“There are no airbrushed versions of a perfect life.” – Tresa Edmunds, www.reesedixon.com
In my book Making a Difference, I talk about focusing your efforts on what you can change and accept what you cannot change. It is essential for us to take this important step in life into our hearts for us to fully unlock our potentials. What we can and cannot change is unique, of course, for each one of us.
Dwelling on the past and living in the past can fill us with the pain of regret. I, all too well, understand that separating ourselves from that past is almost like the pain of re-birth. As an author and speaker, I explain that I too have taken the journey. I am speaking from experience, having faced many bitter truths.
I speak to over one hundred audiences each year, and I hear thousands of stories of the personal triumphs of people who have overcome their pasts to have beautiful and productive lives.
Invariably after those presentations, I am asked if I personally know any celebrities or athletes who have shed their pasts to climb the mountain to high fame and glory. The simple answer is: “Yes, I have.” Then I stop and think that within each one of us is the precious gift we are all given to start over, to find our true passion and inspire others with our stories. We don’t need the inspiration of celebrities and athletes to be motivated, just our own unique story.
Birth and Re-birth
Just the other day, an inspirational story came my way that illustrates my point about acceptance that I had to share it with you. The story was not initially shared in words but rather through a YouTube video that was forwarded to me.
Picture a skate park. It could be in most any town, but in this case, it is in beautiful Sacramento, California. I sat mesmerized at my computer as I viewed a father pushing a child who was tightly strapped to a wheelchair up and down the “hills” of the skate park. As the father was pushing the child around the “bowls,” other children whizzed by them on skateboards sharing in the excitement.
The boy in the chair is named Atticus, and his father is Jared. Atticus Edmunds is eight years old, and he has a rare form of Cerebral Palsy. The mother and father had been trying for many years to have a child, and the mom, Tresa Edmunds, finally got pregnant, but it was quickly discovered that she had developed a chronic blood illness during pregnancy that is called HELLP Syndrome. It affects only about one woman in a thousand. Just their luck, right? Not so fast.
The most accepted “treatment” to save the child is to deliver the baby as soon as feasible. Atticus was successfully delivered at about two and one-half pounds. It was quickly determined that he was not like other children; he was disabled.
As he grew, it was apparent that he could not walk or move like other children. The story began to take a new turn, as some of the caregivers fell in love with Atticus (“Atti”) at the hospital and they rallied around the child and his parents.
The Artist Within All of Us
Tresa Edmunds is an artist, craftsperson and accomplished cook. In the process of raising Atticus, the entire experience of acceptance and nurturing awakened an even greater sense of artistry within her.
Tresa became very supportive with the issues involved in nurturing children who were disabled and she began to blog about her experiences, her craft work and cooking on a new website: www.reesedixon.com. This, in turn, inspired many moms and dads with disabled children and non-disabled children to connect with her and share their stories and experiences. Tresa has enabled a large network and a voice for advocacy.
What is important is that Jared and Tresa discovered an unexpected door and a new purpose that was unlocked in their lives. Their story continues to inspire thousands of people. By the way, the YouTube video of Atticus shredding the bowls of the skate park is now almost up to 42,000 views! However, the numbers of views of the video are unimportant.
What is important are the lessons they learned. They were not victims. They accepted what they could not change and from that acceptance arose a meaningful response. Tresa and Jared have become, to my mind, true celebrities.