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A Whole Lot of Gentle

Spruce Tree House

Kiva Ladder by Jim Dollar Photography

I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around human beings. What we are. What we do. Why we do it.

You’d think that last one was the one I’d have the most trouble with but, as it turns out, it’s not. No, I can usually understand the motivation behind what people do—even if I don’t like it, and even if I’d rather they didn’t do it, or better yet, didn’t WANT to do it.

No, the part with which I am having trouble is that second one. What we do. –And what is that? We judge one another. We hurt one another. We take each other for granted.

You want to know the hardest part about accepting what we do? Confessing that I, too, am a human being. I like to think that I don’t act like them…or most of them. I’d like to believe that I don’t hurt people, say or do things out of ignorance. I’d like to believe that—but I don’t. Even my tone of voice, that thing which I learned as a wee babe living with my family of origin, even THAT can set people off. Only some people. Just like the tone of some folk’s voice sets me off (or several of the “me’s”).

Sometimes, it all seems too complicated: living with being hurt, living with the knowledge that I hurt people, knowing that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is most likely talking shit about everybody. Even me, both in the doing and the being done to.

So, why do we complain about others to others and not to the people themselves? There are lots of reasons. Maybe we are blowing off steam so that we can stop being mad at someone. Maybe we’re saying things out-loud to see if they feel right and correct once we say them. We may have gotten the message, at some point in our lives, that confrontation is to be avoided at all costs. Perhaps the other person is too sensitive, young or stupid to take criticism in any productive way. Intellectually, I understand these things, but they’re still hard to wrap my heart around.

Every person that I love, every person in whom I’m invested, they have the potential to harm me, to stomp on my feelings, to throw our relationship away. It happens to me more times than I care to count, and will continue to happen as long as I live. That’s one reason for being EXTRA careful about how much of ourselves we choose to invest, and in what people. It’s a reason to keep our hearts close to ourselves in terms of loving ourselves, valuing ourselves, and listening to ourselves. I promise you that you are made to do this. You have to DO what is in you and not expect loyalty, not expect reward, not expect that people will like you or what you do. You have to KNOW that the value in what you do is in the fact that you are driven to do it, that it was born inside the miracle of the life that you are.

You can’t please everyone. Not everyone is going to please you. This is in our fundamental design because we humans have to exist across the spectrum of possibility. We have to be like the atoms of the future—alive and vibrant with the potential of what we can become upon being observed. What’s observing us? Who the hell knows!? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. Probably whatever you expect/create is. What does it matter anyway? You’re alive. That seems enough of an observation in itself.

I’m not suggesting that we should not care for others. I’m not suggesting that we should, or are even meant to, walk alone. Far from it. I’m suggesting that we learn somehow to expect that people are going to disappoint us, that we are going to disappoint them—and that we are going to sometimes disappoint ourselves. Others are going to hurt us, and we are going to have to forgive them just as we must learn to forgive ourselves when we hurt others, accidental or otherwise.

We all have evil in us.

Let me say that again.


Another’s harm to us is but of a reflection of our own potential to harm them, and somehow, we’ve got to acknowledge that, be okay with it. I’m not finding it easy.

I want to think that I’m better, I want to do better, and I don’t think there’s a damn thing wrong with that. As a matter of fact, I think that’s the thing our entire species should be doing. I’m not going to say that we should move away from being animals, because I think animals understand the nature of things and, except for traumas brought on them by mankind, they seem to suffer through and recover from negative events pretty well.

I think that we need to be MORE like animals. We need to move away from being so “human”, and just be okay with the nature of things and stop denying it.

I’m not sure what humans are becoming, but there has to be something out there for us, something in our future that is better, more sensical than this. THIS! This is hard, and my prayer (Universe? Are you listening?) is that this existence amongst all of this illogic and pain is but the labor that precedes the birth of us into something that can understand what the HELL “it’s” all about.

Because from where I sit now, this life? It’s just too damned hard. I want to live in a Universe where I can trust my own potential to do only good, and KNOW that those around me are manifesting like desires.

This future world? I can’t wait to get there! It’s going to be great! Right now…? Right now, we humans are crossing the scary, flimsy rope-bridge hanging over the chasm of deep returning-to-our-starting-point. It’s a bridge strung up by the blood, sweat, tears and, yes, good intentions, of those gone before us. We’re adding to its strength even now…and me? I’m afraid of heights. I need a little hand-holding and a whole lot of gentle. I don’t think I’m the only one.

Jim Dollar at Jim Dollar Photography really out-did himself with the perfect photo to fit this post! Thanks, Jim!

Posted in My Life Today, Where Am I Now?.

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