The last few months have again confirmed that there is still a lot of work to be done with my own hellish internal struggles. It is not something that is devastating me or ruling the daily activity as I live. Currently , my life is pretty damn good and I’m loved, happy and doing well. What still eats at me are the feelings of others that I take on myself. This is NOT healthy yet something that I still do, albeit not nearly as much as previously. When my family, friends, lovers and close confidants have problems and stress, I will sometimes absorb and take on theirs. It is part of how I deal with things and the love that permeates every fiber of my being. And…it needs to stop.
This quote is so accurate and typifies how I sometimes process. My partners and friends all tell me to STOP doing this and I have my ways of doing so. Taking a different look at how I react, the way I deal and the projections that occur when it is happening. My sweetheart has always maintained I keep up my “bubble”, a very valuable and wise admonition which does indeed help. As time moves on, this is one tool I use. In addition to that, my Buddhist philosophy studies help tremendously, forcing me to use mindfulness, kindness and love in EVERY aspect, every part of life. Makes me question,
“How did I get here?”
In reflection, my own thoughts and dissection find it’s evolution began as a teen. I have always felt concern and love for others, for their plights and disadvantages. I have always been an emotional male and often been made fun of, mocked while in school. Not that I would melt in a sobbing mess at the sight or notice of other’s problems, but that I DO and DID feel for others, wanting to help when I can. I’m very much a giver and will do almost anything for and to my fellow humans if I can. What really fucked with my head was how as I studied the philosophy and words of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, it really showed me the hypocrisy of this controlling disorganization. Individually, some of them could be loving, kind and good people. But as a group, their convictions that they alone were the chosen people, the only ones that would be accepted as God’s followers and saved, this was so opposite the sacred words they claimed to be following. And those words also had major flaws, being quite contradictory often. This wouldn’t apply to the words of Jesus, no, but his followers. The trickle down effect to the modern religious movements have only intensified , making the control even stronger over the flocks and laypeople. It is the “we are the best, chosen ones, and if you are different, don’t believe what we tell you, or ask questions….you WILL be shunned and tossed aside”. Of course, this was with God’s blessing in their eyes. Picking scripture after scripture to feed their vision and caress, assuage their collective consciences , they live life in negativity , picking apart others instead of offering advice on how to live with love, give love and accept said love, even if they are not JW’s. It is all about them and their salvation, not about the prospect of conversion out of love. And if the “sheep” could not be converted, they became “goats” who were vilified and given up on. The jokes, comments and outright hostility at those “worldly” humans not like them really hit deeply in this heart of mine.
This is how I was raised. Indoctrinated. To believe that I should not have feelings for others unless they were fellow JW’s. Not to help others unless they were said “brothers and sisters in the faith”. Sure, unless it was a question of life or death, we could. But never do I recall in all those many years any instance of them donating to non members, or helping others around them in time of need. It was always about them, nobody else. Selfish. And while that was not how I wanted to be, the risk of exclusion was too great to be the true ME. So I internalized and contained the stress and sufferings of others within my own soul and mind. Year after year.
Eventually, upon leaving that dysfunctional and hypocritical belief system after thirty five plus years, the real work began on healing . Rewiring my mind and mapping out how I could be the true me without harming others and importantly, myself. The introduction to Buddhist philosophy was a revelation and instrumental in my new growth. Not the religious Buddhism, but the spiritual and healing philosophy that steered me in a positive and loving direction. Since that year of 2008, my life has been amazing, the journey filled with more love and compassion, mindfulness and joy… than the first forty one. That I could free myself from judging others, from seeing their negatives and to begin loving their positives!
As I pursue a daily education of my heart, soul and mind, the various past negativeness does occasionally pop up like so many devils on the shoulder. This time, though, I have many more tools at my disposal to deal a death blow to those nasty thoughts and feelings. When they disappear, the feeling of enlightenment is simply put…magical! 🙂