Balancing the World; thoughts on leadership and autism

My entire life, like many on the autism spectrum, I have oftentimes been misjudged, misinterpreted, and misunderstood. When I finally, after over four decades on this earth, located individuals with like minds, I was overcome with mixed emotions. I’d finally found “my people” and at the same time lost a piece of myself that I thought was extremely different. Lost in the sense that I came to realize, after conversing with other autistics, that I wasn’t so different and “unique” after all. However, this was okay—extremely okay. Finding a home base community in which I was at last understood, accepted, and supported far out weighed any sense of loss of elements of self.

Four-plus years later, after an outpour of online writing, and I am navigating another aspect of my journey. I am entering another unfamiliar zone—a place of no predictability. I am facing a wide-open space of new people and new encounters. In addition, I am trying my best to maneuver in rarely frequented territory: that of an autistic leader.

Autism, in my case Asperger’s Syndrome, comes in all shapes and sizes, multiple colors of the rainbow. It is truly a spectrum. With autism, there are the typical “gifts” and tribulations. For me, the beneficial attributes of my ASD are profound empathy and insight, prolific writing, poetry, and the ability to put into words my suffering in a way others can understand. In this way, I am able to make the loneliness of some less of a burden, and I have been able to serve as a sort of gateway into a supportive community of other autistics. A community in which we find ourselves in one another. I don’t say this lightly. There have been streams of individuals filtering through the pages of my blogs and social media pages to essentially say that they now have at last found hope—and some a reason to not end their life. I don’t say this to brag, either. Those that have known me, know my heart, and it is for them I speak.

The trouble today is not so much my tribulations related to ASD, such as peak moments of heightened anxiety, bombardments of feelings that at first look are hard to decipher, the jarring reminders every hour of my waking day that I am somehow not built like most others, the intense heartache and lack of breath from searing pangs of empathy, and the worries brought on by my minds ability to steer off into complex, multi-level corridors of discovery. No, it’s not so much in that—though “that” still consumes me. More over, it is this new place I find myself, in where I am exposed.

I am a natural born leader; I always have been, despite my own qualms and misgivings. Despite my protest. Despite my quirks and challenges. Overall, I tend to end up as a voice of some sort–usually for the downcast or underdog. And it’s not amongst my favorite of tasks—this speaking up for myself and others. Indeed, it would be fair to say, I dread many moments beyond the comfort of my home. Still, there are mornings of great hope and gratitude for my ability to reach out, and with this comes waves of great peace; but there, on the other end of the pendulum, is the bareness of naked vulnerability, the removal of shield, the entranceway for stinging spears. There, in the darker zone, lives my fear and weakness, and the very brittle fight to survive exposure. For I’m not the average person, I’m not made the way of the masses. I am very much, despite where I stand, still autistic.

I am hurt daily, by my own accord, by the acceptance of others’ truths as mine. By the energy it takes to abstract and remove everything that doesn’t ring true to me. And to then wade through the muck of others’ ideas, input, feelings, insights—and on an on—to hopefully decipher what is valid and necessary at this time. I am not only balancing myself, which those on the spectrum readily know is a gallant effort, I am also balancing everyone within my reach. In this way, it is hard to be outside exposed in the “real” world.

It is especially challenging when outsiders (who do not know me and often see a reflection of their own self) try to pin their tail of identity onto me. I feel smothered, unrecognized, and brought back to the bastardized halls of my high school years. Brought back to the pettiness, the name-calling, the finger pointing, and relive the nightmares over again. It is equally difficult when another, particularly in the autistic community, starts proclaiming how I should tailor my words to suit their needs—the current societal trends—the current “right way.” To see this conglomeration of “do-gooders” with supposed good intention in mind, attempt to steer me into what is the most well accepted approach of the day is excruciatingly exhausting.

I can only be so much. I can only do so much. And I don’t understand why my own tribe would not see this. They forget that I am autistic. They forget how dreadfully scary this is. How frightening to attempt to build a bridge from the autistic world to the non-autistic world, and to appear “normal” enough in the typical arena to be heard and listened to, and “autistic” enough to be trusted in my own community. It is a fine balancing act in which I am continually on a high wire with a long heavy pole. Constantly pushed off balance while attempting to get to the other side to the unknown. I am walking step-by-step toward something that is neither a goal nor destiny, but rather a calling. I am serving, I am giving, I am loving, I am supporting, I am being my all. Yet no matter how I struggle, no matter where I step, to some, as is this world—it is never enough.

 

(I normally post at my blog Everyday Aspie, but my WordPress options were not working accurately there today.)

 

Sam’s book Everyday Aspergers is now available internationally on Amazon.

