Are You Sure? #Autism #Relationships

This past week has been full of new deep insights for me. I feel like I’ve been growing a lot and finding out things that need fixing so I can heal.

One thing I’ve learned recently is that it is far too easy in this day and age to expect a fairy tale ending instead of perhaps hoping for a happy existence and enjoying the present. When we get stuck in the future, things sure do get garbled.

For most of my life I have sought of reassurance and security in all the wrong places. It is easy to lose sight of our own self worth and that it doesn’t come from other people’s opinions of who we are. When this really sank in, I realized that if I want to be happy- the work begins within myself.

As a lot of people, autistic or not can relate to, we may not have fit in just right growing up. I grew up feeling constantly insecure about who I was and it took until almost thirty for me to realize that it’s not my job to be just like everyone else. God make me unique just like everyone else.

I realized that when I have extremely high expectations in a relationship they are all pretty much tied to a fear that I’m not good enough and not worthy of love and therefore constantly seeking reassurance that they do in fact love me when it really wasn’t their job.

For years, I have wondered what the concept of “loving yourself” meant and now I think I’ve finally figured that part out. I have come to realize that I am worthy because God says I am. Not because someone else said so. I’ve learned that when we are desperately seeking reassurance and love, He is the perfect one to turn to because his love is perfect. Any other love is just a bonus. It doesn’t mean we don’t need people in our lives, it just means we don’t need people in our lives to prove to us that we are worthy. 

It is the most freeing feeling in the world when I am able to separate my own self worth from everyone else’s words or actions. It means I don’t have to be afraid of what will be said or done by a friend, partner, or family member simply because I can be secure in God’s love and His love is sufficient. 

This also allows me to be a better friend because it means that, when I am not constantly in need of reassurance, I can see beyond my own needs and truly listen to their words and not be so afraid and ready to defend my self worth. 

I am the type of person who is passionate about getting things done. That doesn’t work in relationships exactly. I’m learning that real love is slow growing and for a good reason: Life is hard and it needs to withstand a lot. I’ve made the mistake in the past of trying to rush ahead in relationships. Why? Because I was insecure that I would lose them and because I forgot that the journey in life isn’t about the “destination”, it’s about the adventures, trials, and blessings along the way.

I’m learning that by going slow we allow our hearts to build a firm foundation with someone else and that, if I am emotionally secure and self sufficient, I’ll actually enjoy that slow journey a lot more. We are always reminded to “live each day as if it were our last” and I think I’ve missed the mark. That doesn’t mean rush ahead. It means stay in the present, it means pay attention, and it means to truly appreciate with a deep sense of gratitude what you have today.

I’m learning that patience isn’t a punishment. Patience isn’t a strength of mine but I’m working on it because the more I learn to slow down in life, the more I’m finding myself laughing and enjoying what’s happening right now and all of that frantic anxiety about getting ahead starts to look rather unattractive.
One step at a time. Slowly.

About Gretchen McIntire (formerly Leary)

I am 34 years old, I live in the Raleigh area, and I am writing from the perspective of an individual with Asperger's Syndrome.
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2 Responses to Are You Sure? #Autism #Relationships

  1. Really enjoyed
    Don’t give up
    So many people in the world that have good hearts
    GB your friend RVH

  2. Don’t be confuse hun the name of God is” I AM ”
    no i am not crazy look it up
    “I AM” meaning that we are part of God
    So you are a great person

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