Day 245 - Resigning from the Human Race.
Yep. I am done. (I do realize that I am saying this a lot). I can’t belong any longer to a group of people who so mistreat each other. I just can’t.
Yesterday was a hard day for me. I have been swirling the emotional drain with all of the racial outrage and social unrest. I was already on edge with the deadly virus. I continue to be shocked and amazed by how we treat each other. It is as if we all cannot see each other in spirit form. It is psychically painful for me.
I will give you an example...
I do not eat meat of any kind. No food with a face. It isn’t because I am an animal lover (which I am), it isn’t because I am super healthy (anyone who has observed me with sugar and/or diet vanilla zero can attest to that), it isn’t because it is trendy. I became a vegetarian at 13. If I am honest, it was partly to rebel against my dad. I knew it would irritate him and I was totally right. Mission accomplished. I also did it because I was a teen and outraged at the fur industry and was a card caring member of PETA for a couple of decades. It wasn’t because I couldn’t stand the taste of meat, I found it super appetizing and it was a huge sacrifice when I gave it up.
But really and truly the reason I am still a vegetarian all these years later is because I cannot not see the spiritual being on my plate. The being that was before looms large over any meal I might eat and I cannot unsee it. I don’t want to be this way. I just am this way. I cannot disassociate from the process of what happened to the animal before it came to be in front of me as dinner. I do not feel like you should also do this, in fact, it is kinda of pain in the ass to not be able to check out and eat a bacon cheeseburger (those are fucking delicious). It is just not how I am wired. I see the beast and I can’t magically unsee it just because it is presented to me in a different form. All I can think of is that animals that lays before me as a meal was once a vibrant being that loved and lived. I cannot unsee that. Which, I am sure you can imagine, makes it super hard to eat it.
Now let me return to humans and no, I am not going to do something weird here where I cannibalize. But I have to say that I have been given the gift or curse depending on how you look at it...that I cannot unsee your spirit. You present to me in different shapes and forms and skin and personality or lack thereof. You are you but I see your essence. And often, I really don't want to.
Now I do not see this all the time. Sometimes I just see you are an asshole or pissing me off. But lately I cannot unsee you confusion, your sadness, your fear. Believe me sometimes I wish I could just think you are a total jerk and move the fuck on.
However, whatever my plight, it remains that I have to see you. Really see you and I cannot tell myself a story any longer that we are different, that I am better (or worse). We are just people who get it right, who get it wrong, who fuck it up and fix it. Repeatedly.
Yesterday I watched the video where the man walked up to the other man and the approached man heard something the other man said and he put his hands on this speaking man and shoved him. The speaking man lost his balance and fell. He hit his head and blood immediately began to appear on the concrete beneath his head. The speaking man was now no longer speaking, mission accomplished. The approached man walked by with a look of irritation on his face. The other men that were with the approached man, walked by too. I don’t know what they did after that...I couldn’t watch anymore.
Then I watched a video of people looting in Los Angeles. I have stayed away from watching this because it makes me afraid. It pains me to watch people grabbing all they can. I saw all these people running in and out of the store and all I could wonder is if I would do the same thing if I were there. Would I take advantage? Would I loot because I could? There was no one there to stop me and there were lots of people encouraging the process. I would love to tell you that I could give you an answer that was 100% no. But that would be a lie. I do not know what I would do...fucked up I know.
But as I watched, I thought about these people's frustration and rationalization over what they were doing. They had reasons in their head that told them that it was ok, even though every single one of these people with products in their hands that they didn’t pay for had a nervous look on their faces. Their faces belied their actions. You could see in their posture and stance that they knew what they were doing was wrong. I saw them run in and out, sometimes coming back for more because they couldn’t carry all of their loot. I saw the crazy energy that abounded. I saw the grasping as if five boxes of sneakers that they didn’t have to pay for would fix them. That somehow something that comes in a box would save them. Boy, I could relate to that.
While I watched the looting, I thought of all the other people who were affected by their actions. The employees of the business who were out of a day’s pay. The managers who would have to clean up the gigantic mess. The store owners who would have to make up the loss somewhere and likely on the backs of the most vulnerable people they employ. I could see that everything that was happening there affected me too. I sat in my nice home, miles away from all the crazy making and I saw that I too was looted of my most basic feeling of safety. That I too have grabbed at tangible things when I felt unsafe. That my result was just as unskilled as theirs.
I then talked to a friend of mine whose cancer is getting worse. He cried, I cried. When I hung up the phone I sobbed. I just love this man. He is a wonderful human. He is suffering and his suffering hurts me. It really does and I cannot escape it. I just have to let it destroy me for as long as it needs to. Then I begin to move on, changed from the person I was just minutes before.
My daughter heard me crying and came running in. She threw herself around me and held me while I cried. This made me cry harder because I should be the one comforting her in this uncertain time, not the other way around. But I just didn’t have it in me yesterday. I took her comfort and was grateful that I had such an amazing kid.
When I got done with all the upset, I decided that I wanted to resign from the human race. I want to start another race that isn’t really a race. It would be more of an abiding living. Where all beings present themselves in their most vulnerable form. And instead of taking advantage of this or exploiting it, I relate it to my own most tender life. It was here that I realized that there is no resignation that would be effective or even worthwhile. I just have to continue to be human. Unlike vegetarianism, I don’t just get to decide to not participate. I am human, therefore I suffer. Same as you. Neither of us can get around that.
Then I realized that perhaps I might be better able assist if I channeled this frustration, despair and despondency into what I really know to be true:
We all suffer. It is our nature to suffer.
There is a cause to our suffering.
There is a way to end suffering.
The best and most helpful, skillful use of my life is to hold this in everything I do and to endeavor to use this life of mine to awaken and help others do the same.
And to realize that we all miss the boat. We all screw it up. Men shove men and other men are injured. People take things that aren’t theirs because they are afraid. I can relate to all those people. Every one of them. The one who was shoved, the one who shoved, the one who took things she had no right to and the ones who had things taken from them.
Whether I like it or not, I am them. All of them. Which means that I am going to have to live a different way because resigning from my humanness isn’t an option.
So instead, I am going to try to carry a message of hope and love. I am going to give it to every one regardless of whether or not I think they are worthy. I am going to remember that it is often the people who present as the most unloveable that need the love the most. I am going to work really fucking hard to remember that.