Sometimes I feel like my kindness is an open invitation for abuse. I might as well have a sign plastered to my head that says, "kick me, I swear I'll forgive you."
Patience has always been a virtue I value deeply. It has helped me to reach places inside people otherwise inhumanly possible. For nothing can be more comforting to a threatened soul then receiving loving compassion, in spite of not deserving it. Like a net of safety invisibly cast, patience can bring the receiver a palpable calm and a peaceful sigh of relief. For the giver, the opposite is often true. The energy it takes to hold the weight of a person's past, a person's issues, is immeasurable. Why then attempt something so exhausting?
For those of you that have been blessed with strong inclinations
toward altruism, I am sure you have found that the rewards of being patient with others are awe inspiring. I have watched in amazement, people blossom before my very eyes, the bloom widening and brightening with each kindness and treasured gift of patience shown...a love so pure and forgiving it doesn't feel human to give or receive. The unmistakeable and ever-elusive "non-judgmental presence" is worth it's wait in fairy dust. It has been known to erase tragedies, and heal wounds as thick and deep and treacherous as the Grand Canyon. But what is left of the human that is host to this supernatural pixie? What does a "non-judgmental presence" do to the one so bravely executing it?
The human in me is often left with a ghostly after-birth. It sticks heavily and incessantly, as if the pain soaked feelings shared by another literally passed from their body to mine. They linger with a haunting ease. Negativity is not easily relocated. With raging sorcery it stands firm and says, "I f*#@ing DARE you to get rid of me." Such skills can be learned, but not easily. Even now as I type I feel a presence not my own whispering in my ears. The ghosts of other's haunt me and I am left to dispose of them some how.
Most of the time I can accomplish this daunting feat with ease. Practice since my youth has made me efficient at ghostly, issue-residue removal. But every so often a chain of events collides in such a way that my spirit can not hold all the weight which it has absorbed. The ghosts thereby declare a potential takeover, furiously arresting my thought processes and hurling my brain into chaotic mess of insecurities, fears,
desperations and sadnesses that all started as someone else's. In this pandemonium is where the lines are often blurred, and what was someone else's can become my own.
through the fabric of another being. As the connection deepened, as their soul blossomed, a lantern light began to glow within them, and I found myself first able to see. E p i p h a n y. As the years go by, the once solitary light has evolved and my surroundings now resemble a humble, warm glow. I can see myself just before death, laying in the rapture of the radiance I have helped to build around me. A vibrant, wild brightness, so pure, will bathe me as I pass from my body. And it will all have been worth it.
Perhaps it can be said that the danger in "patience" is losing one's self. A soul not grounded enough, not built on a foundation of bedrock will find that continual patience can snap the framework of an otherwise stable internal domicile. I have found myself in this merciless position quite often. Having given too much I shrink myself down to the tiniest ball, and in a quiet corner I quake, waiting for the storm to pass. Waiting to find the inner strength, the invaluable lesson, that will raise me to my feet once again. And my, do the waiting hours seem long. The tick tock....the lost lock....the wrong dock....waiting for sanity again to knock at my door.
In brilliant flashes of clarity, in the places inside my consciousness still a mystery to me, I find the answer. It is as if in my desperate searching, intensity and unrelenting will, I've run face first into myself. I don't give up, and that makes all the difference. Suddenly the world makes sense again.
I could ask myself, or anyone with the nature to give, WHY put ourselves through this endles cycle? Why make ourselves so vulnerable to the weaknesses of others? Why try and become another's angel? Don't we know that there is no such thing? Don't we know that it takes inhuman virtue to truly save another's soul? Or does it?
I look around at the people in my life and I can feel their presence within me as if I have once been inside them, or them inside me. This strange and beautiful feeling of connection is one that illuminates my world.
It is as if I was born into a room of darkness. Groping blindly, I found myself alone, until I ran my hands