I simply cannot find the words to describe all the ways in which Jiu Jitsu meets our family’s needs at sensory, spiritual, and social levels. There is something so humbling and safe, and empowering in this martial art. If I had my way, classes would be three hours instead of one. My boys feel similarly and we enjoy coming home and Jiu Jitsu-ing each other. The connection, self-esteem, and confidence that happen in our studio/class defy articulation. It is not friendship so much as kinship. And I wouldn’t call it a fellowship, because I believe that requires social-talking, where this requires talking only when necessary to learn a new position or submission skill.
Straight from today’s Jiu Jitsu, we joined in a community clean up project. I was reminded how- people who need to be social don’t know what to do with me, particularly people who pride them selves on being social. Because, if “social” is good, then unsocial must be…….. The organizer of the clean up apologized that this was not a more fun event like a pool party. When I responded that as a highly unsocial one, I prefer this to a party. I shared that I am easily overwhelmed by people and that I prefer not socializing and she said—“oh I don’t believe you”. I think people feel I am bagging on myself when I say I am not friendly…since our culture views friendly as equivalent to kind. I am happy to work towards unity of purpose on projects or missions and vigilantly avoid social engagements. Fortunately, my boys and my sweet Greg are onboard.
My boss, a kind and dear friend of many years, in CA, would on Friday night’s, invite me to stay after work to barbecue with her family since my commute was often more than an hour. I would say no, but thanks. And she’d say, “but you are going to be in traffic for hours”, and I’d laugh and say, “right, all by myself with only music or silence and no sensory stimulus or social pressure.” And still she asked each week and was never offended by my preference to engage Los Angeles Friday rush hour over “hanging out with her family and friends”. She has no clue what a badass she is. Spiritual Gangsta 100%. Biggest most openest heart….. so much self-love and self acceptance that it spills onto others and all people feel good in her presence. She is not selectively friendly and kind, but universally both. She cannot even help it. She does not understand this part of me but totally loves and accepts it!
So grateful that in learning to parent my sensory son, who genetically was handed my wiring, I have learned about myself. I observe S1 watching others socialize, and while he, at a cellular level, wants no part of it, he envies those who enjoy the perks of being “social”. I get it. Totally– and we talk about it and it is so cool that we just get each other and share freely and without shame that we differ this way, and that there are others. But if we pretend to like things we don’t like, we will never find our people and they will not recognize us. S2 is a natural born ambassador of friendship and socializing and is often rightfully disappointed by the level of engagement available to him at times.
I love our contrasts and truths, and that we are all ok as we are and nobody but nobody has to pretend to want or feel what they do not. We are each free to seek peace and pleasure in the ways in which we each uniquely define it. What a miracle to have a home in which we get to live and let live. We note and respect the differences. Acknowledging and loving each other, even the difficult parts, is what we practice and at times openly discuss. Big Open Hearts, Big Fucken Fences…it is the only way. Big Open Hearts with clear boundaries is BADASS and totally wholesome—very confusing for those not on the WBA path.
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