Autism: Striving For Should

19 Dec

Striving. Wounded. Heart pounding hard. Lost. Broken. Needing forgiveness. Needing to forgive. Needing grace. Full of that word that unleashes it all: Should.

Should be working. Should be busy. Should be whole, happy, thankful. Should be healed. Should let go. Should love stronger. Should push past it. Should have energy. Should be trusting. Should be trying. Should eat better, exercise more, let people in…

And in that thought comes my answer: Failure. And I live my life failing to live up to that word. Should.

Reflecting on that word, and my failure to fulfill it, my trust diminishes.

How could God want me here? Failing to live up to what I should be doing… what I should be, how can I then be where God wants me to be. The two words don’t fit together. So how do I know which way I should go?

So I strive for other, as if I can heal myself by running again. As if that ever worked in the past. As if by willing it, I can be whole – as if a heart and mind full of willfulness towards wholeness, towards better, was lacking in those days of failure.

And the striving produces anxiety, as I forget that God is in control, and feel that my own power – to move, to break, to fail – is all that carries me on. And I am afraid.

I can’t hold that much power. I don’t want it.

I know that in doing this on my own, I will fail again. I always do.

So how do I heal myself from this ache, and this trauma, and this sense of failure which permeates my life? How do I ‘let go, and let God?’

When I should be working, how do I let go of the striving and restlessness that comes from standing still? I shouldn’t be here, I think – as if I made this decision, and God has no control over where I am in this moment.

He who does not work, neither shall he eat, I consider, and I strive harder to move past this, to find work, to heal – and all that striving does is create more anxiety, more restlessness, more discontent, more obsessions and fixations, and all of those things that prove me other than well.

And I am told to slow down, and consider – consider all that is good, for not all was bad. Yet in this striving, I cannot take it in. My head spins, and my thoughts repeat, in this striving for wholeness that I could never obtain.

So I seek for the answers. Trust God, I hear – but what does that mean?

I need the answers. If I am supposed to will myself to do the things I should do, then I am in control, not God, and it is no wonder that I continue to fail.

How can I ask Him for the things that I need, when I won’t work (forget the fact that I can’t, and that others saw fit to take me away from the work I had). How can I ask Him to provide for me, when I am here in this desert place, worn and weary and broken?

When in the past has God provided for those who couldn’t provide for themselves… it must be in there – unless… perhaps it never happened… but if God is our provider, then what are we striving for? If God is our healer, why do I think I should heal myself?

And then I remember. For 40 years they wandered in the wilderness, and they were fed manna from Heaven, water from a rock, and their clothes never wore out.

So perhaps that is where I am – in the wilderness. And perhaps that healing that I have been striving for can be found here. Find peace in the moment, I hear, God is in control.

Willing myself to heal does not help. I cannot heal myself. Striving towards finding work, when I was told to be home, is like saying that I do not trust God to provide for me. And it increases my anxiety.

Find peace in the moment.

God is in control.

Forget the things you think you should do and be, and just be.

Thankfulness for the little things. Peace. Trust. Contentment. God can heal me here.



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