Friday, October 8, 2010

We Are Alike

Sometimes, I feel myself as a child in a crowd of adults, lost amid a forest of legs. It is only in looking up that you see your parent's smiling face and know you are not lost at all. Prayer is like that. It is the looking up that gives a new perspective, makes sense of the forest that is life.

I pray a lot lately, wondering what my role in life is. To do something, you can hardly make a difference. To do it anyway, maybe that is the difference?

I live in the rural lands of Pennsylvania where gas is gold. I hear the talk all around me, fear that this new gold will corrupt the land I live on, poison the water, animals, and air. It is the future unfolding, where air and water, once abundant, will become yesterday's zenith, tomorrow's commodity. Even knowing the future does not help in it. For those who see, it is a frustrating life. How does one make a difference? Perhaps it is not the future that matters, but how we deal with it; not the facts that matter, but the laws that govern our responsiveness to them.

Responsiveness, it is just another word for relationship. How do you respond? Nothing is done in vaccum. Every act brings weight to bear somewhere. It is in relationship that we make our choices of free will. Is it your choice to honor the environment? Then you honor your descendents unborn. In this way, relationship knows no bounds of time. Do you offer charity across the world? Then relationship offers no bounds of space. Are they strangers to you? Then relationship knows no bounds of heart ties. Relationship is our connectedness of soul. What we seek in this physical form is to transcend the physical form. Relationship is the means, an instrument divine.

But, relationship builds heart ties too. This week our community buried a fallen soldier. Thousands came out to his funeral I think. They came because of the ideal he stood for, but left with him as a heart tie. You can not experience another's pain in a vaccum of unaffectedness. It is a mistake to try. Yet we do it all the time. We buffer ourselves against involvement. We distance ourselves from our emotion as if it were a disease or illness to be cured.

I experience hypersensitivity. For years, I locked off my emotions as being too stimulating for me. What I learned is emotion is the seasoning of life. It is ok to feel. It is a gift, even in pain. Pain elevates joy. Pain frees the soul to feel a deeper joy upon release. To own one's pain is the key to freedom to live unrestricted by it. I had to embrace the unembraceable before I could experience life as an emotional ride. But doing it freed me to take the ride. What keeps you trapped? Is it the escape that becomes your prison? This is how it is with autism. It is not so different from neurotypicals as you may think.

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