I thought I was a pretty good person, a decent individual. I consider myself a giver with an open heart. I would much rather tend to the needs of others than satisfy my own comforts.
It turns out though that I might just be a horribly selfish human being. And the worst part is that not only am I selfish, but completely ignorant to it.
Until now. I’m starting to see glimpses of the horror that lies at the root of unconsciousness. And it’s me.
Recently, a friend had said something to me that hurt. You can read about it in my People Like You post. It pierced my heart. I didn’t respond to it right away because my first instinct was to fly off the handle. So I sat with it and rolled it around in my head for a while and then I blogged about it. I thought I had found comfort and closure. That was not the case.
The words still weren’t sitting well with me. Something was still stinging. So, my next logical step was to email my friend and explain how what he had said hurt me and that perhaps we could discuss it.
The response I got was anything but kind. There was a lot of finger pointing. You this, you that. How dare I judge him. He, or so I thought, had turned the whole thing around and put the blame back on me. What the hell???
Without disclosing all the gory details of his email, one poignant note was that he said that I had allowed my pain body to read way too much into his “people like you” comment and that I had been consumed with what I thought was his judgment of me, whereas instead, it had been me judging him.
I hadn’t had words for the “people like you” comment so you can be sure I had no where near coherent words for this.
— blankness —
I’ve spent the last few days thinking not only about this particular “people like you” thing and his email but also about this whole pain body thing. And while I know he would say I’m thinking about it too much and giving it more life to breath, I need to define it – for myself. That is, at least for now, how I need to grow in my understanding of this.
And, the more I think about all of this, I do believe he is absolutely right. He had never, in all of our personal encounters, given me one reason to judge him as bad or as someone who would hurt me. He has, in all honesty, always shown me love and kindness and focus. Yet, my pain body was making up stories based on my past emotional traumas and so, in turn, I was judging him as bad and hurtful. How unfair is that to put that role on somebody who has never once performed it?
The pain body is an entity that wants to live and so, it started feeding. And I kept feeding it because I didn’t even know it lived. Until now.
But the pain still sits there and while I know it exists now I can’t quite find the root of it. I can feel it and I follow it through my body and straight into my heart and the pit of my stomach but knowledge of it doesn’t do anything to lessen the pain.
I went for a long, long walk tonight. It’s an amazing form of meditation for me – I am actually able to find immersion in presence during walks. And often, like today, realizations come to light and I begin to understand.
The pain comes when something feels so good in my life. My pain body tells me that all people will leave me and will hurt me (because I’ve experienced it). So I try to make them stay. It’s a pattern of mine to lose myself in someone else’s ideas and ideals just so that they’ll stay. It can be constricting and suffocating. You like fishing? I’ll fish with you. You like cars? I’ll like cars with you. You want to become a monk? I’ll follow you into solitude. I’ll do whatever you want…just don’t leave me. But the inevitability of it is that everyone will always leave at some point and what’s left will always be me. And, somehow, I need to find a way to be enough.
But how? How do I become enough? By ending the selfishness. It sounds absurd but hear me out…or at least hear Eckhart Tolle out:
Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.
And this is exactly how I am being judgmental and selfish. My emotional traumas spin falsehoods and cast blame making me expel distrust and judgement and insecurity out into the world. Isn’t it true that we reap what we sow? So wouldn’t it make sense that if I’m sowing blame and judgement that that is what I will end up reaping?
What is it that I truly want? I want love. I want freedom. I want joy. If those are the things that I truly, truly want then that is what I must start giving to the world, unconditionally.
The abundance of this is astounding to me. I’ve been so selfish – and I’m sorry…I didn’t know.