A few months ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. They also found out my thyroid was shutting down. In the time since then, I’ve been getting healthier and feeling better and better. Part of my healing has been a little weight loss. Well, about 20 pounds of weight loss. I am sure the journey is not over, and I hope I lose more. My improved health has taught me my personal paradigms need work.
I Was Wrong
So a paradigm is the figurative glasses you wear that change how you see the world. I was reminded of these invisible glasses as we drove home after dinner. Something I don’t tell people is how much I judged myself for being overweight. I thought other people judged me too, especially my in-laws. But tonight when I went to a family birthday party, nobody noticed the weight loss — or nobody commented on it, at least. I learned that I was the one who had been projecting my feelings on them.
It reminded me of the time that I had been praying for a child and felt like my mother-in-law was breathing down my neck to have a baby. I remember finally getting pregnant and calling her. She was not thrilled for me like I thought she would be. She was not anything, really. There was shocking lack of emotion. Where was the speech? Where was her praise that I fully expected?
The Pressure Wasn’t Real
At first, I was hurt, then irate. I had been struggling for so long and feeling all this pressure. But when we had our baby, the in-laws were oddly silent. I realize now — I figured it out tonight, actually — that I was projecting my feelings on them. I felt pressure from myself, and I assumed everyone else was feeling the same way.
So imagine what would have happened if I had worked hard to lose weight, fully expecting and needing the approval of the family? I would have been sorely disappointed. I sat there at dinner tonight grateful for my health and grateful that my clothes fit better. Then I realized just how much of the way I see the world is colored by my own mind.
Paradigms? My Wake-Up Call
Do you ever find yourself in my place? How often are we super hard on ourselves thinking that it’s from others? What is written on your invisible glasses? “People who are different are dangerous”? Or maybe “I have to be perfect to be lovable”? I think I have that last one written on my glasses! And I must tell you, I wish I had an invisible eraser. It would make removing false things from those glasses, my paradigm, a lot easier. At least I can assure you that if you have false paradigms, you aren’t alone. I have them too.
Honestly, we all have false paradigms. The challenge is to recognize and remove them. I will be back next week with some ideas to help ‘clean up’ your paradigm glasses.
Abby is capable and caring. She is learning more about Autism and parenthood every day. Having completed training to be an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) for ABA therapy she is beginning to understand her son. And even though she is the first to admit she makes a lot of mistakes, she is so grateful to be on this journey. She comes from a family with many autistic members. She invites us to join her, as she shares her adventures. She wishes to emphasize that Autism is a difference not a defect. If you or a family member have autism, Abby wants you to know that the challenges can be overcome, and there are blessings in autism. You or your loved one are not sick or broken. Together we will teach the world this new language.