God: Why do you treat yourself so hurtfully?
Ouiser: Because I’m afraid that if I don’t others will. I want to beat them to the punch.
God: But you don’t allow others to treat you that way. You have no reason to fear such treatment.
Ouiser: Well… I want to avoid such experiences.
God: Why, if you know they cannot hurt you?
Ouiser: Because they do hurt. Even if it’s only a temporary hurt. They make me angry. So angry that I scare myself. I don’t like the way I feel, the things I say, when I’m that angry.
God: What are you afraid of?
Ouiser: I’m afraid I will hurt someone in retaliation. I’m afraid…
God: Take your time.
Ouiser: I’m afraid of becoming bitter, of losing my sense of compassion. I’m afraid something inside of me will give up on people, and I will no longer care about anyone, about who I hurt. I will become selfish. I will become, frankly, a nasty, uncaring, unfeeling, selfish, callous bitch.
God: That’s a lot of really awful words there, Ouiser. Where did you learn them?
Ouiser: …From my ex-fiancee. Some of them, from my Mother.
God: I’m sorry, Child. Your wounds are deep. All the more reason you should treat yourself gently.
There it is... that warmth surrounding me. Like a blanket. Like an embrace.
Ouiser: I won’t become that, will I?
God: Of course not, Beloved Daughter. You never could.
Ouiser: Those are things that I absorbed from others. They are untrue.
God: Yes, child.
Ouiser: They are things that were pressed upon me, out of someone else’s anger and hurt and need.
God: Yes, child.
Ouiser: I’m not afraid of becoming those things after all.
God: Really? That was fast.
Ouiser: No… I realized. I’m afraid of becoming like those people who said those things. I’m afraid my sickness will rule me.
God: Ah. Now we are getting somewhere.
God: Why do you not allow yourself to make mistakes?
Ouiser: Because… I want to be perfect. I want to be better than other people.
God: You are perfect, just the way you are. And how could anyone be better than another person, when everyone is already perfect?
Ouiser: I don’t really like a lot of people.
God: That’s ok. Just because you don’t like something or someone, doesn’t mean you are a bad person. And it doesn’t mean the thing or person you don’t like isn’t good either.
Ouiser: But what if someone doesn’t like black people? Or Jews? Or women?
God: Then that person is still not bad… they are simply blind. They have their eyes closed, and they are wrapped in fear.
God: I know, it is difficult to grasp the idea that no person is essentially bad. You want to point at certain people and call them evil because of the horrible things they have done. But that is not how I made them. Humans are fallible. Evil is sickness. Some people refuse to be cured, and so cannot be, but even so, underneath the layers of time and experience, they are the perfect children I created.
Ouiser: How can you let people become killers?
God: I have to allow free will. Children have to be allowed to make choices. I have to let them go… and although I weep when they are hurt, and when they hurt others, I have to let the lessons of such events reverberate throughout the earth. People have to learn the hard way sometimes.
Child, your species is capable of greatness. You have not yet begun to realize your potential as beings. You are a mere few thousand years old, and throughout the generations, you continue to learn, and grow, and build. Yes, you also continue to stumble. But I have faith in you. I believe in you. In spite of everything, I still see my children as the perfect, fascinating, beautiful creatures I created. You must see yourselves that way as well. You must not give up on your species. You must not give up on yourself.
God: Beings who never make mistakes are incapable of learning, and incapable of growth. They are limited. Is this what you would prefer to be?
Ouiser: It does sound rather… boring.
God: Remember, for every Osama, there is a Dalai Lama.
God: Be at peace, child. You cannot fully understand such things at this point in your life.
Ouiser: BUT I WANT TO!
God: And someday, you shall. And you shall get there of your own accord. And the reward will be all the greater for your having discovered it on your own. I believe in you, Ouiser. Be patient.
Ouiser: I expect too much from myself. I disappoint myself often. Then I punish myself.
God: Yet you do not expect such things of others.
Ouiser: Yes I do!
God: Really? Think about last night. The secretary who hasn’t been returning your phone calls. When her boss flew to anger, and told you she would punish the secretary for disregarding you, what did you say?
Ouiser: I said that I know the secretary has been very busy. There have been a lot of things going on in that office lately. And I know the secretary isn’t in the office during times when I’m there.
God: You made every excuse for her. And you did it with a smile, and genuine compassion.
God: You didn’t want her to be punished.
God: Even though she had not lived up to your expectations.
Ouiser: All I wanted was for my problem to be resolved. Punishing the secretary does not serve that purpose. And I know that she really is that busy. I would feel bad if she were punished on my account.
God: That is progress, Ouiser.
Ouiser: But it doesn't exactly feel like compassion.
God: That's ok.
God: Your fear doesn’t prevent things from happening to you.
Ouiser: I know… but I’ve spent so much time being afraid that it’s hard to simply stop.
God: That’s ok. You’re learning.
Ouiser: (I'm glowing. I'm warm.) Thank you.
God: You have gotten better at creating your own world. You are learning to nest – emotionally and spiritually as well as physically. You love yourself in this manner, and you love others by inviting them into your space, by sharing with them.
Ouiser: When I learn to treat myself the way I insist others treat me… will I then be perfect?
God: You are already perfect, child.
Ouiser: Yeah, right, right… I mean, will I be... farther along the path to enlightenment?
God: Yes. But enlightenment is not a destination.
Ouiser: I know. It’s that whole patience thing I’m still working on.
God: I am proud of you, Daughter.
I meditated today, in my yoga studio, with my instructor and one other student. I've never tried to meditate with others before, and I've only ever successfully meditated once before in my life, and that was under very different circumstances. Perhaps the time was simply right. Perhaps the right doors are open inside of me. Perhaps my allergies are less stressful, in this glorious weather we're having.
Whatever the reason, I'm glad I have this blog. I don't know that I would have bothered to write all this down, were it not for the blog. And I don't know that I would have remembered it, had I not written it down.
I get defensive about being a blogger. I feel that people will say I'm an exhibitionist, that I need to be the center of attention (the worst thing you can say about a person!). The truth is that I need to be reminded that I'm not alone, that I am heard. Checking my sitemeter can be validating. I don't need to be on the news. I don't need to be bombarded with emails or comments. I just need to feel that I am known. And I'm ok with that. Let's face it... everyone needs that.
"Hey," I said to the Universe, "I exist!"
"Yes," said the Universe, "So what?"
And I am content.