Thursday, 16 April 2015

Unrelated Thoughts on My (Lack of) God and My Autism

I've just written a couple of comments on facebook and find I don't want to lose them.  One was about God and faith.  The other about autism, particularly my recent discovery that it's OK to stim, even that it's a very good thing.  They are personal.  They're just about my life - and really that's not wildly interesting so feel very free to stop reading now.  And they're just ephemeral facebook comments, not classic literature to inspire the centuries!  But I want to save them.  Because one revealed something to me.  And the other can stand if ever needed as a reminder of joy, a reminder of why the path I'm on is a valuable one.

Firstly, God.  How very orthodox, to place God first.

Following on from the gorgeous song from the last blog post an old friend commented, through his experience and love.  When I lived closer to him years ago he would have been the only person anywhere who could possibly have convinced me to rejoin the Jesus Army and give myself to those people and that vision.  Finally cutting links with that church meant I lost contact with him and that saddened me.  But by the wonders of social media - and in this case through a wild coincidence - he's back in my life in some way.

As part of the discussion he quoted the Bible:

"For I know in whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that
 He is able to keep that which 
I have committed unto him
against that day"

A perfectly good verse to quote.  I can understand it and understand having a lived truth in which that verse can be grasped, believed, experienced.  I can understand it because I applied those words to myself for many years - before my faith fell to pieces.  I had a response to this from my life - although admittedly it may mean more in the context of the conversation.  A response of honesty, but certainly not a response to argue against my friend's experiences of the Divine.  A response that reveals to me some of the faith in my faithlessness.

I am unpersuaded. There are many times I want to walk away totally, to not believe in anything 'beyond'. Part of that is my pure but possibly imperfect logic. I have argued out the dogma too many times. And much is a result of all the unhealthiness of my faith for too many years, why I embraced it, and how I allowed it to curse me even while grasping onto it so much as my hope and meaning.

But yes, I don't know how to not believe. I may not exactly be orthodox in faith. Much of the time I can't conceive of the reality of a being who is god. But I cannot believe that there is no other, cannot believe that all there is is the universe and gravity pulling us forever into earth. Whatever happens, I fail to stop looking beyond - both to the beyond without and the beyond within. I can't let go. No matter how much I've tried, and no matter how much holding on has deeply hurt. And Spirit can't let go of me.

So here I am, joined the church that should have been my last and which I was meant to have left behind. Getting lost in worship when I can't hold onto that belief. I cannot walk away. It's impossible. Much of the time I am faithless or have a faith that most Christians wouldn't recognise as Christian. But I remain. Because, through everything, I am held by that which is infinite, that which is fully life, that which is the Real, is Being, is Truth, is Eternal. That which is the ground of love and the ground of fire.

Hmm. That last bit might sound suspiciously like faith to some people. You might even apply a label to those words, and say that they are God.

Secondly, autism.  Thoughts unrelated to the above.

Just saying.  Rocking, pacing, moving, stimming feel so damn wonderful.  So much better than forever forcing myself to be outwardly still, to sit without moving.  Some of it is restful.  Some of it releases.  Some of it is grounding.  And some of it feels like joyed strength flowing into me.  All of which comes as something of a surprise.

I have always rocked but almost never let it happen because I felt too guilty and shamed by it.  "It's wrong.  It's bad.  Sit still.  Be quiet.  Be respectable." Thank God these things can change.  Learning to lose that guilt, and guilt over some of the ways my brain is wired, is starting to bear fruit.  At last.

I know there's still quite a way to go in learning to be able to allow my body to move as it wants to.  Learning to be myself:  It's so difficult.  At times it's felt impossible.  I've been so near the edge through all this.  So scared at times.  Close to needing a psych ward.  But it's essential.  And after the hell comes the self acceptance and the renewed smiles.

That's all.  Two thoughts.  Unrelated.

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