“Acceptance-Ultimately, you may feel a sense of acceptance. It’s helpful to distinguish between accepting that your child has been diagnosed with autism and accepting autism.”
I wasn’t sure if I would write for World Autism Awareness Day. I suppose that sounds lazy or uncommitted, but with all the other battles raging in my world I just wasn’t sure that I would have the words. My internal dialogue is a temple to disorganized thought, sentence fragments, daydreams, irrational fears and whatever the last word was that I couldn’t find in the middle of the mess.
Besides – so many other talented and wonderful writers are taking the message and putting it out into the world in so many beautiful ways. Reading it makes me really proud to be among such people, even with my hard scrambled brain. It has been inspiring to follow so many writers who are working so hard to blaze a trail of inclusion and success for the next generations.
Happy little bubbles are destined to burst and mine was shattered by the words above. I forgot that even as the Community of Autistics and their allies are busy sowing the seeds of acceptance and appreciation- the vile and damnable organization known as Autism Speaks is marching forward with their message of hate.
So. While I am enraged I am going to try to make this as easy as I can. My message isn’t about blue or red or gold or taupe or rainbow sprinkles with glitter and unicorns. It’s about what is missing from that message above:
You cannot love someone while hating part of them.
Love is, by its nature, unconditional. It bares all things. That is what makes it endure.
For love to happen you need three things:
- Acceptance: To be seen – fully seen – by someone else: everything that is wonderful, everything that has been broken and stitched back together, everything that is different, everything… and to be loved not despite it, but because of it – that is the makings of the miraculous. That is what makes life an experience worth having and sharing.
- Understanding: Marie Curie said: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” If you are afraid to love, to appreciate, to accept – start by seeking to understand. That journey will lead you to love and enrich your life in ways you cannot imagine.
- Appreciation: The more gratitude you have for what you have been given the more life will give you. If you weigh yourself down with what you think you don’t have, – you will NEVER, NEVER have enough. If you don’t appreciate the gift of the people around you they will NEVER, NEVER be enough.
Without even one of those the possibility love will fall apart. It will be incomplete, broken – would you really chose a lifetime of nothing special over a moment of truly being able to love someone else?
The truth is that love is determined by the person giving it away, not the person receiving it. Love is its own gift and if “distinguish between accepting that your child has been diagnosed with autism and accepting autism” is the best you can do… If that is the extent of the love that you have to share, you have neither acceptance, understanding nor appreciation and well, autism isn’t your problem. You are.