July 22nd, 2003

don't fear death

dharma and karma

i've had my livejournal for quite some time now. i have never really considered why, other than it makes me write more because people will ask why i am not writing. generally i don't care. i make more friends only posts than i ever had, and even more private posts, for my eyes only. i know people who are hung up on having comments in their journals and do care greatly that others read. i don't. true, many comments on my posts have made me smile and made me feel better when i am in dark moments....and almost all those moments are either friends only or private. i am generally a private person when it comes to my emotions. i'll share my opinions and most thoughts with the world, but few people will read my emotions. unless, that is, they read well between the lines.
i'm in this really strange place in my life these days. i'm wanting badly to regain the social life i once had... to wander the quarter with friends, to dress up for parties, to host floating get-togethers. but i know i am not the joy to be with that i once was. and then there is this other part of me that longs to be left alone with my work, a focus that has kept me sane in the last year.
i've always been so certain about my life. i knew exactly what i wanted to do. confident in myself, i've always gone after and attained all that i wanted. i've had rough patches but i've always found the daisies in those patches and a way to make things good. i've lost that control. this pisses me off. i've managed to plant those daisies in being pregnant at 16, having cancer at 19, managing college as a single mother living way below the poverty line, losing my father, facing multiple sclerosis and being in a wheelchair for 4 months and a couple of other things that stay in their boxes. what the hell? why can't i find one little daisy in this? or even the energy to plant the seeds?
this has been the only event in my life that has depressed me. yes, i've been down when bad things happen, but i have picked myself up in a couple of weeks and found me again. in fact, i've always hated it when people tell me how strong i am and how some people wouldn't make it through everything i have. what was i supposed to do? crumple up and die? i am simply a survivor. bad things happen and life goes on. that is the way of the world.... the Buddha taught that all life is suffering. for months after Chris died i couldn't drive over the high rise. i'd had a terrible, overwhelming desire to stop my car and jump one day while driving over it. it frightened me so much....not only the thought but the continuing fantasy to do so. i have never been suicidal. i have been just the opposite. i'd had difficulty in my Buddhist studies with nonattachment to life. i've loved life, even with its challenges. had a passion for it and appreciated how lucky i am to have been reborn as a human, where i can make a difference in the lives of others. i am driving over the high rise again, but now and then those demons crawl around and i look down and wonder. (i think of those demons as gravlings now that i am watching the showtime series dead like me). oh, i would never jump. i am well aware of what suicide does to those who love you. those left behind die a thousand deaths, they say. but the very fact that i think about it is fucked up.
a dear friend told me this has been a lesson in life and perhaps an event meant to teach me how to feel and not put it away and go on planting daisies as i've always done....but to stop, feel and grieve. but for how damn long? sure life gives us lessons, lessons we create for ourselves. there is no fate, no destiny, no greater power that hands out lessons and controls events designed to pain and teach us. we make our own way, we are our own great plan. this event may have been a lesson as my friend suggested, but if so, it was created from my own karma. i am not sure what to do with that. i've always tried to be a good person, to weave good karma not only for this life, but for my next ones. how could i have screwed up so badly? more importantly, how do i prevent anything so sad, so painful, so tragic from happening in my life again? was i so arrogant to think my life was perfect?
when i lived in india i considered seriously joining the monastery. i knew it wasn't right for me because i had a hesitation about shaving my head. i was attached to my hair! i felt awful about, but realized i hadn't let go of attachments at all if i could be as attached to something as trivial as a bunch of dead cells on my head. i am not attached anymore, but i am committed to my work here and hardly able to run off to india to live in a monastery. but i have returned to my studies with more commitment than ever before. perhaps that is the right path for me and i've created that bad karma because i have steered from it and sought more personal fulfillment, like love, sex and a relationship. i need a retreat to think. perhaps that is the daisy here....perhaps my life wasn't going in the right direction. perhaps i am not meant to be in a relationship, heavens knows they have never worked for me. perhaps my life is not to be in service to one, but in service to all, in another way.
for the first time in my life, i've no control over it. i don't know what to do with it.
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