Friday, March 2, 2012

Where it Starts

So, since the beginning of January of 2012 I have been sharing a string of posts in a series called "Tools of Hope". In this series I have talked about some wonderful organizations and groups, like One Voice Network, Kinark, Ontario March of Dimes, Creative Reviews, The Heart & Stroke Foundation, and the York Durham Aphasia Centre. I spoke a little about the Church and what it may mean when being a member. There are piles of organizations too that I didn't mention which I could have; The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Yellow Brick House, Sandgate Women's Shelter, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, the list is endless. I could have also posted something about the Arts being a Tool of Hope. Drawing, painting, writing, dancing, sculpting, playing a musical instrument.

Writing has helped me so much in dealing with my Learning Disability. I feel like I can communicate on paper in ways I cannot accomplish verbally. Writing has allowed me to feel part of something and not just a lonely soul wandering through life feeling, at times, lost and confused.
Music has helped my mom learn how to speak again. Dealing with Aphasia has been difficult to say the least since her accident and music has helped, in many ways, bring her voice back. There are times when singing can be easier than talking

But it doesn't really matter how wonderfully helpful these things are, or how motivating the people that are part of these organizations/groups may be, because if you're not in it as your biggest Tool of Hope, nothing else much matters. Sure, these other things and/or people can take over from a certain point, offer most of the guidance and even do a healthy chunk of the work, but you yourself, is where it starts! It's really just like that line Katy Perry belts out, "Baby, you're a Firework." Only you can can start that spark and keep it going.
It doesn't matter what it is you've gone or are going through, (dealing with a disability, surviving a domestic relationship, overcoming the bullies at school, etc...) right or wrong, big or small, that first step and conscious decision to get help, to improve yourself, to make changes, and to grow with all of it, comes from you.

Family, Friends, Teachers, Caregivers, Employment Specialists, Nurses and Doctors, (the list goes on) are great and can offer so much to individuals in need. Whether it is through the things I mentioned above, or by any other means you can think of, nurturing and helping hands are out there. But not to take anything away from the group of people I just spoke of, they cannot go too far with those outstretched hands of offered hope if there is no one reaching back. Guidance may be theirs to offer, but decisions to take them are yours.
One of the greatest things we have in our personal arsenal is CHOICE. It may be difficult at times, but if you have the right attitude, there is never a wrong time to make a choice. Change can happen whenever and wherever.

I have been through a lot in my life, I've faced many personal Challenging Barriers. But I think I'm doing pretty ok. I'm certain that the path I have journeyed and will continue to follow, forks and all, will bring about still more challenges. But I'm sure I'll do pretty ok. Family, friends who remain and ones that have gone, physicians I've seen, places I've worked and volunteered at, my writing and other hobbies, they have all helped me survive and grow and learn. These things will continue to come and go in my life, bringing new experiences and growth along the way. But I know it all comes done to me, it's where it starts.
I do pretty ok, because, I do pretty ok.

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