Saturday, 22 January 2011

Day 10. 1 Confession.

I've thought long and hard about this - should it be big? Should it be trivial? Funny? Serious?

In the end, I simply decided that it should be real.

My confession:

I don't want the life I have. If the Angel of Death came down right now and offered me his hand, I would bargain for at least a week to clean up my room, sort out funeral arrangements, burn my half-assed diaries, give away my belongings, and get the hell out. Actually, for a personal reason, I would see if he would let me hang around till after mid-March, then I'd be all his.

Why? Because on most days, my life feels like it has been a complete and utter waste.

Now, before the God or New Age squads start - shut it. Really. Because all you have to offer are platitudes; nothing in your relentlessly 'love and light' worlds, whether Jesus-based or 'suffering is an illusion' or 'life is a gift'-based, helps - at all. Neither does the Wayne Dyer, 'Law of Attraction', CBT 'change your thoughts' New Age shit. None of it. It might change things for a day, or a week, but because it never reaches the depths, the feeling comes rushing back. And whilst it may be factually, Myers-Briggs 'S' true, the practical "It's what you've got, babe," doesn't help either.

Let's be brutally honest: those soothing platitudes are more about you than about the person who's feeling the pain - all parroted rules/thoughts that you mouth at these moments because feelings like this make you panic and you have to push them away: so you're unable to be real, to be with the person in that moment. That is where G-d, Spirit, Source is, not in your precious little 'Jesus loves you'/'Well, change your thoughts and the world will change!' chirpy moments.
Keep them away from me, please.

Love from friends? That DOES help, because it's real, because it makes me aware that my life has made a difference to others - because I think loving and being loved is the ONLY reason for being here. Not only that, it's only recently that I've started being able to *feel* love when it is offered. That is always welcome. But though that eases the emptiness and sense of waste, it still hovers in the background, waiting to pounce.

There's only one thing to be done: pull a Pema Chodron and sit with it, breathing deeply, letting it be what it is. Embrace it. Love it.

The first thing that comes up for me is that my life has been 'trivial', and thus has been a failure. I haven't had a major career; I haven't saved lives; I haven't made the world a better place - all of which would have been a way to mitigate, or even nullify, what feels like the biggest failure: not having a husband and children of my own.

*Breathe* Under the surface.

Obviously, I'm not special enough or pretty enough or glamorous enough or sparkly enough or high-maintenance in your face enough or lovable enough to be THE person that is the most important someone in another person's life. The supportive one through various things, maybe, but not THE one.

*Breathe deeply* And again. Further.

I am fucking SICK TO DEATH of being happy for everyone else, watching their lives motor past mine, especially since quite a lot of the time, I don't think they should be marrying whoever it is they're marrying, having children, whatever.

*Breathe* And dive.

I am utterly weary of living my life without integrity, and even more, watching those around me, especially those I love, do the same. Just recently (and repeatedly), I have wanted to grab a close friend and say to him, "LISTEN TO YOURSELF!! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING AND *WHY* ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOURSELF???" Then I realised that if I did it to him, I would have to do it to myself. I'm utterly tired of remaining silent about practices around me that go so deeply against my values, I feel ill thinking about them. I am utterly weary of knowing what I know about 'pillars of society' that make me barely able to look at them. I am weary of remaining silent to 'protect others'. All I want to do is be real, speak up and let the chips fall where they may.

*Breathe*...and dive

My life is way too small. I need more depth, more challenge, more abundance, more freedom. My life is the life of a survivor. Work is way too small - I find admin soul-deadening; there are so many things I do better. Money is tight. The space I live in is too small. Church/religion is too small, and in some ways, diametrically opposed to my spirituality - I am about relationship; in so many ways, it feels like most religious people are about avoiding it. It's running out of air. The way I'm living my spirituality feels twisted, dislocated.


I can see a young me panicking and thinking, "Nobody loves me!" Even then, I felt like a commodity to be used for other people's needs.

*Deep, deep breath* - and as deep as one can go...

God doesn't love me; God is just using me for His purposes - He doesn't give a fuck about me as long as He gets what He wants out of my life for His precious little pattern. Life is just a vehicle: for parents to have little extensions of themselves and feel grown up; for leaders to use as fodder to further their own ends; for others' needs/pleasure. Fuck it.

God can't be trusted. Life is to be borne. And if you, like my parents, gave me life just to further your own ends/feed your own ego - then you, my Lord, can go fuck yourself. I'm not going to make it easy for you.

