It’s been awhile.
Haven’t felt much like writing in this space for some time. An opportunity presented itself for me to heal more fully from some deeply rooted trauma and I took it and that taking required some silent reflection. Three relative strangers gave me gifts, two of them without having ever laid eyes on me and it threw me for a loop. There’s a lot of noise out there and I wanted to make sure I was answering -only to my Self- why a gift brought so much dis-ease to the surface.
My earth walk has had a few recurring themes, but they all orbit the same concept in the end: worthiness. In examining worthiness, I have found that the known history of our civilization and even moreso, the why’s and how’s of the cycle of “life and death” come a bit closer for the application of reason. Viewing this from a first-person perspective has been challenging but also priceless.
Poverty has been one of my main drawing points to this end. Am I worthy if in poverty? Am I worthy if in poverty but with intellectual and spiritual gifts? Am I worthy if in poverty but chosen by God to use those gifts? Am I worthy if I’m physically attractive? Must I be young, must I be old, must I be male, female, an alien, an angel …and on and on and on until I finally came to the point where I had to ask… worthy of what? What is it Dear Self that you want to be considered worthy of? Fame? Fortune? Glory? Wisdom? Love? What?
My answer is LIFE, I wish to be worthy of life. This sacred, grand explosion of awesomeness that not even 10 thousand years of recorded observations can do justice to. I sit and stare at the majesty of this story playing out before my eyes and soul and question how it could be possible that I deserve to bear witness? A little late to be asking that one. I realize this now. I realize too, how often that button gets pushed in all of us, cycling us through the self-doubt, triggering the “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s” again and again and again.
Whether deserved or not, here I am, breathing the air and drinking the water. Yet, isn’t this the question we all play out, answering in one form or another. Why me? Why am I alive? Does it even matter that I am? No doubt about it, we all seek some measure of validation that we are not only alive but earned a right to it. We know it’s precious, we just don’t know why. For me, the conquering of this question will come in the form of joy, pure, unbridled, spontaneous, unadulterated joy falling like manna from heaven, the best evidence of Grace I can fathom.
Perhaps younger me was smarter than I give her credit for and all the doubts and shame can finally and utterly be put to rest. Younger me examined all the things that could stand in the way of a full experience of joy. The lingering doubts of worthiness. The need to define. The question “what does it mean to experience joy while others are literally starving or being brutalized in some form or fashion”. What does it mean and how dare I … so I didn’t dare, but I did set to work finding out about suffering and what the ethical considerations of experiencing joy while others are oppressed, depressed or suppressed to the point where the word joy is no longer relevant …really entails. And holy shit, the skimming of such has not been pretty. I can tell you that.
To oppress means to keep (someone) down by unjust force or authority. To repress is (1) to hold back, or (2) to put down by force. Suppress, which is broader and more common than the other two, means (1) to put an end to, (2) to inhibit, and (3) to keep from being revealed.
Oh! How these have played their discordant strings through all our lives, so blatantly here in the “modern” Western world. We have not so much relished the conquering of life’s daily and sometimes mundane challenges but rather, (perhaps finding it too obscure a conquest?) set about “subsuming” and “shoulding” all over each other. We’re up to our necks in it. Wallowing in it even. And the work remains.
So, long story short, my quest has been worth it. I have found a midline to work with and a pretty broad landscape from which to pull and pour my Spirit into. If I would withhold joy from myself, I am no better than the beasts who play men and traumatize for kicks. But, if I do not contribute to the increase of joyful opportunities for others, if my joy is not also found in relieving the suffering (even momentarily) of those who cross my path in good faith, I am no better than the beasts who play woman for the sake of fleeting advantage.
I accept that I take smaller sips from the nectar, because I am strong like that and relish that strength to the point I experience it as a prolonged fruition (a “particular flavor”) of joy. Just enough to keep me alert and refreshed for the battle (that yet continues) to end the clearly ignorant message that convinces a Divine Creator Being there is no other choice but to take personal advantage wherever possible and glorify or demonize the suffering and pain of their fellow citizens just because that is the way it’s always been done.
We are each other’s shields and strength and inspiration just as much as our own. It is up to us to decide to keep each other well and utilize our gifts and will to fill in the gaps where needed. When my body gives up independence or if my mind takes leave… will I find anyone out there capable of seeing the soul beneath straining to squeeze yet one more lesson from life? Will they be merciful and kind?
Pondering ethics and morality remains one of the few free pastimes we have that doesn’t involve plugging into a machine. We are in a time, a crossroads for our species, where this task simply cannot be undervalued. Think, without using the same tired narratives. Join the conversation. Heal yourself so you can come back to us and tell the story and wisdom your unique perspective provides. Where can we go from here and do we have the heart to stop defining each other’s missteps in order to get there together and with PEACE the reward and beacon of our triumph?