How to Love Me

At first blush, it seems simple. Just decide we’re compatible and let it roll from there. In reality, it’s messy, because I’m human just like you. Regardless of what religion professes about love conquering all, it rarely does. Probably because all the other emotions get in the way.

People do things in the name of love all the time. Some are really sweet gestures, like remembering a birthday or bringing home flowers just because. Some are much grander, like marrying for better or worse and meaning it. Or giving up a kidney for a stranger. Or even being an organ donor so others may have a shot at a life after you have passed. Those are some pretty grand gestures of love.

But what of the day-to-day love that we all need? I know I’m difficult. I have my way of doing things and I can be pretty stubborn. I can do many things that people without Autism can do. I can even feel the judgment from others that I’m not Autistic enough to be a member of their tribe. If we truly love one another, why do we keep insisting on labels?

Labels separate us from them. By nature, they divide groups. Labels make it easy to say “I hate cheese” without even trying all the different flavors of cheese out there. A blanket statement about a labeled group is so much easier to use than to get to know all the different types of people in a group.

Autism is a spectrum disorder. There are people who struggle with what we generally consider the most basic of tasks…self-care and communication. Others struggle with academics and social situations. Still others experience awkwardness in conversations. We all have the same disorder. And, I can assure you, we all want to be loved.

So, how to love me. Accept that I’m different and it’s okay. I do the same for you. Yep, that’s right. Some of the stuff you do strikes me as pretty strange. That whole “look me in the eye thing” is weird. Your love of dill pickles? Um, yeah, not touching those. See, it’s okay. Love me for being different and showing you different things. Love me for expressing thoughts that you may not have considered. Love me for all the quirky behaviors I have. Because you know what? You have some pretty quirky things going on too.

Most of all, just love me as a fellow human being. Being different doesn’t make me less worthy of your love.

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