And beneath that, a pain beyond words.


*Eyes snap open in utter shock*

Oh. I had no idea.

But finally, at long last, I'm honest. With myself and with G-d. And it's only from here that healing and real relationship can start.

Because I know, from the preciousness and depth of the close relationships that I do have, which must mirror that first relationship with G-d, that's not true. As I read what's above it, I know those are not true either, not completely - I have examples from my own life and those around me to know that, though feeling it is a different matter.

From this thought -
"This is an ordinary moment, and it is totally rocking. I love my peops, where I am and what I'm doing right now, simple as it is" - I know life for the incredible gift that it is.

But that does not invalidate this feeling or make it unworthy of acknowledgment. This pain is part of the whole and worthy of being loved - this pain, like love, is home.

So I turn to the Angel of Death - of whom I will never be afraid, and to whom I will ever be closer to than my own breath - hold him close for a moment, then step away. As I do so, I say:

"No, not yet. Much have I been, but even more have I yet to be and love here. As Gibran said,

Only another breath will I breathe in this still air, only another loving look cast backward,
Then I shall stand among you, a seafarer among seafarers.
And you, vast sea, sleepless mother,
Who alone are peace and freedom to the river and the stream,
Only another winding will this stream make, only another murmur in this glade,
And then shall I come to you, a boundless drop to a boundless ocean.

But another winding has this stream to make - perhaps short, perhaps long, but its journey to the sea must be complete, not cut short. And I will meet you at the ocean's edge when the time comes - not before, my friend."

Death nods his acquiescence, and if it is possible for Death to look happy, he does - and turns away.

And finally, as Paul on the Summer Tree, I understand the meaning of Death's visit and his offer:

And he understood then, finally: understood that it had to be naked, truly so, that one went to the God. It was the Tree, stripping him down, layer by layer, down to what he was hiding from...Naked or not at all, one went to Mornir. And oh, that was too much for them, too hard to be forced to go into the darkest places then, so weak, so impossibly vulnerable.
But not that night. Because of pride, of pure stubbornness, and because, most surely, of the dog, Paul Schafer found the courage not to turn. Down he went. Arrow of the God. So open the wind could pass, light shine through him. Last door.

And so too, G-d, I choose not to turn - facing you in all my fear, my mistrust, my anger, my vulnerability, my lack of integrity, my certainty that you love me not.

Only this have I left to pray: take me through that last door and bring me into life and love, which alone are real.


Giselle said...

Immediate reaction is selfish. If you died I would miss you terribly. We've only just begun to know each other. My other immediate reaction is anger. I hate that you haven't found some one who loves you. I know as your friend that your loyalty, your depth, your untiring honesty would make you an awesome lover, spouse and parent. I recognize many of my own reactions in yours. I have felt, and still struggle with feeling, that G-d doesn't love me. That I exist as some practical joke. I am deeply sorry that anyone has to feel that. I think also that you are exactly right. G-d doesn't want us to pretend with Him. Jesus doesn't want to be in our highschool clique. We can be real. The good thing about G-d is He isn't insecure. You can't threaten Him. He can take "I hate you. I don't believe in you. Why did you do this to me?" without taking it personally and lashing out. I believe that for some damn reason, unfathomable to me free will is really, really important to G-d. It's important enough that he allows weak, imperfect and even evil people to do things to others that hurt, maim and kill innocents. He even allows them to do things that destroy one's soul inasmuch as possible. For this reason, I think G-d is going to have to give an accounting, at least TO ME as to what the hell was important enough for that? I trust, because it's all I can do, that whatever it is really is worth it. I love you.

Cloister said...

You are pretty amazing sometimes, you know that? I loved the honesty and integrity of this post. I do not feel this way, but I have lived with people who have, and the biggest trouble they ever had was admitting it to themselves. You? You have such passion and a love of truth. I wish I could be like that. xxx

Kate said...
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Hazel said...

Oh, hon. I hear you. Don't know what else to say just now, but I hear you.

Dorothy said...

Oh, hun, I'm so very sorry you're struggling.

I'm just in shock reading this.

I don't want to offer you platitudes, "Jesus Loves Me" type hymns or condescending pats on the head or anything of the sort. I do, however, want you to know that, to many of us, you are so much more than you see in yourself.

I don't see your life as small at all. You have an awareness, an intelligence and a sensitivity that has reached across the ocean.

