Saturday, December 14, 2013

Autism Answer: Santa, Belief, Response!

When my siblings and I were kids, my mom did the whole "Santa" thing with an actress' flair!! We knew he was paying attention to us! We adored meeting him and reminding him how good we were! We heard his bells on Christmas eve and saw Rudolph's shiny red nose in the sky! We rushed to bed early after leaving cookies and carrots and soy milk!! And the mornings were deliciously magic! Emptying our stalkings and feeling Santa's presence in the gifts and bite marked cookies! 

For me, the idea of Santa was wonderful and exciting. It allowed magic to exist in my world and I ate it up like candy canes!! I loved believing so much in fact, that the reason I know for sure that repressed memories are a real thing is that I did it to myself after accidentally discovering that Santa was actually my mom. I was so sad about it that I pushed the information to a place in my brain where it hid for a few years, making me once again a true believer! Of course, repressed memories don't disappear, they hide. So once I re-learned the Santa truth, it all came flooding back. By this time, though, I was old enough to just enjoy playing Santa for my little brothers. 

Interestingly, though, my little sister enjoyed the Santa magic only for a few years. As she got older she became increasingly afraid and creeped out by the idea of him. My mom is an intuitive woman, and she tried to keep the happy wonder alive, but my sister just wouldn't be convinced that a man sneaking in our home after judging us as good or bad could possibly be something to celebrate. Of course, as a self-centered child, I just assumed her fear came from the fact that she wasn't nearly as "good" as me! tee hee!

My point is, mom shared the same Santa tales and magic with both me and my sister equally. We listened to the stories together, saw my moms eyes light up as we sang Christmas carols together, woke up to find stalkings filled with new socks and chocolate together. Yet our experience of Santa was very much different.

My mom didn't allow my sister to be afraid of Santa for long at all. She told her the truth. The very same truth that broke my heart and stole the Christmas magic from me. 

So remember, no matter what you do or how you do it, some people will adore and others abhor, but that's okay because as long as YOU adore what you are doing, and as long as you are willing to do it different when you don't adore it anymore, then what you are doing is perfectly right and wonderful!!

Sometimes we're giving magic to our kids, and sometimes we're taking it away. But always we are loving them and doing what feels best to us in that moment. 

Merry Christmas and happy Holiday Season everyone!!!!
Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)

My sister and I one Christmas morning!

*Author's note: I chose the title based on a fabulous truth I learned at The Option Institute... they teach a new way of reacting, suggesting that all of our personal assumptions and judgement come from beliefs. They suggest it works like this, "stimulus, belief, response" and it's brilliant! We see or hear something (stimulus), we have a deep down belief, and then we respond. And since we are in control of our own beliefs, we are in control of our response (emotional and more) to stimulus!! Check them out!