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What is Your Gift?

What is Your Gift?

About 5 years ago, I was fortunate enough to find my dad after 30 years of searching. As I sat alone at the airport, waiting to start my 8-hour journey from Virginia to Germany, I experienced an enlightening moment regarding my anticipated connection with my dad. Although I was surrounded by people, I was feeling lonely and scared. Yet everyone in the airport was also there for a connection experience. People were reconnecting with lost relatives and even connecting deeper with the person sitting next to them. There were also those such as myself, who were traveling thousands of miles to connect with someone. I also observed in some cases individuals connecting with themselves.

With over 30 years of built-up fear and buckets full with tears, connection mattered enough to make this journey. So I did. As I sat at the airport, it reminded me of Brene Brown, who said, “we are hardwired to connect with others, it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives”. I wish I could tell you the happily ever after to this story, but I can’t. Connection isn’t a linear path that is simple. What I can tell you, is that this journey has led to me letting go of those fears that stopped me from living in my purpose every day. The same fears are what stood in the way of me connecting so many times before. When fear guides the path you take, you will be missing out on the beautiful opportunities for connection and growth.

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As I continue to overcome decisions based in fear while seeking growth and connection opportunities, I considered how the values at CA Human Services lined up with my personal values. CA Human Services has a mission to work toward a future where the most vulnerable Virginians of all ages can participate in every aspect of our community and realize their full potential with core values of (1) collaboration, (2) commitment to best practice, (3) willingness to challenge the status quo, (4) transparency, and (5) adaptability. For today, let’s focus on what it feels like to be willing to challenge the status quo.

When was the last time you spoke up and said the unpopular thing? Or spoke and your voice quivered because you were saying something a bit different than the popular response. Those moments define who we are and the legacy we leave because of our gift. Working with individuals with varying abilities, often individuals who have experienced significant trauma in their lives or disabilities that make communication difficult, I have frequently had to speak up for someone who did not have a voice to use or struggled to respond as a result of the circumstances. Even when my voice quivered, I have chosen to say the hard thing in a kind way with courage.

At CA Human Services, a core value is a willingness to challenge the status quo. Lolly Daskel discussed willingness to challenge the status quo by saying,

“Nothing great is ever achieved by doing things the way they have always been done. To challenge the status quo, we must take one fearless choice at a time, one brave decision at a time, one courageous action at a time.”

Take a deep breath, and honestly consider the following:

  • What fear is stopping you from truly connecting and living in your purpose?
  • What were you put on this earth to do? We are all endowed with a gift. This is something we do, understand, and feel better than anything else in the world. What is your gift?
  • How have you been sharing that gift with the world today?
  • How will you share that gift tomorrow and challenge the status quo?

So, I challenge you. WILL YOU commit to sharing your gift with the world tomorrow? WILL YOU commit to challenging the status quo? We would love hear from you. Share your gift with US and how you might share it with the world below.

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CA works with autistic people and their families to help them thrive. Every day, we’re building a future where the most vulnerable Virginians can actively participate in our community and realize their full potential.

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