it is after midnight, and i am torn between continuing or sleeping and letting this percolate until the morning.
part of me feels somewhat compelled to complete it now. but i chuckle… for this is likely the best sign that i should be exceedingly mindful, and wait… and take it up on the morrow.
so… i relent. 12:15am and to bed with me. what is written beyond this will be so in the morning. i’ll adjust the time stamp as needed.
well, back at it… 6:03am. awake, sprite and a small kink in the neck. must have slept ‘wrong’. heh. anyway. here i go…
11. It is hard to apply oneself to study widely and thoroughly.
ok. of all of these, this is one of two that i simply have never had issue with… perhaps it is hard for others. i really do not know. but it has always been interesting, exciting, and compelling here to study many things and to chase down granularity on things that catch the interest on more than the superficial level.
like science. like philosophy. like psychology. like memetics. like myths. like writing as a science, rather than an art. like Buddhism. like many things. many, many things. heh.
i believe, because this is here, that is it truely a difficulty. but softly and trying very hard (and almost succeeding!) not to feel proud… i have never had this particular one.
of course… now i’m laughing, because it may just as well apply to studying myself and applying that same thoroughness to myself… in which case i would immediately have to cave in, slump and say, ‘oh… yeah… well… when you put it like THAT…’
but the kindness to myself in this comes immediately behind it, equally soft, but loving, ‘but… aren’t you doing that now?’
12. It is hard not to despise a beginner.
when i first read this one, i felt no connection with it whatever.
then i realized the many ways it could apply.
and i felt ashamed of myself, realizing the many connections i could then, immediately make.
contextually, i read this as ‘it is hard not to feel superior to a beginner’… not so much despise as in dislike, but degrade… as in puffing oneself up and saying things like, ‘oh, i remember when *i* was like *that*’ (rolling my eyes at myself… )
now granted, i do not do that often. but i have done it. most times, i manage to avoid it. most. but not all.
it’s odd. the beginners who aren’t angry about being beginners are so easy to be kind to… the ones who are usually just turn me away. or make me want to choke them. i remember what it felt like to be a beginner. hell, i’m a beginner here, now…. very much so.
there’s very little ‘fun’ about being a beginner. usually because there’s always someone out there ready to rub your nose in how little you know. (gee, wonder if that’s because it’s hard not to despise a beginner? hah.)
you know what, there’s another layer to this.
ok. you ever notice how the ‘new guy’ to your group has that moment when he/she says something that the rest of you consider ‘out of line?’ remember how you all, in your own way, made a point of ‘showing them’ that it was out of line?
or… flip it on its head… remember when you were new to group X and there was that time when something you said or did resulted in everyone coming down on you like a ton of bricks?
and you weren’t real sure just what you’d done wrong… but it was oh-so-very-clear that you’d done something wrong?
and you wondered if someone was actually going to tell you or if you were going to have to figure it out on your own?
remember the feeling in that moment? all stupid, lost, confused, not yet angry, just wanting so much to make it right so others wouldn’t think you intended ill… because you didn’t!
oh man. mindfulness. the things we do in the name of enforcing social order are sometimes horrific. group ego is no less ugly than any other.
i’ve been on both sides of this coin. i think we all have. but how often do i really think about it? more importantly — how long will it be before i forget the things i see in this moment?
trying to be kind to myself here… remind myself that i usually do not forget things once i actually do see them clearly. is it optimistic to think i see this one? hmm. uncertain. kind. kind. be kind to myself. ok. no. not optimistic. but i say it with tremulous quaver.
13. It is hard to keep oneself humble.
yes. stars yes. i almost feel like i shouldn’t say another thing.
but of course, i will. because the point of this is setting reminders to myself here. to stop avoiding them just because they’re painful to ego. indeed, to use them to beat that stupid, fucking ego into oblivion.
i am not, in most moments, a humble person. not to anyone looking, that is. i am humble, here, inside. i just don’t know how to be so on the outside, where it matters. (wry look)
the initial reaction is to be defensive. to say, ‘hey! life has kicked me all over the damned place. i have had to lose that willingness to be humble because all it ever gets me is another fucking bruise! who are YOU to tell me i should be humble?’
oh yeah. there it is. defiance. man. all my life, i’ve been screaming defiance to a world that forever seems to want me defenseless and helpless and hurting.
of course, i’ve been defenseless and helpless and hurting because i’m not willing to be humble.
hah. vicious circle. cycle. and a small realization… it is a rare human who wants to hurt the humble. really. shit, woman… think about that a moment. see how ignorant you are.
me talking to myself. stupid thing, i never listen to me. ok. ok. kind. ease up. shit. isn’t this all about listening? am i not doing this precisely because i want to be able to return and read it later, remind myself, listen?
the hardest part about being humble is all the others who want to remind me that i’m not. no. not quite. the hardest part about being humble is finding the way to want to be even when they are wailing on my ego with razor-tipped flails.
being humble is not caring about ego. not caring about self. yeah. that’s hard.
14. It is hard to find good friends.
oh boy. where do i even start on this one? there’s part of me that is just… leaping up and down, eyes like fire, voice ready to scream, ‘HELL YEAH!’
i have been seriously, severely, deeply, and completely descimated by those i wanted very much to call friends.
recently. actually… all this year. all year long. most of it recorded here. most. not all.
it IS hard to find good friends. people who are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt when you’re standing there, covered in shit, red-handed and without excuse.
it IS hard to find good friends who, knowing you guilty, will choose, instead of condemnation and disgust, to just hug you and whisper, ‘it’s ok… i still love you.’
it is hard to find good friends who, that tabled turned, will believe you when you hug them and whisper, ‘it’s ok… i still love you.’
oh. yeah. i do not have enough distance on this year yet to write this without immediately starting to cry. i have lost many friends this year. most of them i never truly knew.
but i have also made many friends this year. most of them i am still getting to know.
the kindness to myself? reminding myself that the new ones i am more gentle with as a result of the ones i’ve lost.
15. It is hard to endure the discipline that leads to enlightenment.
i think they just wrote this one to make you laugh when you reached it. Buddha’s comic relief, a kindness in the midst of what it otherwise a humbling and very difficult process.
so, um, yeah, it is hard to endure the discipline that leads to enlightenment.
no… ok… i give… not enough said. not to keep me in line. hah.
i begin to see why this process is required for me. this insistence on setting all of this here. i begin to turn that strength and tenacity and will power on myself. ouch. ouch.
would i take this from another? hell no.
but i can’t escape myself. well, not yet.
here’s an image for you, if you’d read this far, other than a medal (snirk!) you deserve a laugh. i’m laughing at the image… so here… have it, and laugh with me:
me, standing in a corner, back pressed into it until there’s a perfect angle built around my spine. hands up, defensive, crouching and trying not to fall under the onslaught of…. me… facing myself and relentlessly pressing… insisting… demanding… tone soft, but no less steely for it, ‘you WILL do this. you WILL learn. you WILL face it. you WILL.’
what’s so funny about that?
i don’t exist.