I've learned some things over the past few years. I've learned what it feels like to have homes snatched from under your feet. I've learned what it feels like to be discriminated against for everything from having addiction/mental health problems to becoming unemployed, utilizing food assistance and even losing my health insurance. Somewhere along the way I kicked into absolute survival mode: How the hell do I get through the day with so much uncertainity, when nothing is stable, least of all me?
I've learned that when you're the one attempting to survive, when decisions have to be made according to food and shelter, you start becoming free from other people's opinions, unlocked from their discriminations, uncaring of what you may or may not look like to someone else. And when other people's opinions begin to matter less, you wonder why they ever did. The world starts looking completely different.
My father told me something the other day that stuck in my mind. He said, "They haven't taken your life from you, Angela. How you live your life is still your choice. No one can take that from you." He's always been brighter than your average dad.
Coming to understand how I contributed to the chaos does nothing to change that it's occurring, but still it tugs on my mind, inviting me to fall into yet another rabbit hole when what is really called for is courage and perserverance; peace of mind and compassion. I think our dear departed Michael said it well when he said start with the one in the mirror. When that is intact, begin to move out - chin up, head high, just looking next for what needs to be done. AA calls it "doing the next right thing." I like that.
As loss began to permeate the very air I breathe, I began to feel other tugs at night, other callings. I heard her moan and followed into deep mysteries, transfixed; stunned even. What have we been doing? To ourselves? To our clan? To her? When are we going to stop it?
Even if the destruction stopped right now today, even if wealth were distributed equitably and we stopped raping and pillaging the earth today, would it be enough? I swear. I wonder. Too many people. Too much damage. Not enough caring.
And yet each day I personally feel stronger, more centered, more sober, more playful, more alive and more healthy as I begin to see what really is instead of what I wish were. I still hold the vision of a highest good for all, but I work with what's in front of me. Alcohol makes that impossible. Society needs the addict/alcoholic to be distracted and unaware and without thought except for where the next fix comes from. Because when they start waking up, they can see how things are and they won't settle for it. I won't. Will you?