well… homestretch. i find this oddly exhilarating. kind of scary. but also kind of a relief. and i’m actually a little surprised i’ve stuck with it.
kindly. kindly. but no less insistent. i’d give myself a cookie, but there are none here. ok. enough of that.
16. It is hard not to be disturbed by external conditions and circumstances.
this one, i’m ambivilant toward. most of the hard things in life have not been… hard… i credit the odd strength and tenacity and will power. the things i can’t take credit for because i have no idea why i even have them.
on the other hand, the things that ARE hard for me rarely have to do with external conditions and cirumstances and more to do with my own frustration for not being able to shift myself in ways that would make those things less bothersome on those occasions when they are so.
hmm. examples. ok.
i’ve been homeless three times in my life. and in those moments, it didn’t phase me at all. it was just another moment to endure and then, move past.
i’ve been abused in just about every way you can think of, and very likely a few you never would. and in THOSE moments, it never occurred to me to be disturbed by them. i was too busy getting through them to spend cycles thinking on how i should feel or react to them. no distance from which to intellectualize.
most of the things that are disturbing to me about conditions and circumstances are coming to terms with them after the fact. which is funny and sad and ironic… because it completely avoids one small realization… two, really…
the first is — once they’re past, i don’t really need to come to terms with them. they are no more. they only matter to the extent i choose to allow them to do so.
the second is — if i did manage to do all this thinking in the moment, i’d probably never move past the moment.
but not really. this just points to the fact that i’m way too attached to it all. which is precisely why it is hard to avoid being disturbed by conditions and circumstances, now isn’t it?
the jaws of the logic trap spring shut… but i’ve already yanked my ankle clear. or have i? traps within traps… infinity spent flinching back just in time? or will i ever reach a point where i can actually see they don’t exist?
sometimes, i can almost see it. but the metallic sound of the trap being sprung is hard to ignore.
ok. full stop. pull myself from all the past and settle into this moment. here. now. typing. the conditions and circumstances of now… ponder them a moment. nope. actually. don’t do that. isn’t that the point?
17. It is hard to teach others by knowing their abilities.
this one stumps me. i’m no teacher. and for all the things i do see in others, i’m not so sure i want to try to say i ‘know’ anything of them. least of all their abilities. seems presumptive. arrogant.
and yet — i realize that, from day to day, i act and react based on all those presumptions and arrogant judgings, don’t i? and, for all my insistence otherwise, i very much do try to help others and teach them where, in any moment, i feel there is something i can help them with by the trying.
i suppose that may, itself, be arrogant. to assume i have anything whatever to ‘teach’ another.
i don’t suppose i ever quite make it to the realization that it is hard to teach others by knowing their abilities because so often, i get stuck on the notion that it is possible to know much of anything.
this and i’m too busy assuming on those abilities to ever make the effort to actually know them before trying.
ouch. fuck. OUCH.
i dunno… all this self-honesty is kind of… harsh. but you know what? i need that, i think. i am sitting here feeling very… nothing. which is good. which is nothing. hah. oh boy. deliberately dispassionate, just looking at things and seeing them (or admitting i cannot yet)… and not letting myself get away with a damned thing.
well, except those things i can’t see at all yet. but i’ll find those fuckers too… eventually… and when i do… growl.
18. It is hard to maintain a peaceful mind.
hmm. now here is a weirdness… i actually feel as if i have a peaceful mind. so much of what happens here never really touches the core of mind.
hmm. that isn’t going to make sense, is it? or is it? should i try to explain? would it seem arrogant? i am sorry if it does. this is me writing to myself and only on occasion to i remember that you might be reading. like now.
i think to explain it to you, but really, i’m just explaining it to myself. if you get something out of it, that’s wonderful… but honestly, sadly, truly, i’m just talking to myself. i do care for you, whomever you are (and as odd as that sounds, i really do mean it)… it’s just… right now… i’m being very selfish and i’m not sure i can explain things the way i likely should. forgive me.
ok. reorienting. peaceful mind.
generally speaking, i have a very peaceful mind. it’s the rest of me that is shot to shit. heh. the part of me that thinks rarely permits stray thought, hunts down and dispatches the ones that do show up, and is really quite amazing at keeping something of a cerebral sonar active at all times.
blip. blip. blip. ping. target acquired.
when i am not of peaceful mind, it is wholly self-inflicted. right now, here, in this moment, i am deeply peaceful. just letting all of this flow from my head, down my arms, through my fingers, and onto this ‘page’.
is it hard to keep a peaceful mind? not when i remember these things.
how often do i do so? not nearly enough.
the kindness to myself here? i’m trying. trying is ‘good’. heh. some day, i won’t need to discriminate. until then, gently, being ‘good’ when i can.
19. It is hard not to argue about right and wrong.
well now. the only reason it’s so hard not to argue about right and wrong is that i want others to be right.
well, no. not really laughing. and not really meaning that. i DO want others to be right. but not MY idea of right. but… hmm… isn’t that, by definition, MY idea of right?
metallic spring. didn’t get out of it this time. bleh.
ok. deep breath. doing this.
it is hard not to argue about right and wrong because, in all my ego and pride, sometimes i think i actually know what is right.
the arrogance of trying to set my right on another is a stupidity i too frequently indulge.
it’s interesting. think about this, woman… their right would be just as easy to embrace and have the precise same result (unity, harmony, etc.) so why aren’t I giving in to THEM?
what would be faster and less painful for all concerned? me trying to chase them down and browbeat them into accepting what i think is right, or giving in to their ‘right’?
why do i even make a distinction?
is there a distinction? really?
hah. i feel like morpheus, “is that air you’re breathing? hm. (thoughtful look)”
i’m beginning to see the outline of indistinction. and have fuzzy sense of what it might be to not distinguish. and conceptualizing how and why loss of discrimination is necessary to truly benefit others.
i don’t know if i can do this. really. it feels like arrogance to say i can. so i don’t. instead, i’ll just say i can almost see it. maybe that’s not too much. maybe.
20. It is hard to find and learn a good method.
wow. 20. i actually made it. pardon me while i collapse.
well, let’s see, it’s easy to admit to the truth in this one. i’m in my early 40’s and only now am i beginning in any way to learn anything. took me this long to find something. so… yeah. admitted. accepted. it IS hard to find and learn a good method.
it is hard mostly because i didn’t want to find one. what i wanted until now was to have it easy. not to have to work at it. to have it magical and special and me somehow attuned to it naturally. effortless. hah.
isn’t that ironic? we’re all Buddha. we’re all one. we’re all connected, indistinguishable, the same, united in every way. we’re all attuned to it naturally. the only reason it isn’t effortless is this obsession with self, ego, and existing.
oh sure. it’s easy to SAY.
here i sit, on christmas day. alone. miles away from anyone who might care. writing about all the stupidity and ignorance and willfulness and blindness of myself.
all around me, others are loving and caring for one another. there is part of me that wishes i could have that.
but there is also part of me that understands that, in this effort, i already do have it.
why am i doing this? why have i spent all these hours at it?
i want to learn. i want to love. everyone. i want to be a better person so i can benefit others. really benefit THEM.
i was raised a baptist. this time of year in that tradition is supposed to celebrate the arrival of someone who existed only to help others.
i guess this is my stupid way of trying to find the way to that kind of help. realizing that i am utterly hopeless until i help myself. realizing that in order to ever help anyone else, i must first overcome all this self-ness. selfishness.
it is hard to find and learn a good method. but maybe… just maybe… i’m finally starting.