Withholding our gifts

Perhaps our gifts weren’t valued because they weren’t understood properly, or sharing them may have felt uncomfortable or even dangerous for other reasons. Perhaps we noticed that people didn’t like our honesty so we found ways to not share what we had inside of us.

We have all been gifted with something that we can offer to others. What we have been given to give doesn’t look the same and some of the gifts are more subtle than others. Being highly sensitive is a wonderful gift if treasured appropriately and if one is given the right support to deal with the difficult side of it. In my understanding, this has rarely been the case for must of us and so we come to experience the sensitivity as a curse rather than a blessing.

This past week I have been reflecting on some of my own gifts that I and others have often viewed as more problematic than as beautiful gifts. Which isn’t strange considering the nature of them. I have began to think about them as weapons – a spear and a hand-grenade – but they aren’t used from a bad place at all, but from a place of love. Sometimes, I suppose often, they fall into the category of “tough love” rather than the soft and gentle type of love which is equally important – it just depends on the context. I had a reading a few months ago by a very talented woman who I trust a lot, and she said one of my core tasks in this life is to be a catalyst for other people. That really resonated with me and the more I’ve thought about it, the more I can see that I do this when interacting with people (not everyone of course – but those who need it). Often these people are stuck in some way – in confusion, stagnation or fear – and they (often unconsciously) seek me out for me to set that dormant spark in them on fire. This is the hand grenade.

The spear works in a similar way but this is more connected to someone being very stuck in a false narrative that they hold on to, either because they took it on willingly or because they had to for survival in their cultural context. What I do then is that I poke them a little with my spear, not in a harsh or violent way but they have to feel the sting a little bit. This one is very much connected to my autistic identity for me and I have to say it can be quite uncomfortable to carry this spear around, it’s not always received very well. Between perhaps age 17-37 (37 being last year) I have been trying very hard to hide my spear, or to compensate for it with being overly – and faked – nice to people. However, even though I’ve tried very hard sometimes it hasn’t worked anyway – I just can’t help myself – and the spear has come through my thick layers of synthetic cotton. That word of truth that feels like “ouch”. But the thing is, it is medicine. It just tastes a bit bitter, like some medicine do.

Then there are other kind of gifts that we may hide for other reasons. It can be our own beauty and magnificence or our wonderful talents that we hide because we don’t want to show off. Perhaps others will be offended.

My whole point with this text is to say that whatever the reason we are withholding our gifts from the world it is that – an act of depriving others from our medicine, a medicine that they need. It may not always be comfortable for us to share it, but it is what we are meant to be doing.