Bringing up an autistic son is not easy and my journey had been filled with disappointments. frustration and pain. But there were also moments of happiness, bliss, and joy. One thing for sure, it has been a learning experience and I have learned so much from my autistic son.
Out of the 4 people in my family, Jonathan seems the happiest. He constantly has a smile on his face and is very slow to anger. Every day, he seems so happy, without a care or worry in the world while the rest of us seem under stress and quite often unhappy. Therefore when it comes to being happy, I believe that we all can learn a lot from Jonathan.
1. It Takes Very Little to Make Jonathan Happy.
The simple things in life make Jonathan happy. He loves to eat and is always happy as he takes his favorite. You can see him beaming as he licks his ice cream. Despite being autistic, Jonathan loves our company. I can remember seeing his face lighting when I returned home from work. He rarely fails to welcome me home without a smile. I remember saying to my wife, "Jonathan is the one who is most happy to see me return home from work".
The rest of us are unhappy when our expectations are not met. The problem is that we all tend to compare our lives with others. Many a time, we feel unhappy when we see our friends having a good time or having a higher standard of living than ours. In addition, a lot of us have unrealistic expectations. These unrealistic expectations could be due to unrealistic advertising that had bombarded us on a daily basis. We looked at the photograph of a beautiful model which probably has been photoshopped as well and we end up being unhappy with how we looked.
2. Jonathan Is Fully Immersed In The Present
From my interactions with Jonathan, he seems fully immersed in the present, savoring the moment-to-moment experiences. He does not have any regrets about the past nor does he worries about the future. He eats when he is hungry and goes to sleep when he is tired.
For the rest of us, the regrets and burdens of the past wear us out. In addition, we often worry about what the future brings us. Our hectic lifestyle and busyness prevent us from being fully present. As such, we often miss out on opportunities for joy and happiness
3. Jonathan Accepts Himself
As Jonathan is unable to compare himself with others, he accepts himself for who he is. Due to his low level of self-awareness, he does not know that he is different from others. In addition, he accepts the circumstances that he is. In many ways, he is happy with who he is and the circumstances that he is in. If we can accept ourselves and the circumstances that we are in, we will all be much happier.
I truly believe that if we possess the attributes that Jonathan had, we will all be much happier. I hope that this is food for thought for all the readers and I welcome your comments.
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