Friday, December 31, 2010

Field of Absolute Terror

"This is the light of my soul, a sacred territory in which no one may intrude."

So essential is this to humanity's continued existence that I can not overestimate its' importance. From the popular Anime Neon Genesis: Evangelion comes the concept of the AT Field, or the thing that separates us from everyone else. This is both literal and metaphorical. Literally, it means our body, our physical form, our very nature as a separate being from everyone else. Metaphorically, the meaning is obvious: humans are fundamentally disconnected from others, and this brings both safety and pain.

We each are sacred beings, and the proof is in our ability to be safe from others. There are some things no one can take from you, no matter how hostile they are to you, how much they think they know you, how much they attack who you are, or how badly they treat you. The converse of this is that because of our nature, we endure the pain that comes from a lack of acceptance, a lack of knowledge, the ability of another person to shut us out completely if they don't want us in. When we love another person and they ignore us, don't give us a chance, and worst of all, claim to know who we are and reject and shut us out...well, few things compare, as far as pain goes.

"Nobody wants me. Nobody cares whether or not I exist. Nothing ever changes. So they can all just die."

It's tempting to be this way when confronted with how people can be, but you must also face the fact that you are fundamentally the cause of your own pain. It's a sure and steady numbing death, the life by oneself, and it's very comforting to realize that you know exactly where your pain comes from, and that it can be managed.

Personally, I have had to accept what I have become because of others, before realizing the nature of human beings. To put it simply, I was an idealist, and I thought things should all be a certain way, people should treat each other with respect, love should be the way we act, and people should listen to each other and care about each other. I used my religion to justify this, and I failed.

I didn't fail because any of that is false, I failed because no one would play by my rules. I failed because you can't force people to act a certain way. Whether I am right or not is immaterial: it is not how people are. By and large, people are selfish animals, and I am no exception. The real deal-breaker came from realizing my own horrid nature. It came from realizing who I am, and that I'm not the ideal, not the nice person I thought I was. Whether through self-realization or the things that have happened to me, I am a pitiful example of what humanity should be, and I have no business expecting any better of anyone else. My business is expecting better of myself.

My job is to do my best, to manage my own sacred territory.

One of the most aggravating things to me of late is when people are apathetic toward others. Ironically, it is one of my most fundamental and often used abuses of others. I imagine if more people realized that what annoys them about others is tendencies they have that piss them off, there would be far less self-righteousness.

I do not post this to whine about my life, and I do not post this for attention. If my comments are any indication, all of 2 people still read this, and they already know me. I post this because I am tired of reading about how pain is irrelevant to how we should be as people and what we should believe.

"I don't want my pain taken away, I need my pain!"

Every single day, someone mistreats me. I am cut off in traffic, people assume wrong things about who I am, I have a comment made to me that hurts, I am disregarded and told in so many words (or more frequently, silence) that I don't matter and never will. It happens, and it's not going to change. I used to be so hurt by every little thing people did, and I'm afraid it's made me a little bit of an angry person.

Now, I no longer care. It is so frequent, so common, that it has ceased to matter. If someone's objective is to speak to me as an equal and make me better, I will listen and interact. If I am being written off, if I am being ignored or "looked out for" because of assumptions, I no longer care about that person. I have no more life to waste on those that would not treat me with respect. I have been in 3 relationships, and I was only respected in one of them. My last relationship was with a person that deeply, deeply disrespected me in every way possible. I'm not going to say it doesn't hurt, but I will say I no longer care. I am no longer that person's, and I can move on precisely because of the light of my soul. She may no longer intrude into who I am, she does not know me any longer because a person is not a static object, they are a changing force.

Let me repeat that. A person is constantly in motion. They are constantly changing. What is insulted one day may no longer exist. The lie that "people never change" is probably one of the most obviously incorrect statements I have ever seen. In fact, people change all the time, and it is the assumptions that one shows when they utter this statement that are shown to be held in stasis, never changing by the force of that person's will.

When you assume about another person, they eventually will stop caring. Because they eventually realize it is not their job to change your mind any longer, because you have made up your mind and they are done caring. Or they get jaded and angsty.

Your soul is a sacred place, and who you let in is entirely up to you. I advise you to let in people that respect you, that will love you in the way that you deserve to be loved. Friends, family, loved ones...they will all disappoint you at some point. What matters is the intent. As long as we are human, we will never stop causing the collective pain of our race. We will never cease being monstrously unjust to each other, but we can choose to respect each other's souls if we want.

Just remember: your respect, your love, will rarely go unpunished. It's much easier, much safer, to shut out everyone else. But you then have to deal with loneliness, with rotting in a dark room by yourself. Fool yourself if you must, but you will fool no one else.

If you wish to live without pain caused by others, by yourself, within yourself, you must answer one simple question: what is your heart for?

Friday, December 10, 2010


I believe in something greater than myself. A lot of people call this force, this being, God. I've heard him called by other names, but I tend to just say God.

I have to admit, I was raised to believe this way, and part of me pays honor to those that have influenced me by persisting in this belief. But another part of me is an insatiable longing for the world to be better, for people to finally understand love, for the end of ugliness and selfishness. A lot would call this naive and idealistic, I call it a recognition of a higher reality.

I have the highest respect for those that don't agree. I believe those that would disagree with anything I believe have every right to do so. My thoughts, my ideas, are not the measure of all things. My morality is not the measure for a single other person.

I affirm the God of the Bible, because He makes sense to me. The Bible doesn't always make sense, but the God present in it does, on a basic, visceral level. Because he sits in my soul, keeping me alive, bringing me the strength to carry on when every other person fails me, when the world caves in on me.

I haven't been to church in years, because the church as I know it has rejected me on the same basic level that God seems to accept me. My questions have been met with hostility, my differing opinions with condescension, and my feelings with superiority. The church I've met has been an example of how everyone is the same, and this group of Christians is worse than most of the nonreligious people I've met because they've got religion to convince them of their superiority. I fell in for a while with the more "hip" crowd of Christians, and found them to be exactly the same, needing some kind of revolutionary version of Christianity (emerging, hipster, whatever name it may have) to convince them of their superiority.

I have hope for finding the church that serves humbly, that is convinced they're no better than anyone else, that does not need to prove it's more right than everyone else, and that I'd be proud to go to. Slowly but surely, I've been convincing myself to put myself out there and try another one. I will probably be hurt again.

I believe that pain is an effective teacher. It sharpens us like a razor, and it makes us into a better person. Pain teaches consistency, grows faith, and produces character. Every time you are hurt, remember that you can make life better because of it.

I've had the core of my being rejected by people, I've put myself out there and been ignored and stepped on, and very few are an exception to this rule. I am glad for this because I now understand how weak I have been to allow this to begin with. To allow a person, no matter how one feels about them, to dictate a single thing about who we are is to be a sellout, to be mastered by another person. The God that never forsakes me, that preserves the hope I try to stomp out just so I'll stop hurting so much, and that loves me tirelessly despite my inability to love at all, is the one that deserves such mastery over me.

I've rejected others, ignored others, broken the heart of others, always while trying to do what I think is right. I am no different. I deserve what comes to me, but I believe in a better reality, free of this petty bickering, this inability of humanity to live with itself. Redemption is coming for mankind, and I hope for it because I have to. Something will not let me go.

You might tell me I am weaker than ever because of this, you might even read the beginning of this post and think I am nothing short of hypocritical. You're probably correct. But the truth is, I don't care what you think. I do my best like everyone else.

I believe in something greater than myself. Strength and honor.