Jan 7, 2011

A Ship Without a Rudder? (#Aspies #Aspie #Change)

Everyone believes and their beliefs give their life "direction".  In other words, my closely held beliefs and values influence what I do and how I respond.  While you might be a "non-religious" person, you still have a set of values by which you measure and direct your conduct and which influence your perspective.  This is true even if you never think about your beliefs and values.

As Aspies we often chase after every new technique and treatment or our parents do.  As adult Aspies we work to understand ourselves (hopefully) and live productive lives.  These things are all good, but a ship without a rudder may only reach a destination by chance wind current.  When I live my life without understanding my own beliefs and values then I'm like a ship without a rudder.  That ship must go in whatever direction the wind and sea currents drive it.  You may get closer to your destination only to get blown back the opposite way.

If I lack a moral "rudder" in my life then I may face difficulty gaining the life I wish.  Most of my circumstances are beyond my control, and they will change often without prior notice.  As such without a moral rudder then my circumstances can result in a feeling of powerlessness and lack of direction.  In another sense, if I'm not aware of my closest held beliefs and values, then I may not only lack a rudder, I might even lack a destination. 

How many of us Aspies look at ourselves and judge our worth or our level of success based on the neurotypical culture around us.  A culture, by the way, which is constantly changing and differs depending on the group in which you are.  The expectations of the neurotypical world system can vary even from person to person. I can never judge myself based on the chaotic expectations of others. 

I do judge myself though.  Everyone does.  After an event, or at the end of the day or even after a conversation.  I think we Aspies do this more than most, because we analyze back through the day and try to decide if we understood and followed all the social rules. 

What if you had a separate set of rules.  Unchanging rules that guided you through any circumstance at any time.  When you judged yourself, what if you judged yourself against principals that had universal merit.  Then you value and worth wouldn't change and your sense of success or failure will not change based on the shifting culture around you.  Your destination would be to most closely live out your beliefs and values.

That is what is getting me through all the many difficult changes I'm facing these days.  Getting laid off of jobs twice, changing careers.... all this change at once is tough enough.  As an Aspie it is really difficult.  Even as my circumstances constantly changes, my beliefs and values are like a strong rudder that gives me a direction, helps me make choices, and helps me asses my behavior.

What guides you in your life?

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