened to living a life of gratitude. There is great comfort in knowing that there is hope, there is always hope.

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