When I was a child, long before the term “neurodiverse” became part of my vocabulary, I never seemed to so readily accept assurances of safety or the fixed parameters of experience that I was taught as did my age-peers. So it was as though I was always pre-wired to push my sensory awareness further, to go experientially beyond the edges of what I was told, seeking my own outer clarification and safeguards; other more reliable, far broader and much more inclusive perimeter boundaries, or, the sense of a much bigger safety shell enclosing me than what was on offer. I did this in order to feel that my world was better organised and more generally safe that it seemed (which wasn’t very, in my opinion, as a highly sensitive child…), and to know who I was in this great-big experiential picture. The common idea that safety relied on smallness, limitation and closeness-to-one’s-own-chest seemed bizarre and untrustworthy information; there had to be more coherence “out there” than I was being told, thus I had to search for it.
So, from my earliest memories, it was as though I was gathering data in support of an ultimate security or guarantee of coherence “out there somewhere”; something beyond all the contradictions I discerned in my environment (which were far from reassuring…) and, though this continued to elude me, I kept on feeling and feeling into my broadest environment, beyond the normal limits, seeking and gathering its clues, its rhythms and patterns…you could say its frequencies. In hindsight, this could look a lot like an impossible life of high sensitivity…a foible or a flaw whereby I feel too much and experience sensory overwhelm in certain quite typical situations but, to me, it is entirely normal and just my way.
Its been suggested that I feel too much because my aura is shot full of holes but I no longer hold with that; not in my case, though this could be so for others who have lived through a lot of trauma. Perhaps its because I sense its less a case that “life” has harmed my aura than that I made all the holes in it myself, with a metaphorical pair of scissors…reaching out for the kind of extreme sensory experiences that I thought might eventually get me to an outer perimeter reality that felt more solid, more whole, more real, coherent and resonant thus much more obviously orchestrated by divine influence than anything very close to me seemed to suggest (I have never really understood this world the way it is “made”).
From the outset, it was as though I didn’t ever want to take anybody else’s say-so as concrete truth and I didn’t want anything to obscure my view of those farthest reaches of understanding which, I hoped, would one day bring me such clarity and peace. I was reaching and reaching out for some sort of overarching sense and purpose to life from the moment I developed curiosity about the world and, to do this, I needed to be rid of all the tight-fitting armoury that most neurotypicals seem to wear; all those layers of belief-paradigm that lock them so tightly and unquestioningly “in”, unless they hit a major snag in the road…the kind of trauma that breaks them open. Traumas came for me too but they simply woke me from self-induced slumbers that resulted from my efforts to seem more neurotypical, to fit in; returning me to myself as before, with added maturity.
So, as I said, I seem to have taken a pair of scissors to my accumulated protective layers and then left them all to fall into rags (I’ve never liked the idea of having to shield myself from the world; it feels self-limiting). At times, it was as through I dragged myself through traumas to wear those layers away. That way, I would be forced to make better sense of my material world; to keep on trying to piece together all the good bits that could make this reality seem more purposeful, more coherent, more beautiful although….yes…it certainly doesn’t make life easy and it requires that I keep searching and still searching for those widest outer parameters that everyone else seems to take as given, though they seem to be so bizarrely content with their limits set at arm’s length, a poor-man’s reality, whilst I was searching for some ultimate blueprint. Even when I find something solid to hold onto (or to hold onto me…) I have this tendency to question it, to pick it all into holes again, just to be sure…since I know there is no endpoint to this journey; the whole of this life is the journey and only part of it at that. At times, this sensory search of mine left me ungrounded, unattached to life…and this only left me more vulnerable to invasive sensitivities as my nervous system geared itself to the biggest picture possible, which was all too keyed-up and alert for this highly overstimulating world.
Yet, I now realise, sometimes we have to declare that we like where we have landed and to stop for long enough for what we have found to become the new edges to our reality…and to work at that, to make our mark in manifest reality, through the exercise of choice. In other words, we have to land and make a home here…if we really want to; using the blueprint of our broadest outer limits, our most idealistic sense of self, to draft a comfortable and beautiful design for our everyday lives; a world made up of structure and rhythms, of patterns and rituals that feel resonant with our highest frequencies even if they are smaller, by design, to fit our human selves.
In this way, I get to usefully supply my own chosen rhythms and routines to life, as is so very necessary for my human nervous system to make a comfortable home here; made out of good things, happy thoughts, optimism, joy and laughter, physical fitness, making music together, the kind of structure that supports my life and a timetable of activities I want to take part in, which nurtures my sense of having a place in the world. Too much flux, too much marshmallow-like softness is my nemesis since my pattern-seeking nervous system will then tend to default towards lower frequency patterns, toxic ones, that only make life more difficult to navigate; a catch twenty-two. Yes, I have recently come to realise that I do better with structure and routine in my life; with (to a point) busy-ness and activity in place, so long as it is inspired by the qualities listed above. When I do this, I feel less over-stimulated, less over-sensitive…paradoxically…since I am honing my experience into a higher design of my own making. I also feel, so compellingly, that it’s high time I gave my attention to this; that it’s time to learn how to live my human life better, by design and not always have my head so far up in the clouds. Perhaps this is the case for a great many of us that have led ungrounded, more broadly preoccupied, lives so far, so that we can play our part in the shaping of this physical reality, directly and by example…its all important.
