Phase Change

I feel like I’m going through a phase change. Something stable is quaking. Something unbalanced is settling down. Something new is emerging.

I think, having explored “Asperger’s” as a useful story through which to view my life and my being, I’m ready to flip my vantage point. Having now realized the great explanatory power of my Aspie diagnosis in understanding what’s “wrong” with me, I’m growing more interested in using it to focus on what’s “right” with me.

I could go on with observations and complaints and rants about my challenges and limitations and confusions and needs (and I will no doubt continue to explore that side of things) but the truth is that every limitation I have comes with a corresponding ability or superpower, and every challenge has led to greater growth and maturity and awareness. If I but take a few steps and view the scene from a different angle, what I see changes dramatically.

If my Aspie diagnosis was a bus that hit me as I was crossing the street, then I’ve lain there on the pavement long enough now to get over the stunning shock of it all, and have pushed myself to a standing position. I’m alive. The essential core of me is unhurt. I’m changed but whole, and able to walk. Now it’s time to continue along my path, albeit with a “bus print” on my back.

I feel like I should say that “acceptance is the key here.” As if moving on to another phase requires that I first “accept” where and who and what I am. But there’s something about the word “acceptance” that bothers me, as acceptance carries inside of it an inherent judgment. I don’t have to work to “accept” something unless I first judge it as somehow “bad” or “wrong” or “undesirable,” or something over which I have no control, just as I’m now in a conversation about learning to “accept” the heat and humidity of a North Carolina summer.

But I’m looking for something more than that. Acceptance feels like a set up, as if I’m walking a tightrope, from which I can easily fall back into judgment. I don’t want to just accept myself and my limitations and eccentricities and needs and desires, any more than I want to simply accept the summer heat. I want to love myself. I want to cherish every bit of who I am, scars and limitations and deformities and oddities and all. I want to show off my “bus print” like a treasured tattoo, not a mark of shame or a scar reminding me of past failings and mistakes.

As if those scars and limitations and eccentricities and marks are exactly what I came here to get.

As if it’s those scars and deformities that make me beautiful.

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