I apologise in advance as today I have felt an impulse to write this not-so-positive post.
For numerous reasons I thought I would share how I have been feeling lately. I know that I am not alone in seeing that life is not always beautiful, filled with smiles, charm and sweetness. It can be agonising, twisted, treacherous and just plain cruel. It can even be evil. There, I’ve said it. It can.
There is war, hunger, oppression, violence, abuse and disconnection all over. Even within families that look secure and picturesque to the outside world.
And I am exhausted and let down trying to hold the belief that everyone is good underneath and that it is just hurt people that hurt people. That simply isn’t true. Everyone at some level is a hurt person and not everyone goes around intentionally hurting others. Some even take great pleasure from it and do it with a crooked smile or a bellowing laugh. And it isn’t just people that are targeted; our animals and also our planet are being recklessly damaged and destroyed too.
I am tempted to make a list of all the things that I perceive are seriously wrong that are happening right at this very moment, but the reality is heart-wrenching and I have come to wonder what good it does to talk about these things. From my experience those who don’t want to know the hard truths of the world switch off and focus on something less disturbing and those who are open to it just become distressed further. I am lost with it.
I usually try to focus on creating something positive and bringing in the light rather than highlighting and increasing the dark. But I also realize that by sweeping the darkness under the carpet, it just remains dark. It needs to be unearthed, acknowledged and accepted as part of our world and when we can talk about it freely, without feeling judged for being negative, we can together work out how to change things. And then, miraculously the darkness immediately becomes infiltrated with light and becomes more manageable to tackle and resolve.
Today has been one of those tough, extremely dark days. And then, as soon as I am hit with that realisation, I feel terrible for thinking that way and speaking out about it. Because I know that there are so many others out there who would give a limb to experience my life, as regardless how hard my day is, I have food, water and shelter—I am privileged.
So, I struggle through, mask my pain from others, hide my tear-stained cheeks and try to regulate my breathing and continue as though everything is completely okay. Because, when my heart feels as though it is breaking and my body is overwhelmed with debilitating emotions, I feel self-absorbed and that I am just adding more angst and suffering to the collective discord in the world.
I take a deep breath and try again to calm and harmonise my energy, as I know that when I emanate trauma it will be felt somewhere out there. My peace is essential not just for me, but also so that it radiates and reaches wherever there is suffering.
I also remind myself to be compassionate as my pain is valid. Although my struggle is different to other people’s it does not make it less real and it does not mean that the heaviness is more or less bearable to carry in deeply difficult moments. I am a sensitive feeling creature on this, sometimes cold and hardened, planet and the sensations I experience are intense. There are times when I’m not okay. There are days where I am in excruciating inner pain and there are brief moments that I wonder if I will make it through. That is the bitter, raw, hard, ugly truth.
Sylvester Stallone explains it well in the movie Rocky, saying: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.” Today this world has beat me to my knees and pinned me there.
I often hear that, “Everyone is just doing their best.” Hell, I’ve even said it myself once too many times. But no, sadly not everyone is. In fact, sometimes it seems that people are doing their best to be their absolute worst, as I continually read or hear stories, or see images, of callous torture, violence and vicious acts occurring right now as I type, all across the world.
I badly want it to end. So much so that the longing to find my resolve can absorb entire days. And, what can I do about it— there must be something?! Other than chipping away at the humanitarian and animal causes I am involved in, I feel as though I am just spinning around with this planet helplessly allowing all of the suffering to continue, as I am unable to physically reach every shaded corner and stop it all.
Although, there is something…
I can remember that so much of my pain is caused by fear. Fear for the world and every living creature on it. When I understand that I am suffering from fear of what is happening out there, I can quell it by focusing on causes one at a time and creating small changes to bring about improvements. I can transform my pain and suffering and instead send out hopeful, loving, peaceful vibrations to the world. I can choose not to give in or give up on my life as every small action that I take makes a tiny difference somewhere.
I can also pay attention to the amount of good that is happening right now and see that when it is weighed, the good and light far outweighs the dark.
While I can’t deny that there are many terrible things in this world that disturb me to the state that I am unable to sleep at night, I am also aware and grateful for the amount of goodness that is out there.
Hope and gratitude are two of the highest emotions. As long as I attune to both of those and keep believing that the world is just undergoing a radical transformation and that soon we will witness a turning of the tables, I will make it through.
And just as Rocky concluded: “You, me or nobody, is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit… It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward…how much you can take, and keep moving forward.”
Movement. It’s all about moving forward. Just breathing deeply and taking another step. Even on the darkest days. In fact, especially on the darkest days.
Author: Alex Myles
Image: Deviant Art