WHAT I KNOW NOW, SHOULD’VE KNOWN THEN
I’ve always seen the world in a pessimistic light. Well that’s what everyone would say if they asked me how I saw things. I seemed to believe that I was pessimistic, and thing is, I didn’t care because the way I was seeing the world was how it was. I saw the capacity for each person to be bad and the terrible state of the world that I lived in. I suppose it took me so long to try to add something positive to that vision because I was searching so hard to find it. With the badness, I saw the potential for human kindness to shine through. I didn’t know it then but I was only beginning to understand the loneliness and silence that the world was going to put me in.
All I can really remember at 16 is experiencing that horror within myself. I saw my own capacity for evil and it really shook me. It shook me so much that I thought if I started crying I wouldn’t know how to stop. Looking back, I remember feeling the icy cold stab of that feeling called loneliness. I thought I could just close my eyes and hide my heart from this world, I thought that my silent tears at night would release the pain. But I started to think that the pain was infinite, and I started to believe that I would never truly be free.
Almost three years later, I look back on those black and white episodes of my life with a strange longing and fear. It was only in my moments of realising my capacity for good and evil and then bearing the pain of that truth with a single lonely heart, I was on the edge of life. It wasn’t a physical experience but something that marked me. I thought I wouldn’t make it through. I’m sure there are moments in everyone’s life, that seem like they’ll completely kill us. And as terrifying as it is to bear it, alone or not, it also is liberating.
Sometimes I admit, I do feel like I’m in a cage. And there are days when I feel so alone. I feel unloved even by my family. Sometimes I look up, and think God doesn’t love me. But I know people may fail me, but it wasn’t a mistake I got through that year somehow. I know people don’t like to believe in God. But I see God everywhere, and somehow even in this pandemic, I see more of God.
So yes, maybe we are going to be suffering all our lives. But I realise the silence of a life that is pleasurable, is a prison that my heart couldn’t bear. For life is realising death, and to know truth you have accept every part of it. Accept the good and accept the terror. We may not be free in our physical nature, but who we are isn’t physical. We are not confined to anything but a cage that houses our own doubt. Abandoning the material, knowing your identity is in your soul.
Life is knowing the suffering ahead, and letting go of the light of illusion.