“The Power Of Positive Thinking” is one of my all time favorite books. It was written by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, one of my heroes. Dr Peale was an author, a pastor and the founder of Guideposts Magazine and other publications. I read the book before PJ was born and loved it. After PJ came along, I said, “Dr Peale never had to deal with a child handicapped by autism, so it will be impossible for me to remain positive in this situation”, but I read the book again. I also read his publication “Thought Conditioners” over and over. I still do.
Dr. Peale doesn’t know what I’m going through, I would tell myself. You can’t always be positive, but I would try. I was often negative which was so much easier because it was how I really felt. I did learn that when I was negative, I was tired and weary and weak and could barely make it through the day.
I learned that on my positive days, not only did I feel better, but PJ did, too. The more Positive Energy that I expressed, the more Positive Energy he expressed. If I could manage to squeeze out a smile, he was more pleasant. If I could manage to remain calm, he became more calm. So I learned to “fake it until I could make it”.
I had to learn to look at his behavior objectively. He was often aggressive, impulsive and inappropriate, but there was no malicious intent. Why was he acting that way? One day, he was stretched out on the floor screaming and hitting his fists and head on the floor. I could not stand this. I was leaning against the wall, crying and hitting my fists against the wall. It dawned on me that I was doing the same thing that he was doing, only I was standing up. Why was I acting this way? Because I was frustrated, upset and overwhelmed. Was he?
I saw that we were feeding into each others’ behavior. I removed myself and went into another room. PJ got up and followed me. This became our pattern. If he was doing something that I could not stand, I would walk away and he would stop what he was doing and follow me. This was not what I had expected to happen, but it worked. I wrote this poem to remind me to be positive.
How would it be if we could see positive energy? / The energy that is the key to set us free / And keep us young and well and strong / and help us bloom our whole life long?
Would it be bright like a light / to help us make it through the night? / Would it make sunshine in our soul / and keep us warm and help us grow?
Would it sparkle and shine like silver and gold? / Would it reveal a lie we’ve been told?Would it help us not to guess / if we should say no or yes. / Could we always do our best?
Would it lift us up above the fray? / Give us the strength to find our way? / Help us have a better day? / Would it soothe our spirit and dry our tears? / And help us chase away our fears?
I know you may be tired of me / speaking of this energy. / But wouldn’t it be nice to see?
Until next time; May the Light of God surround you; May the Power of God protect you.