Moving forward

Posted by jennifer gibson on Monday, April 9, 2018 Under: April 2018
As I move forward to new beginnings in my life, I've become more aware of how my daily experiences, particularly with a hearing loss, have become valuable lessons for me. 

Every single one of us goes through this every day, it's how we grow and evolve as human beings. It's how we discover our strengths and weaknesses, through the situations we face on a regular basis. Whether it's during our commute, at work, during sports or at home, there is always something for us to learn. 

It can be the smallest things from going outside to feed the birds, hanging out with our pets, giving a dollar or two to the homeless person on the sidewalk, or buying a cup of coffee for the next person in line at Tim Horton's. It may not seem like much, but to them, it can make a world of a difference. We may never how much of a difference we made, even for that day, but a small gesture can go a long ways. 

My mother had always been a kind and compassionate person, especially towards animals. She taught me that they deserved to be loved too, just like us. Life wasn't easy for her. She endured an incredible amount of turmoil and adversity as well as numerous physical ailments that made it challenging for her to enjoy life like everyone else. But, somehow, she found a way to shine through it all. She saw it as an opportunity to become a better person and be willing to try something new. When she realized that traditional medicine wasn't working, she considered alternative methods such as acupuncture or osteotherapy. Even though it may have been short term solutions, it provided the comfort that she needed to function so that she could be a part of the community that she loved.

She taught me that it was okay to have an open mind and not be afraid to speak up. Throughout her struggles, she showed me that it was okay to walk away from a toxic situation or relationship in order to protect ourselves. She had the ability to observe her surroundings from a distance since she was a skilled psychologist. This enabled her to be remain neutral and become a good listener. Most of all, I learned how to be a kind, gracious and humble person from her. She taught me to view every obstacle I faced as an important lesson to learn from. 

Even though Mom and I had disabilities, we both worked hard to overcome our limitations. As a result of our experiences, especially my own, our lives were very different. I became shy and distrustful whereas she enjoyed meeting new people and being socially active. 

While Mom is no longer with me, I'm still learning from her. Whenever I'm faced with a difficult situation, I often ask myself "what would she do in this case?" She likely would've told me to find a way to adapt to it that suits my needs. She would have wanted me to learn and grow from it. 

The other day, when I was in the kitchen and looking out the window, watching the birds and squirrels outside, it dawned on me that she is truly gone. A year later and it's still moments like those that hit me really hard. It's difficult to grasp the concept that I can no longer turn around and ask her for advice. Once in awhile, I'll expect to see her in the living room, sitting in her favourite chair, knitting a sock or watching Downton Abbey on TV. Then I'll stop and remember that it's now a memory. I have to keep moving forward in order to find a life for myself, it's what she would've wanted me to do. 

I recently told my students at the dojo that even though I'm an instructor, I'm still learning and trying to figure out what works best for all of us. I had to explain to them that even though I'm trained in several styles of martial arts and have years of experiences, I will still make mistakes. In many ways, I'm still a student and there is nothing wrong with that at all. I'm literally learning on the fly, modifying drills to fit the class. I may struggle with it but I still consider it to be a great learning experience for me. That is what makes me a better person. 

That's what it's all about: we are here to learn, our world is a big classroom for us to discover who we are as a human being. Every day offers us a lesson that could change our lives. I have no idea where my journey will take me but at least I'm willing to try.

In : April 2018 

Tags: journey  life  lessons  disabilities 
Comment Form is loading comments...