Open Up

Given circumstances as of…well….the past couple of months, you’d think that I’d be lacking the interest to open up to anyone. What would they do with the secrets and thoughts of my heart? What would they do, knowing the things that way heavy on my mind? If I open up, they could be used against me at any point in time. They could be used against me to hurt my feelings. I could be judged and eventually dropped. They don’t have to read my writing, but they’d be in the know just the same–and I’d be vulnerable and ready for the bruising.

It’s different with the SGI fam. They ask me questions that inspire me to open up, because I don’t talk to a lot of people about my issues. I don’t talk to a lot of people about much of anything, opting to write. Why? Because of a few bad experiences with folks in my past. But, my time with a few people on Tumblr and with the SGI just sort of changed things. I mean, I won’t be out here shouting all the things in my head and heart, but I feel like I have a safe space to get all these things out…as well as a way to begin working on them from within.

I had a talk with Ariel (The YWD leader for my district) and she just asked one simple question that just unlocked a dialogue. I was so scared, but I kept my brave face and held back the tears. I had so much on my heart and mind, and as I gathered my feelings to tell her, I kept asking myself “why are you telling her so much?!” I wanted to shut myself up, feeling bad and typically like I always do. I walk around with all these problems, forgetting that I’m a human being and it’s okay to have them. I often feel like there’s so much more going on in the world, and the issues of some lady such as myself do not matter.

I sort of took that time with Ariel to realize and affirm that I AM someone. And, for a long time, I’ve been hurting over a lot of stuff and keeping it to myself. I didn’t want to tell anyone because it’s the same stuff and it’s all connected to a past that I had no business picking back up. As they say with baggage–you’re supposed to leave it at the door. For emotional reasons (wanting to be nice, wanting to be honest with myself, wanting…period) I picked some of it back up, along with old problems.

I hate to burden new friends with problems. And then worry about them going home and judging me. But, Ariel is a part of my religious family. She is here to advise, to help, to encourage. She is there to help this ol’ faithless creature find faith, find happiness. She and the rest of the crew are there to help me find myself in this Human Revolution. As they say over and over–“get into this Buddhism and it will work for you!”

I have to stop thinking I don’t deserve anything. Especially love. Like, that’s so silly of me. So cruel. Not just love from family, not just love from friends, but that special kind of love. Something authentic, healthy, and without emotional pretense. Someone who sees me as an equal, a friend, and a confidant. Not an emotional stepping stone based on ulterior motive or to stroke poisoned egos. Ands that’s the other part–no more catering to poisoned people. No more poisoning of the self.

My time with Ariel just reminded me of all the work I need to do. It also made me think back to the wonderful poster I made at our first district YWD meeting. And like, just the day itself–SGI DAY–we sat in the Ikeda Auditorium and listened to stories of people talking about strife and having faith. We watched wonderful dancers from India, Ghana, and Korea. It was all just wonderful and warm. It was what I needed not only to get out of the house, but meet new people. It was me, going to an event and seeing the world.

I need to open up. I need to take chances and get close to people. It’s scary, but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes, it’s just what I need. And, you never know who is out there willing to help. You never know what others have been through. Obviously, you have to pick your chosen folk. I feel so blessed and comfortable knowing that there’s people here for me. I don’t have to worry about them using information against me in my time of need. It’s deep when people actually care.

I talked to Ariel about so many things in that short time, feeling the weight of the world and some of my sadness falling off my body….my soul. I told her about wanting to get healthy, go back to school, get a job, work on my social life, and be with my family. It was hard seeing the pic my cousin posted from the baby shower. Harder today to see the pic she posted of the game she played with my eldest. I fell apart from the family ages ago, and never completely found my way in. It’s hard seeing them connected, and feeling very disconnected. But, with all things I need to work on, I’ll just have to step around what I missed out on….and focus on what I can do, now.

Part of making this year and every year my year is to move. Be fearless, be brave, but move. Stop letting every little thing hurt me, use me, abuse me, take from my happiness. That is what I want the most–to be happy. The past is the past, the future’s mine to work on and shape…and the time is now.

A poster that I made during the SGI Young Women's Division meeting...

