Photo: Harel Menashri
8. Surround yourself with people and things that make you feel good.
Raising a child with disabilities requires a lot energy, both physical and mental. It also takes a great deal of patience, and most of your attention. The first two years, when our daughter was at home all day, were very demanding and challenging. There were many moments of frustration, concern, and stress.
To provide her with the care that she needed, we had to remain positive and channel every ounce of energy towards her treatments and development. Having a supporting partner was critical, as I mentioned in part 3 of this 10-part post. But, there are times when even that is not enough, and you need some additional boost of positive energy.
When you’re in a positive state-of-mind, you can be your best. You function better, you can be more focused and present. Also, you are less irritable and can cope better with stressful situations. Of course, the opposite occurs when you’re in a negative mindset, and feeling low.
We soon learned that we simply can’t afford to waste any time or energy on negative people, thoughts, or situations. Anything that made us feel bad was detracting from the mental and emotional resilience we needed in order to care for our daughter. In addition, it adversely effected how we functioned in all other aspects of our lives.
I find that there are two types of people in the world. There are those who give you positive energy, I call them “energy givers”. And there are those that drain your energy, I call them “energy takers”. To the extent possible, I try to surround myself with “energy givers”. Especially in times of adversity and significant challenges. Energy givers can help you get through these difficult periods of time, and turn them into periods of personal growth.
I learned this lesson soon after our daughter started attending the therapeutic day care at Beit Issie Shapiro. From the first moment we met her teacher and staff we sensed that there is something special and different about this place. It’s the people. They are energy givers supreme.
The people of Beit Issie share a meaningful purpose of caring for, and helping children with special needs develop and realize their potential. They do it because it’s their passion. They do it with love, care, and dedication.
This creates a very positive and warm environment for the kids and their families. Spending time with the people of Beit Issie gives you a real boost of optimism and energy. During my daughter’s stay at the daycare, I made a point of visiting a few times a week. It gave me a great chance to see her progressing. But it also gave me the positive energy I needed to provide her with the care she needs in order to develop.
Since then I have been working voluntarily with the GM of Beit Issie Shapiro and her leadership team. I advise and help them in areas of strategic planning, business model generation, and fund raising. It’s a way for me to give back for the profound change they made in our lives. Also, it’s a kind of a paradise for me. A place that I can go to recharge myself with positive energy and purpose.
In case you’re not sure which of the people you know and interact with are energy givers, and which are energy takers, here are a few easy and simple signs:
- You look forward to meeting them
- During your interaction with them you feel good (you smile, feel positive)
- After your interaction with them you feel good and positive
- You try to avoid meeting them, if possible
- The interaction with them is unpleasant and makes you feel bad (stressed, tense, upset)
- After your interaction with them you feel low (stressed, tired, upset) and drained
Life is too short to waste with people, or in places that make you feel bad. Find the energy givers in your life, and spend more time with them.