Understanding Autism Equals Moving From Fear to Love
My brother’s friend’s wife divorced him after 10 years of marriage. She fell in love with her hair stylist and felt the need to move on. There was a 5 year old child in the picture too. An animated discussion on the topic followed amongst my family members. My mom immediately said, “It’s a very wrong thing to do.” My brother said that he told his friend that he should have been more vigilant. Maybe something was amiss in their marriage. My sister in law was of the view that ‘people can fall in and out of love anytime’. My husband, ever astute and thoughtful, dissected it from different angles. Eventually, he tilted towards the little child and said that all of this was unfair on him. My concern was the child too. However, I could not find it in my heart to blame anyone. Things happen.
Some questions arose in my mind as a result of this discussion. And they kept me up all night. “Is there a right or a wrong in such a situation?” I thought. “Do we know the facts? Do we know the people concerned well enough? And above all – is it our place to comment on such issues?”
None of us like to think of ourselves as judgmental. But we are, and that’s a fact!
Okay, not all of us. There are wonderful people like Mohit, my son, who are not part of this category. In fact, these people emanate unconditional love and acceptance.
Mohit is a young adult on the Autism Spectrum. What you experience while interacting with Mohit and others like him is love as pure as freshly driven snow. Love without expectation. I could be feeling terrible about something. But if I go and pour my heart out to him, I feel loved and accepted. No conditions, no judgement.
Many others have affirmed that they have felt the same thing. It makes me happy to know that I am not alone and more people are recognizing this strength of autistic individuals. Interact with individuals on the spectrum and you will agree that they don’t judge others.
However, these differently abled people are the first to be judged. Isn’t that ironic? Strange are the ways of Mother Nature.
I have seen students being stared at if they engage in anything out of the ordinary. People ask weird and demeaning questions about their actions and communication. If the child throws a ‘temper tantrum’, people will drop everything to come and view the tamasha.
Earlier, this would make my blood curdle. Now I just pity those individuals who will never understand the meaning of higher existence.
Can we achieve this state of non-judgmentalism and imparting pure love? Of course!
Without words, here are 3 ways in which autistic individuals show us how to simplify life and walk on the path of love.
Live in the present
We spend most of our time in the past or in the future. However, people with Autism are intensely present in the moment. I love to watch Mohit enjoying his favorite dishes. He is totally involved with his food. No distractions. It’s the same with music. He enjoys the song fully and somehow becomes one with it. How many of us enjoy the present moment? Oh yes, our phones, emails, messages etc. We are constantly multi tasking. We really don’t enjoy anything fully. Can we move from the ever chattering mind to the quiet heart.
Individuals on the spectrum are the perfect embodiments of the quote: ‘Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.’ They have a certain consistency and stability. They don’t try to ‘fit in’. They don’t try to impress, nor do they try to be someone they are not. They are who they are – take them or leave them. What a far cry from us – the so-called ‘normal’ people. There is a contagious self assuredness about them. No games, no manipulations, no facades. This can be achieved only with purity coupled with simplicity. Do we dare to be ourselves totally.
Have no expectations
One day, a few years ago, my mother in law – she is very supportive, bless her heart – made a comment about Mohit in front of him, which I did not appreciate. I was upset that entire morning. I went to check on Mohit later, and there he was… sitting in her room and interacting with her! “Wow”, I thought. “No expectations, no prejudices, no judgement.” Unlike me, he did not expect her to be a certain way. He accepted his grandmother – just as she was. Not only did he accept her, but he also made sure that she was comfortable! He reminded me of Ayn Rand’s popular quote from The FountainHead: Freedom – to ask nothing, to expect nothing, to depend on nothing.
What arises from all the 3 points above is unconditional love and acceptance which is the exact opposite of being judgemental.
And it moves you out of the zone of fear and into the zone of love.
My son lives in a realm of love. I want to move in with him. Would you like to join us? Making the transition from my realm of fear to his realm of love is going to be an arduous journey. It will be a journey that will push me out of my comfort zone and stretch my limits.
I am now determined to implement the steps above to get to this beautiful place of love, acceptance and non judgementalism.
Have you started your journey towards love? What were your victories and challenges? Do share your experiences with me. I would love to hear from you.