Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A competition of life.

I believe everyone has a purpose in their life. Not that each person in this lifetime will change the world's views or be talked about for hundreds of years and go down in the books of history. But a purpose that lies within them, that touches people, maybe teaches people, maybe helps people. Life is so individual to each person, even siblings. No two people are ever exactly alike. They will never exactly feel, see or experience things identically. I don't know that an individual's purpose in this life is ever the same. I think they must all be different in some ways, just as the person themselves.

But if that may be true, then why is life so often a competition among us? Friends? Co-workers? Family? We've all seen it. You can't really deny it. I'm sure, every one of us has even engaged in it at one point or another.

A competition of life. 

Who is more successful, makes more money, has the biggest house or most expensive cars. Who wears the trendiest clothes, takes the most elaborate vacations, is the most attractive or is liked and respected the most in a group. Going after the biggest. The newest. The best.

Some would say it's just life. It's natural. It's human nature. Or not. I, personally, think there is so much more to life than living this way. Why do some feel the need to be the most recognized, the most loved, the most sought after...being the best? Unfortunately, this competitive vibe transcends through the parenting communities too. Someone always feels they know the best way to parent, teach, discipline or care for their children. Or feels the need to have the cutest, the healthiest, the smartest, the most athletic, the funniest, the most loved or sometimes even the sickest child.

Why do we do this?

What happened to just being content and happy with who you are and what you have? There is more to life than this. Our lives are all unique. Our children are children. The most important part of their lives is that they feel our love every day. Certainly, instilling in our children the drive to do their best and put forth their best effort is a great thing. We can certainly put forth our best effort in our lives, we can strive to better ourselves without comparing or competing for some fictitious recognition. Or perhaps we're competing and comparing for only the peace within our self. That we are enough, our children are enough, our choices are enough. Maybe that's where the competition is born from...from within ourselves, our insecurities, and nothing more.

There is certainly no trophy at the end of our life or our child's life that says you were the best. There is no medal of honor. There is no award to be given.

It saddens me when Mothers, who undoubtedly love their children, continue to act as if they need to prove that their child(ren) are "better", in whatever way, than another. Sad for them, for their child and for the way they must feel.

In the special needs community, the mito community even, this mindset can also be ever present. It was so, so often a very supportive community for our family and still is. I've come to know many wonderful people and families by way of this disease. But I have also seen when some get caught up in a circle of behavior that does not feel necessary. Everyone has their struggles. Everyone has their fears. Everyone preaches the same feelings about needing a cure.

This disease has the ability to be devastating, I've seen that part of it first hand. Though, it's different for each child and family. It's entirely unique to each individual. There is no competition, there is no race. It's a life. It's up to you to make it one with love. Be secure in knowing the amount of love you feel for your children. Be secure in knowing that your child mattered immensely to you and those closest to them. That's all that really matters. It's what is most important at the end of the day.

This little spot in the blog world, though it's not always the most upbeat, is honest, is real, is the truth to our life we have lived these last years. I believe everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a purpose. I have rarely held back when sharing our life here. It's a beautiful life that we are so fortunate to experience together as a family...the good, the bad and the ugly. Being honest in this space is important to me. It's our life, but it shares Wyatt's life too. His life, though it had its excruciatingly difficult moments, was more than the disease within his body. He and his life were so much more than being another child with Mitochondrial disease. Your children are no different than mine in that way. They are more than their diagnosis and their limitations. They are children first.

I don't believe this life is meant to be a competition. I'm sure there will always be that one person, or those few, who are seeking for something within themselves that being the best won't even give them. But it doesn't mean we, you or I, have to play along. My family's life is one of its own. It's not always pretty and it has not always been easy, but it's ours. Your family's life is just that, as well. Our lives don't need to be looked at so intensely and dissected into who is "better" or "more" than the other. There are no winners and there are no losers in the end.

Our children are all special and one of a kind. They are enough, they are just right, they are exactly how they were meant to be. Love them for who they are, show them love, never stop loving them. 

Be thankful. Be content. Be true. Be happy. Be kind. 

Let it be enough. You are enough.
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  1. Wyatt was so fortunate to have two parents that talked with him and loved him so deeply. Talked with him so openly but most importantly you listened and respected his wishes. This quote from Mick Moony makes me think of the love that was shown to Wyatt "It is through the practical, down to earth love and respect we partake in through our everyday relationships that we tap into the divine way of loving God." Wyatt's life was a beautiful example of Divine love! He not only received a tremendous amount but also freely returned love in a Divine way! What a Beautiful Child Of God! With much love, hope, respect and joy, Nanny

  2. This post was exactly what I was looking to read after having a really rough few weeks. I could not agree more. A friend taught me a very valuable statement when I expressed to them "well, it could always be worse"...they told me to stop it and really think about what I said and proceeded to tell me "It very well could be worse but this is your worse and how you feel right now. Nobody can change that". That is so true. It is not a competition of whats good, bad, rich or poor. It is how we internally interpret our own happiness and worth. Those last few words you wrote about being kind, true, content, thankful and happy really is what life is about. If a person doesn't have any of those to look forward to, they live in such a competitive world because they are trying to make up for what they cannot find from within. Thanks for this post Ashley, I really mean it.

  3. Brilliant post. I have always felt your posts tend to reach inside of me, and this one definitely hit a home run.
    It is about the love, the moments on the journey, not the finish line.