Many people write essays about their parents and in retrospect, their parents look good. Mine don't; forgiven but not saints. What follows is my opinion, my judgement, or my beauty and love; depending on your perspective.
I will be 50 on Monday. When my dad was 50, I wasn't even born. When my mom was 50, I was 15. I hated her guts; not just because it was a teen age thing, but she was a drunk. My mom drank every night, usually through a black out. She was mean in her drunkeness. I hated both my parents and did not value them. Looking back, I have no wisdom that I got from them. They did not teach eternal truths or character values.
Now, here is the retrospect part where I let them off the hook: because of watching them, I have a tremendous compassion and empathy for all people. In them, I saw extreme degradation of the human soul. I knew it was also my soul. I knew we were all degrading our souls by our petty lives. I felt divine sorrow, as if I was God himself lamenting over my lost children. I remember seeing my mother with my human eyes, swaying in drunken sluriness before me. I remember seeing with the eyes of my heart, the unactualized soul behind the drunk. I watched my father doze off on the couch after yet another dinner time emasculation administered by my drunken mother, or his terribly wounded pleading as he asked me to explain the drunk. In them, I could see their divine essence, trapped and crying out to me. The divine soul that I saw was not at all physically visible. It was just a thing I knew in my heart, as I hatefully looked with my human eyes at these impoverished people. When I see soul degradation today, in others or myself, I feel pain and sorrow. I work spiritually and metaphysically to undo the situation.
We, all of us, do things to degrade our soul and cut off the spiritual communication with God. [I say "our soul" because my real life is not my own, but God's; and everyone is the same creation of God. I say "my ego" because egos are separated from God and only pretend to exist as stand alones.] The real pain I feel in compassion and empathy is the tragedy of what we, all of us, do to hurt our selves and trash our divine dignity. My compassion and empathy come into play all the time: as people, we do things which are extremely little, puny and ego oriented. We do almost everything and anything to please our egos. We buy little trinkets, waste our time on TV, chase after money and cheap thrills, and over-eat our lives away; wondering why we are never satisfied and don't know God. The message of all spirituality is that God is within. While I participate in littleness to a great degree, I also resist the tendency, and practice turning in to the inner divine.
As a child, my parents certainly played a huge role in un-dignifying me; stripping me of any semblance of human dignity. I came out of childhood without a scrap of self worth; and maybe never even heard of the concept. In fact, I was an achiever; but I never thought of that as a message that I was a good person. I thought I had managed to fool all the other stupid people into believing I was good. I thought that I was really rotten but good at hiding it. I kept pleasing people and getting approval; and then thinking they were stupid because they approved of me. Nothing satisfied me.
A good deal of my adult life has been spent in finding and healing my human dignity, our soul. I haven't drank for over 23 years. Getting sober was the start of the journey. I'm sure that the only point of my life and my spiritual journey has been the finding of our soul. For sure, the reconnection to God is the main focus of my life.
A Course in Miracles, the Bible, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist writings, all of these are treasure troves. In them, I mine for true wealth, true connection with God and all that is. Since the age of 22, even before getting sober, I spent hours everyday meditating on some holy writing. And after listening to the words of the writing, I listen to the words of the Silence. I want to hear what God is saying to me. And then I go to work. And then I go running and lift weights. I drink distilled water, learning to enjoy it more than anything else I could put in my mouth. I listen to the Silence, learning to enjoy it more than anything else I could put in my head. All the while, I am strengthening the sense of our soul, allowing it to live instead of my ego. Our soul is my human dignity. Our soul is my heart. Our soul is my reason for being. When I am done with my ego delusion called human life, I will exclusively be this magnificent soul, that always was and always will be and is not my own. I really only exist in the heart of God.
Monday January 12 is my 50th birthday. Stop back by and leave me a comment!