“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” -Mother Teresa
Dear Society’s Agenda,
I feel in the mall the way I sometimes feel in my own mind.
Like an alien.
Foreign and far from home in this strange land. Walking past shelves of chemical fragrances that actually leave a pleasant smell (but a bad taste.) 17,526 styles of bracelets. One actually very small subset of a larger collection this is “jewelry” as a whole. And that’s just in a single department.
It’s overwhelming to me.
The amount of neurological networks I must be building upon in a matter of five minutes astounds me. There’s so much to think about, being highly attuned (very much a feeler) there’s so many stories my very visceral sensations are promoting me to keep telling, so much outside stimuli that competes for my attention. And then there’s the noise of society. “If you care you will do this. You will vote that. You will see this issue. You will stand against this bad thing. If you’re not supportive in dismantling it, you’re apart of its problem.”
Society. Community. Social. Family.
My own internal landscape. You know, that place that’s actually mine? Creating space between the “I” that I am – that Conscious part of me – and all the noise and networks that I’ve let construct not my actual identity but who I’ve identified as – When I tune out of auto-pilot and into the manual I can’t help but feel sometimes “ What is happening here? What has been built? What have I allowed into the sacred matter of my consciousness? These thoughts are not my own. This territory is not mine. What have I let happen here? Why do I feel so clear “here” outside of this mess and in walking through the gnarly vestibule of my mind,
Like an alien…
Do you know how many problems there are? How many subsets of “wrongs” there are to dismantle? How many causes there are to give to? How many good projects to lend your (full) hands to? How many people there are to respond to? How many opportunities there are for stolen attention when everything looks important (shiny object syndrome?) and you’ve yet to discipline your mind to only filter what actually is? Then there’s the fundamental necessities of life. Well, of this one. Cooking, eating, (cleaning) sleeping, marriage, raising kind and resilient human(s) etc. Each one of these could be a “job” of its own. (Even. maybe especially, etcetera.)
There is so much pressure. From all around. Until you decide… that there’s not. I hear this kind of pressure talked about as if it’s akin to a thunderstorm pouring down on helpless you while you stand wet with no umbrella (and apparently an inability to move?) You are the variable here. You can exit the storm. And not just that – you can even go inside and pour yourself a hot beverage.
Because problems do exist. And I for one can’t solve them by standing in the storm, destroying my resources to act. But I can do a lot with Awareness, an Inner Clarity, and duh – a Hot Beverage.
So to all of this raining, reigning noise I say this: I will dismantle nothing but the pressure to fit your mold, and I will assemble good in the very individual way my heart calls of me. I will stand by my calling with heart, and for it in action. And not so you will think I’m good. I will not do this for your approval, or in fear of your wrath. I will do this because of the small voice within my soul that calls me toward it. I will not let your THAT speak louder than my THIS. I will not hear your “no!” over my “yes!”
I will not dismantle mental illness, or stigma, or oppression, or hate. I will assemble love and inspire action, I will further education and radiate empowerment. I will live my story of rising while I champion and bring forth the stories around me, and watch as what I have done in truth will do to dismantle anything lesser on its own.
Living out of my “Yes.” The one act of radical resistance I happily stand by, and stand greater because of.
I don’t want to rid my sadness or cut out my grief.
I want to let it’s discomfort seek to inform me of my needs, and of what I want in response.
And It’s not because I don’t want bad things to go away, it’s because I have a firm belief that life is found in the light. And you can only do the work “in the dark” when the lamp is turned on.
I will not let your agenda rewrite my own schedule. I am right on time for my life.