We are all raised in a specific culture, in a society, within a family with certain standards and expectations for how we should act and behave. Having a child diagnosed with autism has been a huge eye-opener for me to observe just how many of these standards are not taught outwardly but instead implied. We take on many of them unconsciously. Societal norms and subtle messages are not seen or felt the same way to an autistic child. He or she doesn’t respect your personal space bubble not because he is rude but because he doesn’t have a gut reaction of shame when he sees someone reaction like another child does.
Having an autistic child has been the greatest gift for me because I suffer from the opposite problem that he does, I overthink everything I say or do around people. I believe that this is one of the reasons other than my love for it why I decided to be a glass beadmaker, because dealing with people took so much of my energy. I felt that at the time I could really thrive in a job when I worked alone. I would constantly replay conversations in my head, and to this day I still have trouble responding to messages because I find my need to please people and the compulsion to overthink my wording so exhausting, that I end up automatically being rude by not responding.
This unconscious programming that I had taken on to such a severe degree unconsciously was exactly what I was now given the task of having to consciously teach to my son. I also had to sit through watching my own need to be liked and accepted and when my son acted the way he intuitively thought was acceptable even if it made me want to simply disappear. A mother’s love is blind, and yet I have learned that it truly sees with the highest perspective of all, it sees with the heart. It is truly the only way to see the whole picture, with love. “Love is patient, love is blind.”
I was forced to be honest with myself. Did I want to teach him to suffer, to intuitively feel fear, shame and guilt like I did my entire life? Could I honestly believe that there was something wrong with him that he didn’t suffer this way like I did? Sure, it would have saved me a lot of time and embarrassment, but no in my heart I knew that nothing was wrong.
I think it can be healing for all of us to contemplate what judgement is, and ask ourselves why we judge others around us and ourselves. Judgement is an unconscious belief that there is a standard that one must hold one’s self and others to. What do we get it from it? Where did the standard that we automatically imply when we judge come from? Can we actually point to it?
In how many areas do we have this unconscious standard? Looks? Behavior? Morality? Success?
The most important question to ask is how does it feel to have this standard? How does it color and veil our vision of what is? How do we WANT to feel? How do we WANT to see? Why would we choose to see something other than that?
It’s always because we are afraid. We deeply, intuitively want to be loved and accepted, we want to be part of a community and we want to feel like we’re part of it. Our financial success, and our ability to provide for ourselves all depends on acting the right way, and fitting into a group. Under this fear is a core desire, the desire to be loved and accepted. The cycle of judging yourself and others will continue unless we identify this core desire, and we examine the standards we hold ourselves and others to. When this illusionary cycle of fear and the standards that we unconsciously believe in to uphold it is seen through, only one thing remains.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.- Rumi