Friday, February 14, 2014

Ways I Love

Love, not Fear.

I first thought of other people's fear, but then thought that what I really wanted to blog about was self-fear. Fear of the world, fear of the politics, fear of all the hate, fear of other people, fear of being judged.

Image description: Text on red background with heart design. Text reads: Flashblog Love Not Fear, presented by Boycott Autism Speaks. Submit your: poetry, essay art, photography, etc. by February 13 @ 12PM EST email to:info at inside the heart design is the hashtag #posAutive
So I'm a day late, whatever. I have never participated before in a Flashblog. I can always post on twitter.

I don't know what to write that would affect other people's fear. But understanding fosters love, so I guess starting there is something.

Someone wrote (paraphrasing) that the big loss that autism brought [them] was never being able to hear "I love you" from their child. What's interesting about that is how much that didn't really say anything about autism itself. Maybe it says something about how much fear there is about the myriad of other ways, aside from words, in which one can say I love you. I don't judge this comment, although it feels attached to so much sadness. #LovenotFear means that harsh commentary on them is a move away from love. I'd rather try for understanding. Are words the only way to say I love you?

There is sign language.
Stimming on your beard may be one way to say I love you.
Showing my favorite toy for a moment is another way to say I love you.
Talking to you a lot about what I care about is sharing myself, and a way to say I love you.
Putting my head in your hand is a way to say I love you.
There are many more.
There IS love. Do you see it? Do you feel it?

Except I fear myself. I fear myself going out into the world and being judged as less than or wrong, because I think, behave or look different from an expectation I didn't create. If the clothing I need to wear in order to focus on being a part of the world is "odd", I want to be able to love that and for that to be okay.

"People" share that tired wisdom that one must love oneself before anyone else will.

I think we learn very young how to love ourselves, from others. So really, we don't do this by ourselves. We can't love ourselves, despite the whole world telling us that is an illegitimate love. We have to love each other, it's the only way through.

So love the quirks, love the struggle, love the odd, love the difficult, love the strange, love the frenetic, love all the ways the souls around you manifest in the world, however it is they manifest.

Someone said to me recently, that they loved how honest I was because I didn't say something pat or glossy about where our lives are at right now. That's love. That is recognizing the humanity in another. It may seem tiny, but that's what love is built on. Those tiny acts of acceptance, recognition, of being with, that allow the full range of what it means to be human into our world.

Love, not fear. Open your heart wide, because there's a lot more ways to say I love you.


Anonymous said...

I've grown to realize that the ways that my non-speaking autistic son says "I love you" are so much more honest than the words would ever be.

Karen said...

Thank you cynk.. yes the words don't always come but I'm glad you can feel the ways your son says "I love you"

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