Sometimes it's so easy to get consumed by all the difficulty of yours and your child's life.
It can be overwhelming. It can feel relentless. It can feel like there's no solution.
The first thing to know is that it's completely okay to feel this way. There are going to be days when you take a look at your life, take a deep breath and think to yourself, "This is my life and I'm exhausted."
During these times, take a deep breath, look around you and accept the chaos and slow your breathing down.
When you slow your breathing down, you allow for the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in which will enable the conscious part of the brain to come back on line and make sense of everything you're experiencing. From that place you can start to become solution focussed about your reality.
Then, recognise that what you just did, was only focussed on part of your life, not the entirety of it.
You see, we live in a world of polarity. Where there is a high, there is a low and where there is a low, there is also highs going on too.
The problem is, your mind likes to keep finding evidence of what you have your attention on, so if you keep looking for the lows, guess what you'll find more of?
That's right. The lows.
We have to recognise that all experiences have an expiry date.
Although your child might always have autism, their life isn't always difficult. Your life isn't always difficult.
However, because the difficult aspects of life are so dominant sometimes, the mind starts to draw the conclusion that it's ALWAYS difficult.
Once the mind gets into those absolute statements - ALWAYS, NEVER, EVERYONE DOES THIS, NO ONE ever helps me - it's only bringing to you evidence of that focus.
What we need to remember to do, is look at the polarity of life so that you are looking at the balance of things, not just a narrow minded viewpoint of it.
So when you're feeling overwhelmed by a moment try saying this to yourself...
This too shall pass. Everything rises and passes away. Everything.
Take a moment to look for evidence of how EVERYTHING comes and goes.
Find examples in life like how flowers grow and die, snakes shed their skin and transform into something else.
Even the cells in your body die off and get replaced. You’re not even the exact same person you were yesterday!
Think about another time you had a problem and it came and went.
Think about times when your child’s behaviour escalated and then died down.
Find evidence of the impermanence of life to help you to accept the reality of this unwanted moment and trust that it will pass too, just like everything eventually does in life.
There’s no need to get fixated on the unwanted. That will only keep you from moving through it quicker.
Create a timeline that illustrates the highs and lows in life (visually or verbally).
This exercise is particularly good for those who tend to catastrophise their day. You will often find yourself saying, “this ALWAYS happens to me” or “I NEVER get to….”, or “My WHOLE day is bad”
Pick a period of time (the last day, week, month or even year) and create a time line that illustrates all the highs and lows that have occurred during this time.
Remind yourself that these jagged lines that illustrate the highs and lows of life IS reality. This isn’t you having a wrong life! This is you having a life.
Looking at your timeline visually helps you to remember that life is just a succession of experiences – some of them unwanted and some of them wanted.
Also, it helps you to see that out of the wanted came the unwanted and out of the unwanted came the wanted.
We often fear the unwanted and try to predict and control our future because we fear that it is going to go wrong.
You try to control in an attempt to get life to go back to this straight line where everything is perceived as right again, but that’s not how life goes.
We need to learn to embrace all aspects of life because we never know where life is going to take us and how those perceived unwanted times can actually lead us to the wanted times.
For example, that job your partner lost from the example at the beginning of this lesson could very well lead to another job with more pay, or more satisfying or where you meet people who become life-long friends or connections that allow for other experiences to occur.
The opportunities are endless for exploring new experiences that are enjoyable. Let life be interesting because of its twists and turns. There is no wrong path! There’s just life unfolding.