"I don't get it, Tsara," my baby brother was saying as he sat on my couch, pulling absentmindedly on his beard, "I have my dream job but I still feel this depression wanting to take over, even when I'm at work."
I sat down on my bed, across from my brother, and placed my cold coffee on the table between us. It took a moment because I had to shove stuff around--papers scribbled with ideas on them, books I've read but haven't felt ready to hide away in my bookshelf yet, and books I want to read but am not ready for the roller coaster ride--searching for a clean spot to place my mug. I needed that moment though, because I wanted to think of a new tactic to help my brother with this old problem.
"You know," I finally said,"you need to fill your mind with different thoughts so that there's no room for that depression." Both my brother and I knew I was stalling, plenty of us have said this to him gazillions of times before. On a whim I added, "Maybe focus on things you like about yourself, and do things in those moments that highlight them?"
This, at first, seemed silly to me. I know it's what I do, but I'm weird.
Of course, so is my brother. So I went on.
"What is something you like about yourself, Rye?"
"I like that I have a nice car." He responded without hesitation.
I giggled, "Very funny! That's not something about you!"
He looked confused. "Yes it is," he insisted.
Aha! Maybe we had hit on something!!
"No, Rye, that's something you have that you like. Now, if you had said 'you like that you focus on a goal and work hard to get it' then I would absolutely agree with you. Getting your car, that was hard work but you knew what you wanted and worked hard to get it. Right?"
"Ya, and it took a long time. But I did it and I'm proud of that." Rye was looking a little fuller, a little more confident. This was getting fun!
"See! So when you're at work and notice the depression trying to come, start thinking about how good you are at working hard for your dreams. Then do something to prove it to yourself! Grab a broom and sweep the back room, offer to help a co-worker with something he's doing. It'll remind you that something about you is valuable and awesome! What's another thing you like about yourself?"
"I like that I don't blame people or the world for my own problems." He smiled.
That's the thing, my mind cried. Impressed and pleased and in love with my baby brother.
The words came out moments later, for him to hear. And together we explored the immense and important value of that.
One of the things I like about me is my passion for helping myself and the people I love discover things they like about themselves.
So this holiday I encourage you wonderful people I love, to discover and acknowledge with clarity at least three things you like about yourselves. That's my holiday gift to you!
Hugs, smiles, and love my friends!!!!!
And Happy Holidays to Everyone!!!!!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)
|My brother, Rye, and Me!|