BUT EVERYONE SAYS IT’S SO!
A belief is a belief is a belief.
No matter how many folks agree with a belief (“there will never be peace,” “life is an endless series of ups and downs,” “you’re not lovable,” “autism is irreversible”), that still doesn’t turn that belief into a fact.
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY BELIEFS PEOPLE MASQUERADE AS FACTS. A belief is a belief is a belief. And beliefs are made…we make beliefs, we make-believe.
Let’s enjoy our ‘belief-making’ and never think we are trapped by our beliefs…they are the doorway to insight, freedom and love. Let’s make beliefs that excite us and inspire us and drop the rest.”
Love, Bears Barry Neil Kaufman (Author HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE and NO REGRETS and Co-Founder Option Institute/Son-Rise Program/Autism Treatment Center of America)
So we all have beliefs. Beliefs drawn from life experiences, handed down from our parents, teachers, etc. We create these beliefs along the way as a way to make sense of the world around us. So many of our beliefs are so deep rooted that we don’t even realize that they are just in fact a matter of choice. We sometimes don’t even know or question why and where they came from, so much so that they feel like facts.
This option/son-rise lesson is really a game-changer in the life of a parent with autism. To recognize our own beliefs and consistently question ourselves with the word why, allows us to understand our world so much more and become active members in creating beliefs that surround and support our children. Some beliefs we may decide to keep after much self-exploration, but understanding these beliefs are made up gives us the freedom to change them, discard them, or create new beliefs….just like that!
The power that this has over our ability to effect our child’s growth in reaching new unthought of heights is so significant! We can create beliefs that support our hope and love for our children….the first step to helping your child recover is believing that they can!
Another powerful realization about chosen beliefs is that any of our judgments or the judgements from those around us innately come from established beliefs. Understanding that judgements are based on beliefs and are not facts, that they do not define us, allows us to decide our own value and what we are capable of. We therefore can discard the beliefs of others, create our own and set the stage for some amazing changes in how we view ourselves and those around us. It is freeing!
Lucas makes strides everyday because of our belief in his ability to constantly reach new heights! This morning he looked at me with this beautiful, endearing smile and said, “Good morning, mama.” It was so heartfelt and meaningful. It took my breath away. When these connections happen, I almost feel like I am in an alternate universe at times. This child who had no meaning behind his words, other than communicating his needs only a year ago, is now communicating to me with his heart and his eyes. I created the belief that he would relate to me someday and then took the steps necessary to achieve that…and here he is, relating.
I think back to two years ago…most of my energy was focused on teaching Lucas to perform daily menial tasks (put his coat on, tie his shoes, feed himself, etc) so he could take care of himself and take some of the burden off me. I always dreamed for my son but the bigger picture always eluded me in those days. Son-rise was my life raft! My ticket to understanding what it meant to truly choose happiness and create beliefs that supported me. It is where I learned to really dream for my son again, reach for the sky and create beliefs to support those dreams!
I have two videos this week of me and Lucas in the playroom. We are working on clarity of his language. Mostly expanding on his current language such as when he says no, inspiring him to tell us exactly what he is saying no to. Another one we are working on is when he wants a squeeze, he will just say “squeeze”. So, expanding that to “squeeze me” or “squeeze my leg “for example. You will see me taking him literally at times, or using explanations for clarity while still giving him what he asking for or even just putting a useful phrase or sentence into a song while I do the action. All of these things allow Lucas the opportunity to learn how to better use his language in a fun, user-friendly way. Again, we are not making Lucas jump through hoops here or giving some sort of reward for his compliance. He is learning to grow in a natural ,playful way. This is why we are hitting such amazing goals in such short periods of time. It’s the Son-Rise way of doing things! : )