Reflections of and on a probably Asperger's parent parenting an Asperger's kid (or 2)!

dragon pups

dragon pups

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On Free Will and Predestination

I have been deeply struggling lately with these two ideas.  I have worked to create a "new me" this summer - to really see myself in a new light and to move in new directions... to invest in the person that I was "made to be"...

I struggled with how selfish that sounded, and how it affected my family and co workers, but then I saw that when I gained confidence, I was able to engender even more confidence (and genuine affection) in those around me.  And I started REALLY looking at why I do what I do...

I discovered that happiness IS a choice - that I can try to convince myself there are silver linings, or I can start actively listing them.  I can seek the company of those who make me stronger.  I can trust what my gut says.  I can find ways to respect and love people, or I can choose to hold onto anger...  It really IS my attitude (and the availability of chocolate) that determines whether or not I spend my day feeling good or not.  I can choose to believe that the compliments are genuine, or I can choose to believe they are just niceties.  This summer I learned to finally believe them... I can choose to forgive myself, or I can hold onto the pride that drives me into self-dis-respecting behaviors.

I also discovered that every person I interacted with helped me on this journey.  They offered insight or observation on one aspect or another (or a couple) of my inner conversations, even when I did not initiate discussion of those conversations.  There were so many times this summer when someone said exactly what I needed to hear, or exactly what I was thinking, or provided me a new window to thoughts and conversations I had in different places.  It became clearer and clearer as the summer passed that I am surrounded by those who gently pushed, and lovingly supported and drastically challenged, and deeply loved... me,... even when I didn't know they were doing it, or invite it.

So how much IS Free Will?  And how much IS Predestination? 

A conversation amongst my staff (who are *somewhat* - ahem - younger than myself) really showed me...

Vastly Mature Lifeguard 1 (19 years old) is dispensing wisdom to Still Growing Lifeguard 2 (16 years old), while Awesomely Sure-of-Himself Lifeguard 3 (19 years old) is listening.  My husband and I are hanging out nearby:

LG1: (in resonse to something LG 2 said) But you always have a choice!
LG2: But I didn't!  It is what my family expected me to do.
Me: Hon, there are many things you don't get choices on...
LG1: That's not true.  You ALWAYS have a choice!
Husband: (chuckle) Ahhh, to be young....
Me: There are many things I did NOT choose.  I never chose autism.  I do not choose the challenges it brings us...
LG3: Then they were chosen for you.
LG1: But you always have a choice.  You could have chosen not to deal with it.  I didn't say they were all good options, but you have a choice.

And therein lies my conundrum...  What is "chosen for me" and what do "I choose"?  Can I have both at the same time?

I have always been convinced that God puts you where He needs you to be, when He needs you to be there.  I am a great "connector", seeking (and finding) the threads that weave all the stories together, seeking the perspective that moves pointillism into masterpiece...  I can "see" clearly how the road I have walked, with every twist and turn, has lead directly to where I am at - and how each experience provided me with a skill or knowledge that is immediately relative to my life functions.  All the players and all the settings are relevant, and it so clear, that now that I am seeking the relevance in any new players/ settings...  It is painfully, disgustingly, glaringly obvious that I am shaped by my experience to meet a future goal...

Yet, I also can see how I have clung to some pictures of myself that enabled a victim mentality.  I have made excuses for not trying, or for trying only so hard, or for trying too hard, or for trying in the wrong directions.  I can see where I chose to be unhappy, or wallow in what was most frustrating, or let fear rule my decisions.  I know that I have the ability to control my response - as well as my perceptions.  And not just know with my head (saber in Spanish), but know with my heart (conocer in Spanish) - I conozco that what I choose to see is what will show up.  I have had so many lessons on that!  From miscommunications with family and friends, to setting student expectations, to defining sexiness and self-image...  I get to CHOOSE what I see and how I see it.

So how much of my reality is made BY me, and how much is made FOR me?

And why is this question driving me nuts!?   I have to deal with it either way - so does it make a difference?  Do I get to control my life?  Does faith matter if I get to make all the choices? 

Or is it about balance - like everything else... I do not get to lay the road, but I get to choose how I climb the fences?


  1. My answer comes from my daddy who in my opinion was wise beyond his years. you can't always control what happens in your life and in those situations you can control how you deal with said attitudes and your attitude toward them. Faith always matters. In said situations and in situations that you make decisions about. The situations we can't control we must say to ourselves...this is much bigger than me and I must have faith that God has a bigger or different plan for me. In the situations we make decisions about , sometimes we don't make the best decisions(what decisions you make, how you treat people, what you say to people, how you forgive people, etc) but you always have to live with it, learn from it and move on. Sometimes it is hard and I have lived long enough to realize that when those hard times happen and my faith comes into play I sometimes don't have those "ah ha" moments until months or years later.

  2. To me God opens or closes doors but He leaves it up to you to step through or not


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