Consult not your fears, but your hopes and dreams.

Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential.

Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in,

but with what it is still possible for you to do.

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli


Every time I read that quote, it stops me in my tracks.  Am I caught in the looking back part or committed to the looking forward part?

Here is the looking back part:

Consult not your fears……

Think not about your frustrations……

Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in……

And here is the looking forward part I am committed to:

… but your hopes and dreams

… but about your unfulfilled potential

… but with what it is still possible for you to do

Then when I consider my personal situation and my special needs sons, it comes into tight focus.  There is so much more that I can be for them.  A dad who is intent on connecting with each of them eye to eye, heart to heart, dad to son, joy to joy, hope to hope.

They have so much unfulfilled potential as I see them continue to develop, but it takes me to develop in new ways to meet that challenge.

And right now, it centers around just being present, which is challenging it and of itself since I am a single working dad.  It means that since the full weight of caring for the family falls on me, I am constantly under time pressure.  All of the pastimes, hobbies, and other pursuits I would like to have a shot at, are out the window.

But the really great part of all that is the opportunity to develop my ability to be present to another person, no matter what is going on.  Presence is in such short supply in our world today. People blow by each other or are so fixated on their technology devices that being present to another person is a rarity. Heck, I have several desktop computers, two laptops, two tablets and two cell phones.  And that does not even count what my sons have. I manage half dozen personal web sites besides the one at work, have a number of Facebook and Twitter accounts.  I am probably as plugged in as any human can get.

The fight to unplug from moment to moment and be present to the people and circumstances in my life is tough, but I do not shrink from it. It is the presence to another that affirms them, and in turn affirms my own humanity. The first is duty to the outside commitments I have made, the second is love of the commitments of life I have embraced. The second, presence to others beginning with my sons, is the source of my growth.

Growing to the heights of our unfulfilled potential requires stretching and growing to the point of discomfort as all growth and strengthening requires.  Stretching my abilities to be present to incessant “Dad!” beckoning requires growth from this task oriented type A driver personality.

My hope and dream is that I can learn presence in the most demanding of situations and do it so habitually that it becomes part of my personality. I know I can still achieve that in my life.