Today I awoke with a feeling like a road sign flashing in my head – STOP, GO BACK! While I showered, ate breakfast and interacted with my family I was aware of a strange undertone within me. I looked around at the signs; Today we were going to a birthday party, yesterday on the subway everyone sang happy birthday to a fellow passenger, I spoke to my husband about his birthday next week, and I remembered a few other friends who celebrate their birthdays today and tomorrow. It must mean that change/rebirth is on its way. ‘Yay!’ or rather ‘Oh shit!’ I have been here before, CHANGE, and this is usually when I begin to self sabotage, but there is no one here but me now. Who can I fight against so that I can loose and go home? There is no outside force like my family, husband, work, school or friends… I have to accept it has been me the whole time, fighting myself at every turn. So I ask myself ‘Can’t I accept that I am not perfect?’ The response…NO! I must hold back from punishing myself for not being perfect.
It’s day 20, so what now? Can Love really help me ? My heart says yes, try and try and you will see. My head says go for blood. Get ME!
I decide I must put myself on trial. What are the charges I stand accused of? I begin the list, it goes on and on; I bit my brother, I told my sister she was not even my real sister, I told my mother to fuck off, I beat up a girl when I was 10, I said a mean thing about someone, I had mean thoughts about someone else, I cheated, I lied, I had an abortion, I drank wine while I was pregnant, I made choices that denied my children certain experiences, I did not always see the best in everyone, and under all of this lies a deeper anguish that I hurt others. I can’t forgive myself for hurting others, nor can I rationalize my way past it. Love wants to throw its arms around me but I cannot accept its embrace. How could I have been so cruel? How could I have not see past my own needs to see those of others? Why couldn’t I hold my tongue? I knew better than that! Love says, “You’re human. It’s ok.” I cannot accept how humans hurt each other. It makes me not want to be human, and therein lies the problem. Maybe I cannot truly accept the hurt that has happened to me and to others whom I love, but now I am trapped because I know that punishing myself will only lead to more punishment. It’s the gift my mother gave me. Her own self-punishment led her to punish me. Why can’t we be perfect? Even Martha Stewart went to jail! Is there no hope? My father used to say, “Only the good die young so you and I will live forever”.
I beg the jury to convict me and the courtroom screams “Hang her!” I’m delighted, I think that soon I’ll be gone and with it the pain I have caused others. That’s what I deserve. But Love looks over, whispers something to the jury, and the courtroom goes quiet. What happened? I see everyone leaving. I run after them begging them to stay but they can’t hear me.
I turn to Love, What did you say?
Me: What do you mean nothing?
Love: You didn’t do anything that wasn’t supposed to happen.
Me: What do you mean?
Love: Your mind tells you that you are separate from everything, but you are not separate, you are neither above nor below but simply a part of it, a part that affects the whole but nevertheless a part. You can never leave. You must accept what is. Winter will come whether you like it or not. Hurricanes will come and destroy what is in their path whether you like it or not. But that hurricane will also bring many things that are beautiful. You cannot change what is, but you can change how you feel about it. Death will come, but so will birth. It is your perception you need to change, and when you do this, you change your reality.
Me: I know this is true even though I don’t like it, that it’s my perception I must change. I must accept that children will be hurt, that war will continue to happen, that people will be mean, but I must also accept that people are kind, that children are safe, that peace is everywhere and most importantly I must accept that everything in the universe is acceptable even if I don’t like it. SO I must end with a heavy heart and accept that is how I feel even if I don’t like it.