I have a confession to make. I’m insecure. I have been my entire life. To compensate for my lack of self-confidence I’ve historically been a rather gregarious gal. Hiding behind this public persona, however, is a person deathly afraid of rejection. I talk a good game, but truth be told I hide my life and my “light” from the world.
In previous posts, I’ve shared links to both a recent local television news segment [http://bit.ly/15QPPR2] and half hour news show [http://bit.ly/153Jhiu] I participated in, both of which speak on the subject of autism (early diagnosis and education, respectively). Terrified of public speaking, I told myself that it would be completely worth it if our family’s story helped one person. Let me tell you—I was elated to receive an e-mail from a woman who saw the news show on autism and education and was looking for information. The discomfort I experienced by appearing on that show was well worth it based on this single e-mail from the grandmother of a young boy with autism. She was seeking information on schools, programs and medical providers. I was beyond thrilled to share information I’ve gleaned and compiled over the past two years. Additionally, another woman contacted me via a mutual friend of ours. She has a daughter with autism and is relocating to Palm Beach County. She too was seeking information on education and healthcare/therapy providers.
Had I not stepped out of my comfort zone I wouldn’t have been able to help these women. The bottom line is this: Folks took notice. Awareness was raised. People—just like me—are looking for help and searching for answers. Don’t isolate yourself. People aren’t out to judge you. (Well, at least not the majority of them.) Parents are simply looking for help. They’re looking for a connection. They’re looking for acceptance. Their eyes are upon you and me. Illuminate your journey and you’ll light their path. That’s part and parcel of our experience.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:14-16