Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Autism Answer: Raising the Bar--It's not to Blame!

I am a big believer (though admittedly, a bit of a late learner!) in raising the bar!! When I or my children gain a skill, overcome a fear, or consider keeping the house clean (a big step for me!) I think it's important to allow that new learning to become comfortable and expected, and to then go forth and conquer the next thing!

However today while I was wondering why I've always been so resistant to bar raising--for myself and my children--and more inclined to mere celebrations of whatever happens without setting clear goals and expectations that are challenging, I realized something interesting. Of course, there's the bit about not wanting to raise the bar out of a fear of failure, I already know this and have been more than willing to overcome it over and over. But, what I also realized (and now I understand why raising the bar is still something I kind of struggle with) is that I look around and see so many people who do not take the time to appreciate what they already have, and I've been partly blaming raising the bar.

I see so many people, with a little and a lot, who forget to live in gratitude and appreciation for their lives. They have a loving friend, a nice smile, a considerate neighbor. They have a cell phone, a pair of shoes on their feet, a meal. Yet their focus is so much more on what they need to get next or who treated them poorly. Sure, they'll say in passing,"Thank goodness I have a job." But that's not living in appreciation and happiness, that's passing it over as unimportant.

And here's the kicker. I realized that I was seeing this habit people have as an unfortunate byproduct of raising the bar. Oops! I was worrying that consistently raising the bar meant consistently forgetting to adore where you are. Silly me!! I thought a belief in raising the bar created a belief in 'make more money, get more things, insist on more respect' without allowing for basking in the beauty of what you already have.

So I have now raised the bar for myself! I am going to continue to bask in the beauty of my world, while expecting more! I'm going to celebrate my children's accomplishments while curiously and passionately asking what they are going to do next!

Wow! It looks to me like I'm gonna be pretty busy basking and celebrating. I guess I won't have time to clean the house! tee hee!

Hugs, smiles and love!!!!