The way forwards, therefore, is to do just what I have done this year and push through the initial discomfort of “going out” into the positive yet, initially, overstimulating rhythms of life much more often; yes, to a routine that largely overrides thought processes and sensory variables (because I am now committed to take part). Doing so little that my unstructured life becomes a target for sensory overwhelm once again, by subtle environmental awarenesses that pass other people but which I can’t help noticing because of how I am “wired”, is not a long-term option for me, going forwards, for all it has served me well as I did the deep inner work that gained me this high degree of self-awareness. It was as though I put on the diving belt for all those years and did the deep plunge to find the pearl of myself, almost running out of oxygen towards the end…but now I must resurface to all the excessive colours and sounds of life up here on the surface, using what I know to make it better. When I join in, I am no longer the watcher on the edge and so I aclimatise more, which is what it takes to live a more grounded life.
What I describe isn’t for everyone of course; I am speaking out loud an entirely neurodiverse perspective which is, as ever (I do realise) quite contrary to most typical viewpoints, nor does this make my blog a self-help guide for the majority. Pulling back from life’s routines might be the very breakthrough point for a neurotypical needing to experience the epiphany that there is much more to life than the material things that have been their safe domain for so long. For those of us that are neurodiverse, I suspect, we are born with a much broader awareness of very much more than the material world “switched on” as our default setting at birth and so we have to, gradually, come to befriend that world by seeking out the positive patterns that most closely reflect the sacred geometry of a universe we already know is out there, if obscured by the heavy curtain of the pantomime reality that “seems” to be the majority-shared fixation on planet earth.
Ironically (though we lack them) us neurodiverse types need our patterns and orchestrations more so than most people, in fact we crave them because they remind us of the cosmic home we came from (and which we never fully left behind). In my case, I know I even crave excitement, stimulation, things to get busy and enthusiastic about….but, first, we have to learn to create filters because, down here in the 3D world, not all patterns and stimulants are so very great or healthy and, being a-typical, we are the ones left with the personal responsibility of shape-sorting our fixations; it doesn’t happen for us automatically, in early childhood (via examples shown) or beforehand (genetically) due to synaptic pruning…rather, we are the ones stood holding the shears.
Is this version of neurodiversity an evolutionary impulse rather than a so-called flaw in human “wiring”? I would say so, since those with it innately reach beyond the limits of the current paradigm in search of higher frequencies of organisation in the universe; which surely do exist (Carl Johan Calleman, PhD makes a compelling case for this in his book “The Nine Waves of Creation”; a book that was like a lightbulb going on in my own experiences). Indeed, as he states in that book “it is is known from the science of cymatics that wave frequencies can organise matter in accordance with geometric patterns”; but first, those frequencies have to penetrate people’s rigid armoury of belief systems…or, if they are without such neurotypicality, perhaps those individuals lie in wait for such evolutionary cues and are receptive to them sooner and more immersively, affecting their experience of life in certain key ways which may seem bizarre or hyper-sensitive by comparison with what is typical, but that’s not to say they are “wrong”…just different (story of my life).
So in a world where all the waking-up people are learning to let go, to release the mind, to go soft enough to turn their experience back towards flux and non-association, it feels as though I am (not for the first time, as always the contrarian) passing along the very same road in the other direction. Yes, I walk the other away from the overwhelming flux of too many sensations that is my default setting towards a golden structure of my choosing; a sensory cacophony conducted into the beautiful music of a life well organised by me, its many-instrumented orchestra made up of self-curated “things”, be those the pleasing clothes and objects that fill my world according to a passion for beauty and form, to the enjoyable structures of my daily activities, to the way that I turn those habits that best support my health and wellbeing into the ingrained rituals that ensure I don’t let them fall by the wayside when I become more busy. Though I’ve tended to shun habitual behaviours, I have come to realise that structure and routine are my friends…and always have been; but it’s only now that I admit it so wholeheartedly.
This is not a case of slipping back into three-dimensional materialism but of coming to realise that material things aren’t inherently bad; that they can be infused and informed by golden intentions in order to transform the everyday world we all share and make it a much closer fit for those seeking a more divine sense of what life is all about. That divine reality doesn’t have to be left “out there” somewhere in the ether; because, those of us that are tuned to it, who have spent our whole lives feeling for it, with our red-raw and over-worked yet tirelessly exploring nerves, can now reel it in closer to ourselves as our physical reality; can turn it into the beautiful architecture of our daily lives, using what we have already learned (which has been the specialism of our whole lives) about the blueprint. In a sense, we hook onto those elusive good feelings, or higher frequencies, from the ether like so many golden fish…and we bring them into land. This reeling-in process is just so important in these times, as we (necessarily) shift from survival mentality into mindfully living in harmony with each other and with nature. We all know how to do these things, though we forgot, but the information is still out there, waiting for us to reach out to it, beyond the narrow husks of our fear-and-pain-driven lives and then, like the great artists we have always been (though we have so long denied it), we turn it into the fabric of our world.
Excerpt adapted from Choosing My Edges on Living Whole – read full post, which covers a lot more angles of this topic, here.