My sweet little one is 10 this weekend. In planning her birthday party, she decided for a large all out bash – where both boys and girls would be welcome. Greta’s love language is fun times with friends. So naturally she would be thrilled to see all of her friends having a great time and everyone smiling like crazy!
One of the adjustments we have had after ADEM is emotional outbursts. Greta gets angrily easy and it takes about half an hour usually for her to settle down, unless we have an awesome, bright & shiny, fun type distraction for her. Her reaction when we try to gently guide/scold/discipline her is as if we were banishing her from the house and family. The psychologist said this isn’t a surprising reaction after all she has been through with the brain lesions.
What broke my heart this week was her sincere question: what if I get angry at my party? She knows she struggles with anger issues, as do a lot of kids and adults suffering with ADEM. She knows it could mess things up and her desire to have fun at her party is so great, but it is almost as if she recognized that this is something that is sometimes beyond her control.
What if? We may not have been through ADEM, but most of us have gone through bad choices or consequences from others close to us and their bad choices. When we are all set to have a good time and enjoy life, we wonder – what if that springs up again and ruins everything? What if these things that I don’t always have control over come back and really get in the way?
I appreciate the way Greta knew that getting angry isn’t who she wants to be and sometimes it just can’t be controlled. Bad choices isn’t who I want to be either. I think I’ll spend some time talking to God about it and asking Him to help me make better choices, so I don’t have to ask – what if. I’m also going to spend some time praying for His blessings on Greta, so she can have a great party and not let ADEM outbursts get in the way.
Think choices and lifestyles are unimportant? Think again. Especially, think about the choices your grandparents made. The science of epigenetics is fascinating. The YouTube link below explains it best.
If you’ve flown on a commercial airliner, you’ve seen those wonderful little cards that explain what to do in case of an emergency. All the little characters look perfectly calm as they pull down oxygen masks and easily remove their seat cushion for use as the best ever flotation device.
I’ve been through the flight attendant safety presentation numerous times, but I still get a small chill when I think about preparing for impact or bracing for impact. It truly isn’t a pleasant thought.
I’ve discovered recently (been in scientific research for years) that you can’t always prepare for impact: especially the impact others have on you. Case in point – my husband’s migraines. They are wicked little devils. Karl knows a few of his main triggers and does his best to avoid them. If he is outside, he is wearing sunglasses. Too much sun in his eyes and a full blown migraine is a done deal. The trigger he has the most difficult time controlling – sleep habits. Oh the irony that a man who others look to for always being available day or night has to maintain consistent sleep patterns. Such is the life of a pastor. But the rest of the story…is that sometimes the inconsistent sleep patterns are his own choosing.
So after years of this scientific research, I’m able to inform my husband that when he chooses to purposefully mess with his sleep patterns, the family will get out their little migraine emergency cards and prepare for impact. The whole family suffers.
What is going on in your life? Are you, by your choices, forcing others to prepare for impact? Are the choices of others close to you causing you to look for a flotation device? No man is an island. As you practice intentionality in your life and in your relationships, look for how your choices could have an impact on others.