You need pleasure; this is a fact of life. How you get this pleasure is irrelevant when you are just a child; you have to get it anywhere you can. When your home is a war zone, war becomes pleasurable.
At some point you have realized the folly of this tactic and have strived and strived and strived to find another way, with some success. And, when life fails you, which it does because it is life, you resort to your old ways. War.
It is easy to find an enemy. “They” are everywhere. Human beings, in all of their imperfection, give you plenty about which to hate, complain, attack, perseverate. This energy system takes on a life of its own and travels the well-worn paths of your system.
The fact that you now “know better” makes the ammunition more brutal. You hate with a new passion. You have abandoned yourself and you know you are the cause of your misery. This has you ramp up the attack of the other.
The words you have learned to soothe yourself seem to inflame the situation. They do not ring true.
Meditation feels like torture. Another reminder of what a failure you are, what a farce all of this is, how there is no real solution.
A “real” tragedy occurs somewhere in the world. You look around and see the many, many blessings that have been bestowed upon you, and you wail in even deeper despair. The fear that, if you are not grateful for what you have, then it will all be taken away, has you pray even harder, more feverishly.
Your prayers are met with an emptiness that feels so real, familiar, painful. You have convinced yourself that you were a fool to have believed, even for one moment, that you could be different.
Resigned, you go cold. It doesn’t matter; nothing does really. We live, we die, the earth is being destroyed, what difference does it make? Get what you can while you can.
The face of Elie Wiesel, peering out from his bunk in the concentration camp, comes to mind. A roar from deep within clears your muddled brain. The courage to live a full life requires something of you. It is not just handed to a random person here and there like a lottery ticket. The courage to face your selfish, pathetic, scared, demanding, hateful self and carry on with kindness, compassion and forgiveness is the work.
Spirit travels on the vibration of feelings. All are welcome. The pain, hate, love, loneliness, courage, powerlessness, longing, fear, vulnerability, each has its place at the table. It is only when we abandon ourselves that these expressions of life stop moving through us and become the vicious cycle of hopelessness.
The key is to stay open, no matter what shows up. A child has to defend against pain; this is a matter of survival. It is our work to grow ourselves up by experiencing the feelings we told ourselves we could not tolerate. This is where life has gotten stuck, frozen, unable to grow.
The freedom to allow “even this,” and not recoil, brings a new energy, creativity, curiosity, faith and willingness to live life on life’s terms.