Let’s celebrate love in its purest form


My sister Shawn loves Mickey Mouse, cats and shopping at Wal-Mart.
It’s February, the month when we express our love to our Valentines with special dinners, cards adorned with hearts, chocolate and flowers. It’s a time when we open our hearts.

This year, I want to share with you a love of my life who seeks nothing in return for the love she freely shares with anyone…and anything. For you see, my youngest sister, Shawn, never learned that strings are attached to love. She never learned that love could be used as a tool to get what you want. And she never learned that the heart is anything but open.

When I was 10, Shawn came into this world and immediately faced more challenges than most of us can imagine. Cerebral palsy. Grand mal seizures. Intellectual challenges. We say people like Shawn have “special needs,” but people like Shawn are models for the rest of us who become trapped in our minds and led by our egos.

Any parent or family member of a “special needs” child will tell you this. They are fully aware that their child is love incarnate, and just as aware that they have so far to go just to measure up to this guide who has come into the world with such a pure heart.

Shawn doesn’t expect anything in return for the love she shares. She is present with those who are with her. And in her presence, it feels good just being, whether that means holding her hand while looking at watches in Wal-Mart, sitting next to her as she colors a picture of a cat, or sharing a bowl of popcorn as we watch a video.

I’ve always believed that the people who suffer the most prejudice, the most ridicule, are the souls who are the bravest among us – for choosing what appear to be the most difficult roles to play in this lifetime.

But now, I see it differently. They didn’t choose the toughest path, but the easiest. All they have to do is be themselves, and be love, while the rest of us stumble over our insecurities and struggle on our eternal quest to be happy — just to be like them.

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  1. What a gift the “special needs people” who do not have all the answers demonstrate to us in their ability to be with what ever lifes challenges present. The interesting thing is special need children and people do not see what so called normal people see. They see what normal people do not see. Yet as they see what normal people do not, they don’t have to tell another how they should be or who they should be or how they should act or what they should believe or what is or what is not. They just demonstrate they are not just loving, but Unconditionally Accepting also. Does genuine and authentic really exist on this planet? “Special Needs People” show us it does! The problem with so called normal people is they tend to choose when to be genuine and authentic and who to be genuine and authentic towards. So called normal people say one thing and then do another. They say they are interested and open from the heart and mind, and then demonstrate they are not being honest with another or their own Self and demonstrate it by their actions and choices.

    It is easy to be open, loving and accepting of a “Special Needs Person” because they are to us. So I present to anyone who reads this comment. Is this not another example of “Pay It Forward”? So my question to each person is…..’Are you paying it forward’? If you are not, what are you waiting for…BE the example…demonstrate it in your life….in every moment! The buck stops with you…..if all you do is receive and keep it for your Self. Pay if forward even if another looks at you like you are crazy or out of your mind. “Special Need People” live genuine and authentic lives….do YOU?


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