I don’t know what to say
I don’t know what to say. I don’t even know where to start. I am staring at this brick wall and I am at a loss...is it a wall or is it a path? Do I break it down or do I keep laying the bricks? Or is it both, or is it all things? All at once?
I have been struggling with what to write ever since last week went down. By the time I was going to sit at my computer, my whole body was filled with anxiety about the election results and I was consumed with fear and doubt and confusion and mostly sadness. Mostly just so much sadness.
I pause. I am not a political person. I never really have been. There are times I want to be and this was one of them but generally speaking, I take the fifth. And I take the fifth because I am not well versed, I literally JUST subscribed to the New York Times and I know, that’s a liberal lean but it’s a start. I have always identified with the politics of my parents and will admit I have a very basic understanding of any of it in the first place. I am so historically unpolitical that even now I have a low grade fear in writing about it.
But I have to. I mean I have to because the thing is, right now is calling for something beyond political. Right now is calling for something other than democrat or republican. Right now is calling to the better angels of our nature. Right now is calling for human kindness. Something I know we are all, every single one of us capable of.
And as a human I am scared, I am confused, I am angry, I am confronted with things I did not want to believe still existed. But they do, my god they do and so once again I find myself sad. Sad because I do not understand some very common human behaviors. Sad because other than survival I do not understand how we can kill each other so cavalierly. I do not understand why someone’s skin, sexual preference, sexual identification, bank account or - fill in the prejudice here - justifies killing one another. Justifies saying hateful awful things to one another. Justifies hanging a brother or sister human being from a tree. Justifies shooting a brother or sister human being point blank with no real threat. Justifies raping, beating, spitting on, dehumanizing, or de-valuing anyone at any time.
I can’t accept this. I literally can’t accept this and yet I know it exists out there. And it feels hard to write about for two reasons. 1) the horror of it all, and 2) I do not know how to change it. I do not have a clue. It feels so huge I don’t even know where to start. so I watch myself become paralyzed with disgust and fear and back to the extreme sadness. And then I do nothing. And I have this sneaking suspicion that is a small example of how we got here in the first place. But I don’t know.
And it just hurts my heart so much because, well because I love people. I love what people are capable of. These hearts that pump blood through our veins, these lungs that take in oxygen, these bodies that hold our uniquely beautiful souls that exist in every one of us. And I believe in people and the capacity for love and growth and expansion that lies inherent in our very existence. We are an evolutionary tribe and even though I sometimes can not see how, I truly believe we are always evolving and always growing in love.
And no heart, not one person's heart or soul is inferior to anyone else's. No matter what we believe or what we don’t. No matter what the circumstances were or the lack of loving that may or may not have led to behaviors that create some place inside of fear and survival and allow for people to fall into the illusion that it is safer to kill, safer to say hateful things to each other, safer to protect by repelling instead of stopping to listen and to care and to remain as open as possible.
I would be lying if I said that no part of me understands these reactions. Some part of me truly does. Some part of me is always tempted to build that wall because some part of me believes it’s safer. But then I am alone, behind it, not letting anyone in, not able to receive that thing that I want the most: connection, loving, myself reflected in you. Can I break down this wall? Can I break down this wall and build, brick by brick, a path to an unconditionally compassionate and loving world? Can I at least try?
I do not understand how this place works. I don’t know for sure what happens when we die. I have no clue. I don’t know if there is a God and if there is, in what form this God or Higher Power or energy comes. I have thoughts about this that make me feel better but I actually do not know and I couldn’t even begin to pretend like I do.
But here’s what I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt, politics aside: people who are secure in themselves and their inherent loving nature do not treat other people poorly.
Bully’s are bully’s because they are insecure in themselves. And all of this is something that is being acted out in our outer world because somewhere in all of us it is happening inside. When I experience upset and jealousy and hatred it is because there are parts of me inside that hate myself. I’ll own it, I have and sometimes still do hate myself. And when I don’t understand this place or why this world is like this and why things are unfair, I drink too much and I numb out and I hate myself more. And from here, I have seen myself be mean I have seen myself hurt myself and hurt others.
And I’m not dumb, I know this is easy for me to say from my spiritually based job in my west hollywood apartment. I am a white woman from the upper west side of manhattan, I have not had to struggle very much in my life. I have had my own internal struggles, believe me. Being a woman, developing breasts at age 9 which somehow gave men permission to jerk off in front of me on the train, being told to eat me every day on my walk home and then developing into a heavier set woman who faces society standards about body image every moment of every day and what not, it’s a kind of struggle.
And everyone’s struggles are everyone’s struggles and equally deserving of empathy and love. But I am not worried about my life because of my skin color. I am worried about my right to have an abortion, but I also have access to birth control and education. I am not worried about being shipped off and asked to leave a place I know as home. I am not worried about my children being handed fake deportation slips at school because their little schoolyard friends have been taught that this is ok. I am not worried about being taunted and vilified for my religious affiliation or lack thereof. I know I live in a bubble, a big Californian sunset bubble. and I know that so much of the world is not there with me.
Last Tuesday when this was all happening I had an appointment with my body healer lady (see california bubble). She’s amazing. And she held for me and as I got on her table I said if this mother fucker is going to be my president I am going to use ALL of this for my maximum growth and healing. And I cried and I wept and I wailed. I was letting out all of the fear and grief from lifetimes of this human conduct, this mistreatment, this againstness, this killing, this making wrong, this making less than so that I can kill you. How can people treat each other in this way? I don’t and I have never ever understood it. I don’t know what to say to people, I don’t know how to look at people, I don’t know how to do anything but cry. So I cried and cried and cried.
And then, and then the sky opened up and I realized the reason this is happening is because so many of us, myself included, are living, deeply ensconced in the seat of self-loathing. I have been successfully clawing my way out of it for years thanks to my own personal spiritual examinations and many are with me in this, but others, so many others are not. So many others have no context for anything to make them feel better, there are no better thinking thoughts. Because when we are ensconced in this self-loathing, it grows. And when we are ensconced in self-loathing we get scared and we act out. It’s in our humanness. It’s who we are as animals. And we are animals.
I sat up. I sat up and I get it. I don’t get a lot but I get this. And I will work towards eradicating all of my inner self-loathing because it always ALWAYS starts with us. But while I do this I will also work on helping others do the same. I will promote radical self-love and acceptance at all costs. There are no more excuses for us to not be kind to each other or us to not listen to each other. There are no more excuses to ignore certain societal norms that go against the very grain of the thing that pumps through each and every one of our systems.
There is only room for kindness. Only Kindness.
And I don’t know how to tell someone who’s child has been murdered to be only kind. I can’t. But I can be kind. And I can’t tell everyone to be kind all the time to all the people. But I can be kind. I can. And I will. and this is my pledge. This is my revolution. This is my reaction. And it’s not political, and I am sure it has plenty of holes and I know there is still so much I do not know and do not understand. But this is what I have to hold onto. This is what I choose to believe in.
This is my political affiliation, my religion of choice, my answer in the face of everything. It does not mean I am turning a blind eye. in fact it inspires me to try and be kind in the most radical of places. It does not mean I know how to fix any of this or repair these great divides people are talking about because I really truly don’t. It doesn’t even mean I know what to do with my own life let alone the life of this country or this world. But it does mean from this moment on my intention is to make this my number one reaction to anything that is happening outside of me and anything that is happening inside of me.
I will break down that wall as best I can, I will disassemble it with all the love in my heart and I will lay it back down with the same love. Love will be the salve that dissolves it as a wall and binds it together as a path. A path to a gentler, kinder future for all of us.
So I guess that is what I have to say and I know that this is where I am going to start.