For the longest time I always knew that I could withstand a certain tolerance to pain. Both in physcial and the emotional. It’s like I could feel these varying levels of it it residing inside of me but it never really took over my whole being. It was hard to unerstand but I accepted it for what it was. I knew that in order for others to feel happiness that there would have to be a polar opposite effect somewhere in the world. From just the desire of wanting to learn more, not just about me but the World around me it is eerie how there seems to be a parallel that is interlaced behind it all. I mean through others eyes I am able to fully absorb how blessed my life truly is. It was only when I opened the pages to discover the essence of what truly Buddhism was about. Did you ever read something that you didn’t think that you knew anything about but to uncover that maybe somehow subconciously I had already been exposed to it before.
To truly be greatful for what you have you have to be greatful for what you don’t have. There is so much evil in the World with the sole purpose of wanting to destroy us whole and rob us of our innocence. The true gift is when you hold more compassion for those around you than you do yourself. The reality being that once you acknowledge that you are worth so much more than your physical self then your whole World will begin to change. I know far out but here let me explain. I will explain by experience because well that is what I know best. Maybe by explaining it in that way it will be easy to relate to.
It is not secret that I have had my share of real big duds. Like the metho/heroin addict. According to him he was clean and sober and it wasn’t him caught on the surveillance cameras draining our bank account. Here is why I chose to believe him. It was so much easier believing in him then believing in myself. I was so brainwashed into thinking that I could never amount to anything. I lost my job. Was on uemployment and had this guy promising me I would never have to work again. Somehow that whole deal seemed attractive. My self esteem was so low that we would walk around for hours trying to sell the lil piece of rock he stole in order for him to have enough money to by us food for the day. If that didn’t work we were scaling the parking lots looking for receips that had if only you had a membership card. I went from working at a bank going on vacations to living in a basement sleeping on a mattress chain smoking.
Guess what things never changed for me right away either. From there I got pregnant by some guy who was about to serve 4 years in prison. It got me out of that current situation but ended me up to sleeping in this small closet like room until another one of my friends took pity on me. I wasn’t doing myself any favours. I had convinced myself that waiting for a criminal to get out of jail would save all my problems. How is that even possible. You see every time there was a major obstacle I would just shut down. I would drink more, do drugs you name it. I carried that behaviour with me to Calgary.
My attitude about myself never changed. I wasn’t strong on the inside. I had no idea who I was or what would make me happy. I was lacking a deeper realization of myself that would help me enhance the understanding of others. My rock bottom came when I had a guy basically stalk me in my basement. I invited him over so maybe stalking wasn’t the right word. But he wasn’t going to leave till we had sex and there was no way I was going to give it to him. I tricked him into going out for a cigarette. I felt the blood pumping as I opened the door out but instead of going outside I kicked his ass out and locked the door. I was scared. He was pounding on the door. As I walked into the living room I just missed the brick coming for my head. He no joke smashed a brick through my kitchen. It was 2 am. Taking a deep breath I just had enough. I called the cops and reported him. They knew exactly who he was apparently his sister was serving time in prison for killing a dad on his way home a few years back. This is our lives filled with so much hate.
So know as I sit here with a greater understanding of myself I am started to understand my place in the World. After finishing the book to help guide me to the way of spiritual enlightenment I find myself reading the autobiography of Linda Lovelace. Let me tell you. I am only on Chapter 6 and I am finding it so incredibly hard to read. Reading her storey you get a greater sense of how and why human trafficking took off the way it did. Her words express the horror that any young woman would feel when held hostage in her own life. Not free to make any choices. Not free to decide what you believe to be right or wrong. I find her storey so hard to read but I have to find a way. In order for her suffering and life to mean something I have to read the Words that she laid out for us to read.
The only thing that Linda suffered from was a low self esteem from a disfiguring accident and a dream of wanting the white picket fence dream. The ring, the husband, the home, the kids. Eventually she ends up with all that but at a terrible cost. There is no reason for her life to have happened the way that it did. It could be any one of us. It could be our children. Worse yet it could be happening to soembody right now. There is no exscuse for any type of abuse. NONE! We get this beautiful gift of life but we waste it not knowing our true value. Life is so much more than greed, lust and envy. I used to compete because I wanted to be the best. Now I want to compete because I want to belong. I want to feel that because I am set in my World that I have the greatest opportunity to expand the way I feel onto those that I know. The one guarantee that we all have in life is the ability to suffer. Where we need to be able to move forward is in our ability to minimize the negativity feelings and emotions we feel and utilize it in order to generate better feelings. It seems incredibly awful to say but there is somebody who is always more worse off than you. We need more commradorie, more sisterhood, more friendships to help guide us through. Pain will always be inevitable up until the day we die. Unfortunately for us all we are all born to die. It is how we utilize that time in the space between birth and death that will guide us on through.
As hard as it is to read through the life of Linda Lovelace I know it is important. Her life has to mean something to endure all that she went through. To survive through all that. To have all of humanity fail you in ways that should have brought you to your knees you share your storey. You outline the characters of these disgusting predators because you know that it still goes on. Maybe not these men. But there are men that feel that they can do this to other beings. The more we acknowledge the existence of this type of behaviour the easier it would be for others to come forward. Sometimes what we are all searching for is compassion in our fellow man. Maybe if there was more of that we could stop so many woman from disappearing. Maybe we could stop the amount of women who get hit in their homes who feel like their is no hope. We need to start listening to those subtle clues the ones that can only be heard with your eyes and not your ears. Make sure you tell everybody something positive and uplifting everyday. You never know who may need to hear that. You may just save a life.
For as long as space remains,
As long as sentient beings remain,
May I too remain
To dispel their misery.
-Shantideva, “Guide to the Bohisattva’s Way of Life”