Slowly, and yet, All of a Sudden.
It was in my late twenties, just before my Saturn Returns, that it became clear to me; there is a pattern, a formula for the experience of life. At that time, I couldn’t imagine what it was, but I knew I so desperately wanted to discover it. I could see that all the excuses I was making for my current life situation, were not unique to me. And that there were others who, despite facing the same obstacles, were growing and evolving into empowered individuals. How did they manage to uncover the truth… the way? It was becoming more than clear that the choices I was making, the beliefs I was holding, and the thoughts I was juggling with were not conducive to creating the life experience of my dreams. And yet, it was all I knew. And so… I began to break. To break down. To decompose…. very… very… slowly. I spent years becoming conscious of the unconscious. Discovering hidden beliefs. Uprooting fears from childhood. Examining my perception of myself, the world, and who “I am” in that world. Taking on new practices; mediation, Qigong, semen retention. Slowly and yet all of a sudden, it hit me. The source of my suffering.
Imagine you are the captain of a ship and somewhere along your excursion across the ocean of life, you discover there is a parasitic monster on board. Killing crew members in the night. Throwing important resources overboard. Giving birth to fear. What might you consider doing? “Find it and kill it!” screams your second in command, and the crowd roars in agreement, lifting sticks and swords to the sky to demonstrate their commitment to the cause. You lead the charge, of course, in an effort to demonstrate your authority and because… you care. You come up with a plan, the details of which you share with no one. You’ve set your trap. Boom. The creature is trapped. And you plunge your sword into it, and you are met with a surprising sound. Glass. Shattering. You strike a match to illuminate the scene. And as you look down at the ground you are faced with broken glass, reflecting that which is above. You are faced with yourself. Slowly and yet all of a sudden, you remember doing it all. “I guess I did stab the cook in his sleep, but he deserved it, I said ‘no salt’. Yeah, I guess I did throw all the compasses overboard, but it was to teach the crew a lesson. Sure, I remember biting Christoph’s neck and drinking all his blood, but in all fairness, his blood was pretty sweet.” No, this is not a Dracula Origins story. Yes, it is how I felt, when I discovered that the only thing getting in the way of me experiencing the life of my dreams, was me. Is it possible to be both, the victim and the assailant?
Regardless of the circumstances that led to it, I made beliefs and these beliefs led to thoughts and these thoughts led to actions and these actions led to suffering. Being a victim of childhood abuse, neglect, and bullying is a double sided sword, in that one has the experience of being abused and one can very easily develop the idea that problems only come from the outside world. You stop looking within. It can happen with anything. Race, Gender, You name it. The moment someone does something “unjust” to you, it is very easy to become cursed to only see the “faults” of others and not your own contribution to the “problem”. You become a thermometer of life constantly reading and being guided by the temperatures of others, as opposed to a thermostat, setting the temperature of the room yourself.
And it was in this moment, that I developed. Compashion. No, cumpashion. No, that’s not right. Compassion. Sorry, it’s just that the word is still so relatively new to me. I started thinking about others for a moment, especially those I had a history of unpleasant experiences with and what I realized was… They are all people, with dreams and fears. And as I looked at the Uber driver who told me to get out because he imagined I couldn’t possibly be with this group of white people and that perhaps I was trying to rob them, I thought…. “I love you”. I just spent YEARS uncovering my unconscious beliefs and mental programming and deep down, the truth is, I still love you despite yours. If you were in danger, I would help. If you needed water, I would give it to you. If you were standing in the way of a moving vehicle, I would
tell my white friend to tell you to get out the way pull you to safety. Because the truth of the matter is, even as I stare at you, the knife still in your hand and the blood dripping to the ground, I still love you and I know that the person you are actually trying to hurt, is you, who you see reflected in me.
It is clear that the people of this world I admire most are not immune to the obstacles I have faced, but perhaps they deal with them differently. When my life stopped being about “what other people were doing to me”, it became about choices. Normally, as I see white woman approaching on the sidewalk of San Francisco, I would cross to the other side to avoid seeing her clutch her purse tightly or look over her shoulder as we both wait for the light to change. But, when I stopped making my life about others, I stopped doing those things. I stopped shrinking. I stopped assuming. I stopped participating in the idea of race. And I started Loving. And a feeling of peace settled in my heart as I recognized the love I had for everyone despite their beliefs and actions. And then I sat there, all peaceful and aware and grateful for the changes I was able to make within myself. But, something still lingered.
The truth is, I moved to Mexico because I wanted to die. Sure, I stopped blaming people for my problems. Yes, I have been able to transform so many disempowering beliefs. Hooray! I have managed to reach new levels of self discipline. It seems I have managed to change so many things that were not working for me, and yet I still haven’t figured out how to manifest the things I have longed for. The desire to be the performer I always imagined I would be, with the career I always imagined could be, had not faded and its realization did not seem closer. The more I grew, the more distance I felt between me an others. I have so much love in my heart now and I don’t now how to express it or where, to whom? Who is listening? And for the first time in my life, I allowed in, the possibility that none of my goals may ever come true. I sat there, and imagined a world where that was possible, and I couldn’t see myself in it. Abraham Hicks says it is your strong desire for something that keeps you from it. And in this process of healing and growing, I have alienated myself to the degree, that at times it feels like it is all I have. And now, I have to give it up?
I am incredibly grateful for all the experiences I have had that have shown me what I want, what I don’t want, who I wan to be, who I don’t want to be. And the funny thing is, when you look back, sometimes the dimmest of times still manage to somehow look romantic. But, as I went to the park today, to meditate, all I could think is, “I wish I could become a tree and stand in this spot forever.” But, perhaps, one day, slowly, and all of a sudden, I will realize that I everything I have ever wanted has always been available to me.