Sometime people ask me why I bother with blogging. After all they reason, “Isn’t caring for your son a full-time job in and of itself? What with all the battles you go through just trying to get your son’s rights to have his abilities recognized and taken seriously by others, why on earth do you want to write about Autism? How do you even have the energy to write about anything?”
I must admit that some days, when the fights been particularly long and hard, and the shawl of defeat hangs itself across my shoulders like some desperately unwanted shroud that marks me out as a person who feels as shatteringly misunderstood and out-of-place in this world as the missing puzzle piece that has ironically become the universal symbol for Autism, I wonder why I bother blogging too.
But then I read the words of others and they enrich me in ways that help me pull myself back together and enable me to once again begin to view life from a broader perspective.
A perspective that helps me replace my temporary and insular micro filter of defeat and instead enables me to attach a wider lens that lets me know that I am indeed part of a greater whole.
A lens that is in fact so wide that it incorporates all of the issues that are facing so many different people from more walks of life than there are colors in the rainbow.
Reading the words of others reminds me that life is like a pearl.
An organic composition that builds upon itself,
Layer by layer,
Feeding on past irritations,
Forming silently within the enclosed darkness,
That cements it into place.
And that it is only when the shell is opened up and those layers of irritation are revealed, that the pearl itself becomes transformed by the eyes of others, into a thing of beauty.
Blogging I think works in the same way. So regardless of whether or not the opening up of our shells brings either tears or joy, the mere act of making the effort to reveal ourselves, our lives and our stories, to the world, is an achievement all in itself.
For some I know the process of blogging, of paring oneself back to bare bones to see who and what they are, of bring their true selves to the surface, is a painful one. For others it can be cathartic, light-hearted or even whimsical, but always, always without fail, regardless of what the topic may be or how it is presented, there are always pearls of wisdom to be found within the words of others.
Sometimes, I admit, I don’t find the pares straight away.
Sometimes it takes an event occurring within my own life to shake me and wake up to the memory of reading another’s words about a similar situation before I can understand the points I’d missed.
It is in these moments of missed recognition that I will go back and search through Word Press until I find the post I’m looking for. Often along the way I will find many, many more posts dealing with the same issues that I had previously and erroneously thought were not mine to deal with.
The more posts I read, the more pearls of wisdom I gather and the greater my own levels of awareness, understanding and compassion grows.
Some of your posts make me cry. Some make me smile. Others make my head nod up and down while reading along with the unspoken acknowledgment of a shared truth. Still others make me shake my head in exasperation.
Yet I have learned that regardless of whether or not I agree or disagree with a post, or whether it makes me laugh or cry, there is always some element of experience or knowledge that takes me out of myself, out of my life with Autism and expands my world view.
You make me aware that although all of our personal truths may indeed be different, they are all indeed truths and should be respected as such.
So I bear in mind, as I am reading your posts, that some of you may be speaking of truths that I have yet to learn and some of you may be speaking of personal truths that may never be my own. Just as my personal truths may never be yours to experience in real-time.
Yet regardless I appreciate the privilege of seeing so many different people, each living different lives, in so many different cities, with as many different faces, telling their silent truths with words all across the globe.
Indeed this world that we all inhabit, our globe, is shaped like a pearl.
This is what makes me think now that wisdom can be found not only by looking deeply into the parts of us that hurt us the most, but in the very act of opening up our shells and letting ourselves be exposed to the light cast by the minds of others.
For sometimes, it is only when being viewed through the words of others, that our own personal truths, our own pearls of wisdom, become finally apparent, even to ourselves.
This is why I love reading and falling into the words of others.
So thank you to each and every blogger whose words have allowed me to gain a new perspective and glimpse those pearls earned from your own hard-won wisdom.