There are people in the world who spend their whole life chasing happiness from without. They buy boats, cars, planes, trains, corporations, islands, trying to amass as much stuff as they can to see where the happiness lies. Maybe they have a great time, but if wealth (and fame) were everything, so many rich people wouldn’t be overdosing in hotel rooms across the globe, entering rehab, and/or psychotherapy.
Sometimes people spend all their time and money searching and when they don’t find it in material things, they do a 180 and search for a higher power—doing good works, praying, lunching with lamas on a mountaintop in Tibet, looking for the meaning of it all.
Then there are those who innately feel that happiness comes from within—these are usually folk from humbler origins who haven’t had the chance to see where else it might lie. They bake bread, grow flowers, look for joy in the simple things. They do yoga, have friends with names like Mantra and Saffron.
I firmly believe it is a combination of all of the above.
I went on Facebook recently, to my home page, something I rarely have time for…it is a black hole we can fall into and spend enough time to learn six languages and the violin. I noticed that many of my “friends” –not the ones I know in real life, were listing their complaints and eliciting much-deserved empathy from their friends. I know from experience how comforting that can be.
While at times, we may wish people knew what we’d been through and would part like the Red Sea when we walk by, that is pity and only attracts more things that create the need for pity. Hear me out.
One of my Aspergirl Society members told me that when a particle finds itself alone, isolated, it will gravitate toward the most similar particle it can find. I’m putting it simply, but this is the gist of it. When you go through your day, if you are a pillar of misery and pain, you will attract more misery and pain. If you go through the day full of joy and optimism, you’re more likely to attract that which brings you more joy and optimism.
Again, I’m putting it simply. This is a little more than the law of attraction. Because, there’s always destiny to consider, if you believe in it, fate, and sometimes, to put it eloquently, shit just happens.
When I was six years old I prayed like a good little Christian fanatic that god would make my life very hard so that I would have a chance to prove my character and worth. I needn’t have bothered. When you have Aspergers you have a long life ahead of you filled with adversity, and tough times were already there. But I had the thing that I value and sometimes hate the most about Aspergers. Constant striving for perfection, fortitude, the inability to give up until you have made something right. That is why we stay in bad situations for too long, trying to make something right that cannot be made right. But, on the other hand, it is the same quality that shines from within, the quality that makes people stand up and take notice, that makes them a little bit confused them about our age, and why we are a little different.
A friend stared at my eyes for a long time wondering aloud what color they were. “Green encircled by brown,” I told him. What I should have said was “autistic.” It wasn’t really the color that perplexed him; I know what he doesn’t. These eyes look at this world as if from outer space sometimes, wondering how the hell I got here and where I’ll go when I leave.
Yes, it’s often difficult being on the spectrum. But radiate your light from within and you will begin to attract that which brings you joy and optimism. Let people think you’ve led a charmed life, don’t correct them. Maybe they will attract it for you. Since I began putting this into practice (and it came at a high price, believe me) my life has changed in extraordinary ways. Look for the love and the light in others (it’s almost always there), and you begin to free yourself from the fear of the ‘other’ that has kept you in your bubble for so long. You will still live there, but it will have doors and windows that invite, that you can peer out of, and breathe the free air. In short, you will have found the secret of happiness.
About Rudy Simone
Ms. Simone is the author of 6 books, founder and creator of www.Help4aspergers.com and the founder and President of The International Aspergirl® Society. Credited with coining the term “Aspergirls”, Simone, along with Liane Holliday Willey, helped bring female Aspergers to the forefront of cultural awareness. She created the first “Table of Female AS Traits” now widely used by doctors everywhere to help identify AS in women and girls.
Simone gives presentations and webinars for professional and personal development and is also a composer, musician, recording artist and engineer, and actor. Full bio here.