I did something weird after a party last night.
I was getting ready for bed. My husband and I were recapping a party we had just attended. I mentioned two people I had chatted with at the party, and my husband said, “They clearly don’t like you.”
I knew they didn’t like me. It was obvious by how they acted. What was unusual, was, that I was OK that people didn’t like me. I wasn’t upset. Normally, I would obsess about how it was my fault or how I could make them like me. Last night, I just accepted it. I actually felt peaceful, about the fact, that people didn’t like me.
This is what happened before the party:
I have read that you should always bring something when you visit someone’s home. It can be a gift or good wishes. Before the party, I decided to meditate to bring good wishes to the people at the party. I dug out, from my desk drawer, a crumpled and well-used zeroxed-copy from Deepok Chopra’s book, “Synchrodestiny”. It has one of the ancient Indian Sutras, “San Kalpa” with several English mantras like:
“Imagine that your intention can heal those who are not well.”
“Imagine that you can bring success to those who are failing.”
“Imagine that you can bring hope to those who are feeling helpless.”
So, I sat on my couch with my piece of paper and imagined all the people that would be at the party in relation to the Sutras. As I imagined helping my community and friends, my mind drifted to myself.
I imagined healing myself who was not well. I imagined bringing success to myself who was failing. I imagined bringing hope to myself who was feeling helpless.
I could feel myself changing. I felt my eyes water. When I went to the bathroom, to blow my nose, I realized something important.
Yesterday afternoon, I had tried writing this blog but was having trouble. The problem was, the title of this website is “Autism is Cool.” For the past several weeks, I didn’t believe autism was cool. I was mad at autism and wanted the fucking journey over already.
For several weeks, I’ve wanted to be the kind of person, who is grateful, hopeful, and loving. What I actually felt was — bitter, angry and hopeless. In the bathroom, after meditating, I started to accept the way I felt. As opposed to wishing I were a strong, confident and inspiring leader, I decided it was OK that I was acting and feeling depressed, hopeless and uninspiring. How I was feeling, no matter how unattractive, was perfect. My bitterness about other people’s success — perfect. My sad, lonely feelings during the day with my son — perfect. My anger towards the people who I pay to play with my son — perfect.
I felt such peace last night. I began to accept and love all the “ugly” things about me. After the party, I was peaceful about the fact that there are people who don’t like me. I was able to do this, because I’m liking the parts of myself that are the most “unlikable”.
Today, I no longer feel bitter and hopeless. By accepting and loving my “unattractive” feelings, they went away. What I did last night and today, is the foundation of what experts for years have been telling me to do to help my son recover from autism. Dr. Stanley Greenspan talks about the importance of helping children become comfortable in expressing ALL of their emotions(happiness, anger, sadness, excitement). The Son-rise program we do with our son, is based on the concept of accepting and loving our son for who is right now, as the most effective way to help him.
I’m not sure exactly what will end up being the thing that helps cure my son. However, I know that right now, it feels really amazing, to not judge myself for feeling crappy. It feels like taking a warm relaxing bath with God.