A poster that I made during the SGI Young Women’s Division meeting…

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My voice is on fire when I’m online. Offline, not so much. When I feel spirited to talk, I cannot stop. I sort of let it out in bursts during the SGI meeting with the Young Women’s Division in my chapter. But I couldn’t help myself. This was a group of women whom I just felt really comfortable with. Like, I just instantly felt like we were coming together to do something big-ish and nice. So, there wasn’t any pressure to be this way or that. I could just be myself.

The comfort of that group made me forget my issues. It happened this past Sunday, and it was nice. For once, I wasn’t thinking of failures and sorrows. I wasn’t thinking of anything heavy. I chanted, I ate, I laughed. Days passed, and I kinda started sinking again. I felt myself sliiiiiding back down “into that place”. I hated that feeling. How could I let something/someone hurt me like that? How could I devote a second of my time? I cringe writing about it!

I think I made that mistake of not only holding onto those thoughts, but doing my best to purge them, quickly. As easy as it seems to “just do it”, obviously the job isn’t done if it snaps back. The lesson itself is one I think has been learned, but, the scars. Those might take a while. Is that okay? Can I live life while I heal? Can I want better things for myself? Of course.

That part of me which sort of chastises my emotions was so embarrassed. There I was, Weds., getting sad and misty eyed. I went on this site somebody recc’d on Tumblr, and “checked my baggage in”. I felt so guilty and stupid for feeling. Well, I’d done anger and bitterness. I’d muttered enough exploration like a Sims 1 Sim to bring my happiness bar down to the deepest of reds. I asked myself just how long was I going to keep picking it up.

I remembered some awkward reassurance I said to myself a long time ago. It was okay to miss someone, but I didn’t have to act on it. Or, respond to it. I believed it for a while, until faced with the challenge. Silly girl, I didn’t listen to myself. Then, I remembered what we’d been talking about in SGI meetings all along–every action has a reaction. It’s known as “karma”, and the Western POV on the subject tends to see Karma as the negative only. So, lots of people end up saying “karma’s a B” on different statuses or in your face. In Nichiren Buddhism, it is known that all actions beget three kinds of Karma–good, indifferent, and bad. It simply is what it is. ALL things. Not some of the things, not most of the things. If you do a thing, another thing comes from it.

The point is, even though the “bad” exists, it’s not that “just desserts” kind of feeling. Now, that isn’t to say go out and do bad stuff and get rewarded, either. It’s just that…again. An action begets another action. Well, I ramble now. But, it all reminded me of my own actions. Some lessons have to be learned the hard way, but, they’re an opportunity to learn, period. In my case, I sort of feel like I’ve been learning the same lesson over and over. 1-because I fear newness, 2-Feeling like giving people a chance, 3-Genuine feelings.

Sometimes it’s best to leave certain things alone. No matter how alluring, no matter how promising, and no matter how much of an explanation they demand once you leave. Sometimes, when something creates so much anger and sadness in your system, it’s simply time to go. When you learn and see how people will or will not respect and support you, what else is left? When people play games for whatever reason, what else is left?

There are wonderful people in my life who don’t do these things. They are supportive, loving people. If only I’d reach out and touch THEIR lives. How dark is the room? How tight is the bubble, really? My world might not be perfect, but it would be much, MUCH different. Not everything and everyone–no matter how familiar or sweet they are/can be are truly here for you. But, when you’ve got genuine quality that does not quit….hold on to those people.

I’m moved to tears as I write this last part. Because they aren’t all within my reach. But they’re there, reading my posts, liking my stuff on tumblr, and engaging with me. They are beautiful people with their own lives who somehow stepped into mine. They are also people I’ve gone to school with. They’re also people bonded to me by blood. Some of them haven’t even known me that long, and they treat me like a human being worth something so precious, it neither has market price nor aesthetic value. It’s so wonderful that I actually get geeked hearing from them.

Perhaps this is part of the lesson. Comparing darkness to all the light in my life. If only I’d reach for it.

People are so serious about their missions,

Forgetting how they’ve formerly treated you,

Dropping by to say hi.

You can’t start convos with me

When you’ve forgotten a birthday,

Forgotten who I am,

Went away for so long,

Tried to pick me up

When you have time.

So much dust on me

That

You’ll put me down again, anyway.