As somebody who has always lived in negative surroundings, I had to find positive role models. When I began working with young folks, I took it upon myself to become one of those role models. The transition wasn't an easy one, but I learned so much along the way. A positive attitude does NOT mean denying problems. Rather, it involves facing them optimistically. As I realize that I can impact my world and my situation, I feel less helpless and more optimistic. I accept the negatives in the world, but look over, under, around and beyond them. I DO problem solve, and I DO see grim, disturbing, and even deadly on the spectrum, but I do NOT give in and give up. I remember the blind, paraplegic artist who paints with her teeth, the parent who turned the loss of her child (the most devastating event I can imagine personally) into a national support group for parents who've lost a child. Even ranting and raging have their place in my optimistic world, for they let me release the negative and move forward much more quickly than I otherwise would. Then I seek out compassionate, optimistic friends and we look toward a brighter future that we can build together. The laughter and love have been curative for me and I cherish my ability to give and receive both.
- 4/4/2013 7:31:40 AM