I think I understand that idea of feeling as though you haven't done enough. But I'm floored to hear that from you because you've done SO much. People on another continent turn to you to help sort through their problems and you're FANTASTIC at it.

I know you want more--that you deserve more. In conversation, the phrase that most often follows your name is, "She's awesome." You absolutely deserve to be valued, understood and loved by those around you because it's true, you really are awesome.

I don't know what to say about your relationship with G-d. I think we all need to battle our own demons and yell and scream at, thank, argue with, and pray to G-d to figure out our own relationships. And I know full-well you're doing just that.

What I can tell, you, though, is that, in all sincerity, I thank G-d for crossing our paths.

Kate said...
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Kate said...

Dearest Irim,
firstly, what is this about ‘not being under the illusion that my thoughts mean anything to anyone other than myself’? That is very unfair and deeply inaccurate and I suspect most people who read it would agree. Humph. Ok, that said…

So here is my response to your post, I hope it is helpful – I have tried not to offer any platitudes at all, and I may not have responded at all had you not explicitly asked for response- I know from my own experience that sometimes you just need to be heard – not offered responses. So I hear you. And I am now responding.

The first thing that struck me while and after reading it was this: you are judging yourself and your life so far, against a ruler that does not and cannot, ever exist. You feel your life is trivial because no matter what you do, who you ‘save’, how many people’s lives you enrich, it will never ever be enough. It is like a never-ending race – you see the finish line, stretch for it, and as you pass it realize there is one more lap to go. No matter how many people you touch just by living and being yourself, you will never value it enough when judging it against this measure.

This ruler against which you measure yourself and your life so harshly is I suspect, partly constructed from beliefs about the world and yourself given to you by your parents, partly from beliefs given to you about the world and yourself from religious dogma but mainly it is given to you by yourself. I think that the belief you hold about your value and most significantly about your ‘purpose’ is so deeply ingrained that it serves as the foundation for everything you experience, want, desire and tell yourself you ought to ‘be’. Moreover, I think it has been easier for you to maintain these beliefs than challenge them fully. Of course the most crazy thing about all of this is that those beliefs about yourself and your reasons for being, are completely and utterly wrong. They are just wrong.

We are not put on earth to help other people. That is not the purpose of life. Neither is it to be responsible for other people in any way – it is not your duty to show others where they are going wrong, how they can better their lives. It is not your responsibility to stop corruption, to ensure other people’s integrity, to ‘protect others’ or not. In truth? I don’t think you have any responsibility unless you choose to take it on. God did not put you on earth to do His dirty work. He is not ‘just using (you) for His purposes’. You are doing that. God will not love you any more if you work as a therapist every day for your entire life and ‘save’ the lives of a hundred suicidal people than if you decided to sit back, watch TV and live on state benefits paid by other people working. S/He would love you all the same Irim. He would love you exactly and completely equally.

So the question is: knowing that God will love you unconditionally, whether you were a murderer or a doctor saving lives, what do you want? Because to God, and to your friends, you are the being that is loved, not what you do, who you protect, whose work you take on, how many people you help or don’t help. You, as you are, without any qualifications or a million, without a penny or as a millionaire, as a therapist or as a selfish greedy asshole, it really makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. The only difference it makes is to the experience of life you have. So what do you want to experience? Fuck every other single thing and follow that.

Love Kate x

CEAD said...

Trying this again... I still have no idea what happened to my first comment. This will be longer because I have more time.

For whatever it's worth, you are the most important person in my life, and you have been almost from the moment we first went to Bombay together. Hands down. You have done so much for me, been there through so much shit. I have no idea - really, no idea - where or who I would be today if it were not for you, and frankly I'm afraid to wonder about it too hard because I'm bloody sure it wouldn't be pretty. Your friendship is probably the greatest gift life has seen fit to offer me.

You are the most amazing person I know. Brilliant, intuitive, incisive, empathetic, beautiful, compassionate, interesting, impossibly generous... only the best and most superlative of adjectives work for you. You were put together on an epic scale.

That might be all I can say, really, although I wish I could say more. But it breaks my heart that you don't realise how important you are, to how many people. Look at the comments here... you mean a lot to so many of us, you've touched so many of us - and clearly we haven't been holding up our end of the deal, because if we were, you would realise it. We love you. We would miss you horribly if you left us. (I mean, if you did, I would not judge you, but I'd still be devastated, and I really don't know what I'd do without you.)