Realizing how selfish human nature is, because I sense it in myself. Especially in times like this. Selfishness truly stems from fear and things that have yet to be resolved.
Another realization of selfishness—the thought that every experience was made specifically for me to ‘learn from.’ As if the whole world is revolving so that I can become more wise. No. Every experience gives us a chance to learn something about ourselves simply because we are part of that experience. We exist in the universe, we are apart of it; we learn from it not because it was made for us, but because it we exist within it and it exists within us. But we should not go into experiences with the only thought being, “how will this help me learn something?” as if they are a separate entity, as if their entire purpose relies on our understanding.
My generation believes the cure to all is “staying positive”. Some experiences teach us about sadness, guilt, fear. Those are good too. Embrace them without judgement. I’m finding that forcing optimism only breeds more contempt and judgement.
Life breeds so many experiences. Humanity is so much more frail than we trick ourselves into thinking. We place those thoughts only in artwork, and are afraid once they come out and bite us in the ass. We always try to hide from the horrifying and vicious truths. ‘Death is beautiful,’ but there is nothing beautiful in the dying. There is nothing beautiful in disease, in sickness, in the humility of the decrepit and aged. I’m starting to think this generations’ obsession with optimism is the same kind of selfishness that prevents us from visiting the dying—simple fear. True experience is surrounding yourself with that spectrum of humanity that is seeped in pain and revolting decay and loving anyways. Not ‘fighting’ it, not escaping, simply experiencing, accepting. and loving anyway.
I can’t help but think of Camus’ The Plague, cannot help but think of the fight between abstractions and reality. Cannot help but think of the meditative desire to be fully present, ‘clear’, and then of my periods of dissociation and terror: ‘is this nirvana?’
Can’t help but think of my Granmunner, 68 lbs and dying, asking me what I will be wearing to my new job: how’s that for abstraction?
Can’t help but think of my mother, running around a tower of metal, freeing our house from evil spirits and communing directly with God: how’s that for reality?
Can’t help but be grateful for all of my suffering, selfishly, simply because it allows me a great capacity for understanding the world around me, decay and death and hope and love, which exist? Both only in separate realms, yet fully encompassed by every individual. Flesh and bones and spirit and Christ. How’s that for positivity?
Shame and ego have taken over my life. I preemptively hate people for their wrong doings, all of my compassion comes from observance of their insecurities instead of true appreciation of their gifts. I see it in everyone, I think after years of being hurt—I see the causes of their pain, but more than that, I see their reaction to it.
So it is never with love or kindness that I view the world, that I view people. It is with pity and perhaps bitterness. I had surrounded myself with negative people for so long that I can only see negativity wherever I go. I notice only the hurt in other people, and the way they hurt others, and I make myself feel like the better person by saying “oh, I understand your hurt. I can empathize with you. I can excuse you for your meanness, for your greed, for your jealousy.”
Not to say I don’t see those things in myself, they are all that I see anymore. I had such a huge ego check that I thought my whole being should gravitate towards humility. But I let it become self-hatred. I set up rules for myself to try and harness compassion and understanding, to try and not let my ego get out of check, but they’ve become the exact opposite so that now I am defensive of my humility, embarrassed of it, and so connected to it that it has become more shame than anything else. I let it dictate my life, I let myself become consumed with trying to negate all of the harm that I had done previously, and it is only now that I have found it to be only a pampered form of self-punishment.
There are too many reminders here and elsewhere of my struggle to prove myself to people who are unwilling to reach any sort of sense of awareness, unable to see themselves and much less me. If my time is spent trying to gather empathy and understanding, trying to ‘excuse’ actions, trying to forgive in my own heart for things that I must constantly remind myself can only stem from other’s insecurities, reminding myself of those insecurities, and viewing every harm they do to me and others only as their own pain being realized… Well, it is hard to realize that sometimes forgiveness takes the form of a release. If, as an individual, I am unable to overcome my own pain, and yes bitterness, then perhaps it is more kind to myself and to those around me to simply let go with love and move on.
I feel as if I am unable to write this clearly as it is still with pain that I think about it. A great sense of loss and an emptiness when I am still with these thoughts. But hopefully the beginning of acceptance, and the ability to stop placing myself as the center of everyone else’s projected egos.
I will say that I have started to feel that underlying peace that had once permeated every aspect of my life. I think it comes only it times of personal chaos. At the very lowest of depression, there are simple choices. Survival or not. Can your life go on this way, and if not, stop. So many teachings—self reliance, action, acceptance. I won’t go on. Things have been harder still, but there is a sense of consciousness and purpose in every moment. Wouldn’t claim ‘happiness,’ but that small seed of peace is back, and for that I am grateful