More information can be found at her company: myspectrumsuite.com

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Day 127: Enter the River

YESTERDAY
TODAY

I’ve started this post three times. First about the state of Washington, then about my dog Justice Black, then a poem about faith. But I think what I really need is someone to hold me and sing this song to me.

Having the spirit I do, I am constantly flooded with emotion. I do not know what to expect. Not that any humans do on this earth. But a part of me would like to think that I know what is ahead of me. When in truth, the only thing for certain is this very moment. This very moment that I am crying with such depth. All these feelings. All coming up from long ago; they feel so distant like they are from centuries ago—life times ago. So much grief and happiness, all mixed together.

I am crying so loudly, knowing I am born to be this being, but not always knowing how to comfort this spirit that I am. Knowing so much, so fast, and in such profound ways is overwhelming. Being who I am is overwhelming. Ever since I was a child I have dreamt of the future, I have known things before other people, I have had people visit me in their dreams and tell me of their joys and pain, I have seen angels, spirits, and the dark, I have had answers to prayers, I have seen miracles, I have seen so very much.

I have been called to leadership my entire life, when this gentle, fragile part of me, longs to only be sheltered and protected, to be swept up in a special one’s arms and told that I am safe, that I am found, that I am truth, that I am love. To be told that someone else is fighting for me, someone else not letting go. I am always the one holding on the tightest…..to everyone and everything. The passion in me is so intense at times that I do not know what to do with myself.

I feel the pain of those from thousands of miles away; I feel their joy, too. Energies attach to me, and I can’t distinguish mine from others. Thoughts of others reach me. And I have never been able to stop this, with all the teachers I have sought, I have found limited answers. And many times, longing to be student, I have in turn become teacher. I have looked for my teacher my entire life. Someone who sees more than me. Someone who knows more than I know innately. And I have yet to find him.

I have battled with the voice of demons daily, telling me why I am not of light, when I know I am. I have seen terrible visions in dreams, as if someone is trying to stop me. But I keep fighting.

I embrace light everyday. I am as honest and whole and authentic as I can be. But then, I am raw on the outside, made vulnerable to everything and everyone.

I can do nothing without feeling. I cannot eat without being directly affected by the food. Each food affects my physical body and mind differently. It is easier not to eat. I am affected by weather patterns, by the sun, by the lack of sun. I am affected by chemicals, by environmental toxins—a little bird in the coal mine. I am affected by every vibration of every word I read. I feel through words. I feel energy. I see images. I know others’ pain. I see other’s pain. I know without knowing how. And I cry for them, as much as me. I don’t understand why I was born with such extreme sensitivity. Why I understand concepts at great, great depth. Why I cannot stop thinking about certain people. Why they are like angels to me. I don’t understand why I still feel so isolated when I am surrounded in love.

I don’t understand the voices of guidance I hear. I don’t understand how I can hear such knowledge, and why, in some ways, I have been chosen to shine my light. I feel so unworthy to do so. I feel so inadequate and ill prepared, as if I will never be strong enough to stand upright when I carry the burdens of the world.

But then a gentle voice whispers.

He says I am loved immensely.

I am right where I am supposed to be.

That I have chosen to be a voice.

That I am so very strong and brave to have endured so very much.

And that he holds me.

That he loves me above all else.

And that he is so very sorry that I have to feel such depths of pain.

But that in return he has given me great depths of joy.

A joy so many cannot and will not ever know.

He reminds me of how good and pure I am.

How beneficial to the world I am.

That I am a gift.

He reminds me that all is okay.

That I am sheltered each and every second.

That I will not fall.

That I will not die.

That I will live on.

That my light and my substance, my innocence will live on.

Nothing and no one will snuff my light.

Nothing and no one will stop me from shining.

And I weep louder.

And I understand.

Like I have understood since I was a tiny little girl crying alone in the dark.

That he is there. That he is here.

That he is always holding me.

Maui “Enter the River”
2012

Enter the River

Enter the river, the spirit of me

And I will show you visions

Unseen

Unspoken

Enter the river, the heart of me

And I will embrace you with love

Everlasting

Ever growing

Enter the river, the mind of me

And I will enlighten

Truth

Knowing

Enter the river, the healer of me

And we will be as one

Embraced

United

 

 

 

Wounded Healer Writing

Day Forty-Two: On Leadership

I wrote this in (2010), before I knew I had Aspergers, before I knew I would be blogging to females with Aspergers, before I knew I would be leading. This is amazing as I look back now! It is April 2013 and this is remarkable. Wow! Go angels. This was what I heard from what I choose to call the Holy Spirit. I wrote as quickly as I could, scribing what they told me. ❤ I believe in angels!

On Leadership

To lead is to forge the field. You (as leader) are no less responsible for beauty than the farmer who plants the seed. For he is useless is he not, without the sun beating down on the hearth of earth, the weed gently departing as worm spirals onward, the Cheshire Cat of yesterday* breaking way for formidable weather, as rain trickles down in her gentleness, neither drying or erasing.

