Subscribe now and recieve 50% off all our ebooks as well as updates on all our online special needs resources.
Tzvi Schectman
BY Tzvi Schectman
2,219 views

What an Individual with Special Needs Can Teach Us About True Love

In Ethics of our Fathers (Chapter 5 Mishnah 16) it says, “Any love that is dependent on something–when the thing ceases, the love also ceases. But a love that is not dependent on anything never ceases.” Some simple examples of love based on something that is fleeting would be loving someone for money, looks or other superficial reasons. This type of love is not based on the essence of the person but rather on elements that surround the person.

You don’t just connect to people because you share experiences, or you share interests, or you can talk about the same TV shows or sports teams. There are deeper things you can connect to a person on.

Breakable Connections

Our sages take this concept one step further and tell us that even things that seemingly show a deeper connection and bond are also fleeting. For example: being connected to somebody and building a relationship based on common interests, liking ones personality or working on a common goal together are not real bonds.

Even though these ideas show a strong bond they can be ruptured at any second for a multitude of reasons.

So What is a real bond?

The only real bond and connection that will never change must be soul to soul. Anything other than that cannot be considered a true bond. As a physical being: Our emotions, our feelings, our character is fleeting and can change instantly at any moment.

An individual with special needs represents a real bond

To further understand what it means to have a soul-to-soul connection we can look at an individual with special needs. When a person connects to a child with special needs it can be much easier to look past their physical character.

In an individual with special needs we know to look passed the disability and look to the essence of their being, to their soul. By looking at their core you can know who they truly are and can connect with them on a deeper level. Interact with an individual that has special needs and you won’t be distracted by other commonalities or common grounds. The relationship’s not built on those things. And really that is the way it should be.

Pride vs. Love

If your child is successful in school naturally you have much pride from your child’s efforts, but is the relationship with your child based on that? If they wouldn’t be successful and wouldn’t give you joy from their scholastic endeavors would you love them any less? You may not be as prideful but your love would remain the same.

The definition of a real love, a real and unchanging connection is that there’s nothing the person can do to make you love them any less. In fact you could take this a step further, there’s nothing they could do to make you love them more!

Because the love isn’t based on what they do or don’t do, it’s based on the essence of who they are. The essence of who they are is the soul.

The Connection Starts at Home

In order to connect to the essence of another human being, to connect to their soul, you first have to connect to your own soul. It’s been said that we’re not human beings having a spiritual experience, we’re spiritual beings having a human experience. To realize that you are a spiritual being, that you see yourself as a soul, and you identify with the soul, then you can connect to another person and identify them as a soul.

Having an individual with special needs in our life helps us to get in touch with our true selves. We see this being actualized on a regular basis. A family member, a volunteer or a complete stranger will come to assist or spend time with an individual that has special needs. And often what happens is a bond is created between the two. Why does this happen? This is because these are two individuals who are looking beyond the physical. They are looking into the essence of each other.

Our Homework

The homework is, evaluate your relationships. How do your relationships in life measure up to the purity of the relationships you have with a child with special needs. Are you connecting to people based on fleeting things? Or is the connection based on that which is unchanging and eternal?

The souls are all one.
Only the bodies divide us.

Therefore, one who places the body before the spirit
can never experience true love or friendship.
-Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

We would love to hear your thoughts on bonding! Please share in the comment section below.

Tzvi Schectman

Written on January 26, 2015 by:

Tzvi Schectman is the Family Coordinator for the Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Editor of the the Friendship Circle Blog. You can connect with Tzvi on LinkedIn and Google+
  • Amy

    Hi Tzvi, I really enjoy your posts. In fact, this blog is the only one I read on a regular basis, it is so good. Thank you for enriching my life on a regular basis, and thereby enriching my son’s life, too.

    This is the first blog post that didn’t sit well with me. I wonder if we might come from different perspectives when it comes to a special needs child. My child’s special needs are rooted in early childhood trauma and loss from living his first year in an orphanage. Though they took wonderful care of him, there were still many important needs he wasn’t able to receive during a very important developmental time. So his special needs are related to challenges in trusting others, attachment, needing to control, and learning to relax in the world – at home, school, and other places. We work a lot with him on connecting with him in any way we can, and very often that means connecting through those things you mention as fleeting – interests, activities, emotions. For our son, connecting means trusting, and trusting, in his early life, often meant disappointment and not getting needs met. So if we try and connect with him on a deeper level, it can be too overwhelming for him. We have to connect on what may seem like a superficial level because it’s all he can handle right now. As time goes on, of course, we try and take it deeper and deeper.

    So I just wanted to give my perspective. I’d love to hear your response and thoughts if you wish to share. Thank you so much again for all your beautiful writing.

    • fcmichigan

      Amy,

      I understand your perspective but even in this extreme situation your focus on connecting on fleeting things is just a means to an end. Your are doing everything you can to connect on a deeper level but you understand you need to start on more superficial items in order to reach your ultimate goal.

      • Amy

        Thank you.

  • essence212

    Shut up this site isn’t about talking to people so shut the fuck up

  • Melanie Froese

    Hi Tzvi, Thank you for articulating this. I have two sons with autism and they have taught me much about real love. Often what attracts us to people are surface superficial things but what anchors us like “roots” is always below the surface. “Many waters cannot quench love.” Thank you for giving a spiritual perspective on autism – not easy to find.

    • fcmichigan

      You are very welcome Melanie

Categories

Notice: Use of undefined constant fbTracking - assumed 'fbTracking' in /var/www/friendshipcircle.org/blog/wp-content/themes/fcblog17/footer.php on line 52