It’s been another week, creeping in a petty pace from day to day.
But enough about me. I want to tell you about an inspirational family I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the past several months.
For those of you who are just joining us, I 9-5 (or 10-7, in my case) at a health food store. Not too long ago, spending this much time around food, discussing it, touching it, etc. would have ranked right up there with a root canal on my list of enjoyable activities. Nowadays, I really like it. I get to help people figure out how to navigate the confusing world that is food. It’s interesting seeing how much even “normal” people have hang-ups and just a general lack of knowledge when it comes to food. Together, armed with Google and a few trustworthy websites, we’re figuring it out.
A while back, I had a woman ask me about flax oil. She explained that she has a daughter with autism who will only eat certain foods, so she’s trying to sneak healthier ingredients into the foods the girl trusts. She wanted a healthier oil to make pancakes with, so I steered her away from flax (which is destroyed when heated), and suggested she use coconut or grapeseed oil instead. We sneaked ground flax seeds and spelt flour (as opposed to white) into the batter, as well. I told her about my brother, who has a developmental disability and many autistic tendencies, and we’ve bonded over that, too.
This woman also has a son who has both aspergers and ADHD. (I know, right? Both kids are under the age of 12. She’s a supermom.) Today she came in very excited to tell me that her son was doing better in school. He’s getting more work done, and even his penmanship is improving. I know she’s trying to avoid medicating him, and go the natural route, so I asked her what inspired the change. She looked up at me with some very full eyes:
His dad told him, “Whatever you do, do it from your heart.”
This boy, who wants so badly to fit in, who holds doors for every person who enters or exits the store when he visits, who offers to help whenever he can, who has such big dreams for his life, battles against his mind using the power of his heart. Every letter he writes, he fights his demons to make sure his heart is on the page. He wants to be proud of everything he creates, because he views everything he does as a representation of his heart. He knows his hard work is worth it because, “Maybe if I keep doing better I can move into a normal class!”
I don’t have aspergers, but I do know what it’s like to fight against your brain every day. Strangely enough, I’ve been trying to fight my brain with my brain: with logic, and by thinking my way out of things. Maybe it’s time to bring in reinforcements. Maybe my brain can’t fight against itself, but maybe my heart can help. I don’t know if I can have compassion for myself, but maybe just passion will be enough. Imagine a world where we all lived passionately. Imagine what we could do if we all lived from the heart.