For the farmer is a necessity, a part of the cyclic process of rebirth, but neither the ultimate piece nor the entire piece. For what is a garden without seed, without proper care?

Who is to care for the crops once they are bloomed? Again the farmer gathers and cleanses, again he replants. But what is it that he doth replant? Is it not the miracle of seed? The tiny element created within creation?

You are not but a worthy planter, less these seeds are worthy. You are not a true caller of spirit, less spirit is provided. The farmer no less provides the seed, as the sea bird the ocean. Still he dives to the depths of darkness and retrieves great beauty and nourishment, knowing not from which this beauty grew or was born. So a farmer is less a farmer, and more a grower.

A leader is a grower, an incubator nurturing the gift of living element and caretaking as the hen to warm the haven until arrival.

Your role is vital. All roles are vital. But lead first with the gentleness of the angels. Spread your wings and protect before climbing the mountain from valley to preach. Seat not yourself center or first, or either behind. Seat yourself in the position most needed, ever shifting to meet the requirements of the seekers, who lead themselves, a multitude of seeds waiting to blossom and enrich, and even say forthright ignite thy world.

When you ask of leadership on how to lead, and the right way to lead: you lead by example first. In how gently you remember your place; that is that your place is not at the head of the table or the back of the room, but in the center of hearts where you justly belong.

Seek not position of fortitude, or strength in numbers, seek position of greatness of heart and mind, and fortitude of the millennium, drawing from the well of knowledge for greatest understanding, and comparing this not to others who draw closer carrying their own buckets, however burdensome or heavy.

Keep your bucket light, so to fill it again and again, reviewing the process of discovery as a fresh student, excited and renewed. To carry a heavy bucket is a burden to the soul. To fill and fill without wanting to stop to rest is to bend your body into a position to be broken. Rest my child and refill the bucket when you are thirsty. Seek forth knowledge, as you seek for water, enough to quench your thirst, but not too much to bloat and stop the process from reaching its beneficial potential.

Think you not on the bloated bodies on the beach**, think you on the rain clouds that fill and fill and then down pour. They reach a point when the water must fall, when the truth must drip down to a different dimension. And so is with us, as to you. Fill and then spill down thy truth. In this way you will remained balanced and fulfilled, if not re-filled.

Speak again, We on leadership. Judge not the leaders before you. They are as unique as each sunset, as brilliant and welcoming as each sunrise.

Judge no one and nothing, as you know each and every is a teacher in guise for your betterment.

It is true you will see in the mirror which is most relevant to present itself, but do not gaze into the mirror for long periods of time, a glance is enough to indicate inner change. Glance with lingering eyes and run the risk of the desire for change of what you see, when in truth you see nothing but your own self-created image. So in this way, view the mirror in passing, take what is needed, and thusly adjust. No more, no less.

Leadership in your eyes is a priority, as you were built for leadership, in the way you were raised in the desires We planted in your heart.

But there is not a leader that you will emulate or you will find, for you are uniquely you, and in this way you will (do) lead like a joy-filled child, skipping down the hill to the clear, and welcoming values of gratitude and hope.

Lead them not so much to the waters or the valley, as to the welcoming spirit that waits inside them each.

You will remain child-like for every, as long as you choose to walk this path on this earth, and in this way you will be trusted and welcomed by many.

You shall not lose you humility, passion, want, and need for love—and in this way, as a child you shall remain entirely human, carrying with you the divine perfection in the eyes of your youth.

Do not emulate another’s softness of character, the quietness of creature, or the one who does not laugh as heartily, for your laughter is a key, a vibrational key to break open rifts and so called blockages. Just as your tears shall open gates, so shall your child-like laughter. Do not seek to become serious and unattainable, for you will become all that you seek.

The innocent shall seek you, for they shall see the innocent untouched spirit within you. You and yours shall see many blessings as you follow this calling that we know has not and is not always perceived as this word easy.

Lead first and foremost with your heart. Listen to the beat of reason less and the calling of your need to heal more. Fix less. Help more.

In leading you will gently release your need to know how to lead, for you will become, and embody leadership through a natural process.

We will guide you and you need (as always) not fear. There is nothing fearful in leading the innocent and guiding them to reclaim their voice. No one can hurt the one who is guarded by a legion of angels. So rest in the comfort we are with you, and whomever you touch we shall gather in our wings and let quietly sleep in the knowledge of peace.

Remember who you are, and in remembering you will forget the shadows called fear.

* The cat’s grin remained suspended in air even after the whole of the cat disappeared. Yesterday is smiling upon us and remains, even though we cannot see this yesterday (cat).

** Dead bodies on a beach are from  Sam’s past experience.

The word every is used in replacement of every-one