Before you can fix the world, you need to fix yourself. You need to tune into what is going on around you, know what's happening in your world and what your role is in it before you can change anything. And the truth is, you may never be able to fix anything. It all begins with you, though. If you are messed up, how can anything outside you change?
This is where I have been lately. Working on the inside. Figuring out what it is that makes me tick. Not easy. Just when I think I have a handle on it, it changes...it slips away. I know that it is all me. I am the perceiver. I am the one who see the world. I am the one who chooses to be critical of the world or to accept the world as it is. I am the one who chooses to move forward. I am also the one who sometimes chooses to remain stuck. It is me with whatever inspires me to be so.
So it is that I have been periodically closed for repairs of late. Pardon my dust but the grand re-opening should be awesome.
Forgive me those times I don't get it quite right...in fact when I get it very wrong. For those times when I do the wrong thing, make mistakes or intentionally to the wrong thing, even if is for the "right" reason, or, if I don't do something when I should. I often think about doing something that would be "nice" or make some "feel better" or would actually improve the status quo, but don't.
I don't think I'm lazy...well at least not terminally so. Sometimes I just lack the energy or the verve it takes to take action. I get shy. I will cop to that. I feel awkward. I don't know what to say or how to say it. But when I do, and it isn't quite right, well, give me some credit.
Oh my goodness.
I just realized it's not you at all! It's me. I don't give myself credito oftentimes. I don't forgive myself when I should. I have high expectations. And after all these years and all the expectations that have led to naught, I should know better. The best we can do is to do something. Doing nothing is what gets us into a mess. Look at congress.
Anyway, that's what came up for me today. There are things I should do, I want to do, but I let shyness or fear or feeling awkward and clumsy keep me from moving forward. Just for today I think I will feel those feelings and move forward anyway. And just for today, I will forgive myself those times I don't get it right, because at least I tried. And whatever I did, it was hopefully better than nothing.
Today I will wear purple. I wear purple because as the victim of bullying in junior high and high school, I know the toll it can take on kids who are too young to know it will get better. Being different is not a curse. It is a blessing.
My life in junior and senior high were hell. I was constantly taunted for being "different". Names ranging from "Sissy" to "Queer" to "Fag" were hurled at me daily. I was assaulted in the hallways. I was afraid to go to gym class and would feign illness or just plain skip class entirely. If I did go, I would be harassed and did not have what it took to defend myself...and no one would come to my defense. Because I would not or could not stand up and fight, in my mind, it made the accusations and taunts true and justified. And
I dared not complain because I could not admit I was afraid. The adults who should have noticed, did nothing. In my junior year of high school, I began skipping school entirely. I would leave the house each morning and sometimes hide out in my grandmother's house when she was away on a trip. Later, I would take the city bus to downtown Detroit and just wonder around. No one noticed. Except a few predators, who I somehow got away from. When I look back, it was only my fear that kept me from being sucked into the underworld of the city in the late 1960's. God was apparently watching out for me.
I survived high school. After a few lame attempts at suicide, I surrendered to my family on a street corner when I saw them on a street corner as I was transferring between busses. I'd had enough. They of course did not understand and had no knowledge of what that year had been like. I had been out of school for six months by then. The school never contacted my parents. I truly could have become a "lost boy".
My parents contacted the school and miraculously they got me the councilling and support I needed.
It got better.
I finished high school. My senior year was my best year in high school. With help of caring adults, I was no longer exposed to bullying and found a support group of friends and teachers who helped me find myself. It wasn't until I was in college I finally truly came to understand and accept who I was. And it was okay. It wasn't easy, but
It got better.
That is why I wear purple today.
Stand up to bullying. There is no good reason for one child or group of children to pick on another. It is not acceptable in adults either. As Ellen Degeneres says on her talk show, we all just need to "Be kind to each other."
I have noticed in myself of late a tendency to be more and more cynical. It seems the world has gone mad. Both the world at large with the madness of government, and in my social circles. I wage a personal fight against burn out and am challenged by what I perceive to be negativity and unreasonableness. Is it just me?
This is when I just want to retreat from the world sometimes. Not listen to the news or read the paper. Block political and moralizing postings on Facebook. Avoid discussion of current events with family and friends. All in an effort to make it stop. To make the pain subside. To be happy.
Nothing could be worse for the human condition than for us to retreat. If you give in to the irrational, they win. If we allow ourselves to become cynical it then leads to being apathetic. My church friend Kay wrote in a Facebook post, "I
Light is silent. It floods in, chasing away the darkness without a sound. It is in the light that we can see what were so afraid of. And in the light, we can see that we had nothing to be afraid of.
Dawn may come up like thunder, but it is by sitting in the silence of the light we can see ourselves as we really are.
Its been a while since I attended to my writing. It has also been a while since I picked up my camera. Seems other things moved across my portion of the sun like clouds gathering before a storm or the moon during a lunar eclipse. This does not mean nothing was going on. I was percolating, waiting to emerge once again, to return to my intentions. It was in silence I think I have once again found my voice.
Stand back. The light is beginning shine through once again. And it feels warm, it feels good.