Here’s a truth for you; you don’t have to have experienced something for it to be true.
It’s a good truth. A pure truth. A worthy truth.
I experience the world through my senses. I process the world through my autism. Everything I feel and hear and see is poured into me through my expansive and limited ability to understand it.
You don’t have to experience my world to know how I see it, I’m happy to tell you.
It seems easy. Such a simple solution. Just listen.
I’m guilty of not listening to me. I’m guilty of saying to myself, “No one else is hurting when they hear that sound, so that pain isn’t real, you’re making it up, it’s a lie.”
I’m guilty of lying to myself about the truth of my world.
It’s so easy to slip and say, “Don’t be silly” to a child who describes something in a way you don’t see it. So very easy to negate a truth. So easy to let a beauty flutter away, instead of holding it up to the light.
You don’t have to experience someone else’s truth to see its beauty, and empathise with its pain.
Easy empathy is imagining a feeling that you’ve felt before in a context you know. Deep empathy is imagining something you have never felt, something you will never feel, but being willing to fall into it anyway.
It’s easy to empathise with people who think like you, we take it for granted. Humanity isn’t in closing your mind to the possibilities of more. Humanity is in the heartbeat of feeling across all divides.
If I can empathise with your need to be surrounded and touched and enveloped by people, can you empathise with my need to connect in different ways? Because I do, I am connected, I am a part of all this too. In my own way.