One More Time, with Empathy

Because of my decision about writing this unedited, I’m not even going to read what I wrote yesterday. It left me with a feeling, or a series of feelings, that require me to jump in with empathy, which I am feeling wasn’t particularly present towards myself, towards society or towards the process.

Between my family, society, timing and natural proclivities, I quickly and fully became immersed in the idea that my way to receive reliable love was to do something, to do it well, to do it with distinction (whether speed, creativity, or whatever else) and to “check all the boxes” that my parent/teacher/boss/friends/etc might require of me. I strove to achieve that doing so that I could feel valuable and deserve love. I’m not alone in this. It’s pretty common. The details of the stories vary, but literally hundreds of millions of us bought the line that the way we’re valued by the world is measured by what we do, our impact and the world’s response. Consequently, we’re in a race to be worthy, trying to meet the markers and always watching those markers move. That’s because they’re just outer reflections of the single marker within us, the thing we’re really supposed to pay attention to and the thing we already have, we’ve nothing to achieve.

Now, it’s not particularly easy to transition to “Inherent Worth” in a society not only based on “doing” but on “fast” and “flair” and “fancy.” For me, it has taken more than a decade and I’ve still only got a fragile hold.

It’s also pretty common to blame the old person and the old mindset for being wrong. Not a whole lot of compassion in that view. We’re growing, changing, evolving beings. In order to evolve and grow, we have to change states. it’s the natural process. And I’m pretty sure there’s not a tree in the forest that thinks the sapling was an embarrassment.

So this process of slowing down, this process of valuing life itself as it arises, this process of recognizing patterns that don’t serve and releasing them – it’s a process that is best served with a double helping of empathy, of self-compassion, of gentle kindness: that’s the productive method, that’s the natural method, that’s the method I want to realize, embody and express. But sometimes I fall behind. Sometimes for decades, sometimes for blog posts. Six of one…

I am infinitely glad that my life has forced me in a few directions I never would have gone by my own mental propulsion. In the experience of these changes, I recognize underlying mindsets I blindly followed in my old pursuits. Kindof like Josie notices now that wearing cat ears everywhere is kinda weird, whereas at 7 it seemed pretty darn cool. To judge the 7 year old doesn’t make much sense. What a sad and backwards habit. And in recognizing that, maybe we laugh and quit judging and move on.

This flawed human? This person who thought multitasking would earn me love? This is the same person who resented being alive Рwho felt it would be better to be on some other plane without the general mullarky of life on earth. who felt that the body was just something to cart my thinking mind around. That my thinking mind was what was going to lead me out of the wheel of karma, of samsara, of the miseries of human life.  My faulty assumptions and cultural understandings were mindnumbingly misguided. It makes me so sad. But mostly, it makes me want to develop a culture that steers young souls clear of such misunderstandings. That offers young souls a view of life wherein they are whole and the universe is friendly and we are all One, with each other, with the earth, with the many opinions in our own mind.

Unity. That’s where it’s at. And it’s a travesty that we teach anything else. The sheer volume of kids who feel lost, unloved, that there’s no path forward. If I could do anything, if, of all the many ills facing our society, I could impact one thing, that’s the thing I would hope to influence. That the truth of the love of Life Itself is pulsing through each of us all the time, and that we have the opportunity to express our own unique take on it, and lots of other good things I don’t even understand yet.

way past time. but this is going to get more attention.


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