Day 16: I’m Not Buddha / Anger, Self-Doubt, Shame, Faith

Crap crap crap mothereffing crap. One of my many daily inspirational emails that I don’t usually open or read came through today and I did click on it and it was a picture of a mountain, maybe like a Himalayan mountain, with clouds around it, and the words, “Change is never painful, only resistance to change is painful. – Buddha” And my first thought was, “Eff you mothereffer!” And I even thought about sending an angry FU email back, but of course not really FU, I’m more evolved than that, but more like a helpful, “Some of us aren’t ready for this so keep it to yourself, bub,” type email, which essentially is FU. Like, “Hey dipshit,” I mean, “Hey friend, guess what, this change IS mothereffing painful.” We have dead toddlers and contaminated water here you effwad.

But I didn’t do that. I waited for my second thought, which was, “Ok, here’s someone trying to be helpful.” I get it, I roll with that mindful path crowd enough that I can breathe through my initial pissed-off, I’m-not-ready-for-this, reaction and receive that sentiment as a good tip. And breathe.

Go with the flow. Go with the debris flow. Go with the fact that we all die and some of us have died before I would have liked and it makes me sad and that’s part of the human condition and I can resist these facts and be miserable or accept them and be free to enjoy what there is to be enjoyed. Which is, even after all this, even after everything, a lot of stuff. Babies are being born and palm trees are swaying in breezes against blue skies today. Even here.

But mothereffing really? I am not Buddha. A good friend of mine, Aretha, informed me of that a long, long time ago when I was attempting to be not pissed off and sad about something I was pissed off and sad about. I think a dude not calling me back maybe. Or maybe calling me too much but not saying what I wanted him to say? Something that level.

She said, “Sascha, you’re not Buddha.” And I knew she was right, obviously, but I also knew that a more Buddha-like, serene way of being in acceptance seemed appealing, seemed like, for me, a good emotional/intellectual target to aim for.

And I’ve been aiming for that serenity target, that “I’m gonna keep going” target, breathe through it and don’t be a bitch target, with varying degrees of success, through a lot of stuff. But what I’ve learned and what I know is I have to feel the feelings first, to get through them. Otherwise they sit and fester and come out in French fry stuffing and body pains and snapping at Mike who really doesn’t deserve it most of the time. Okay, ever. He doesn’t, he’s a human being.

I don’t want to snap at anyone. Especially not some person I love, or some person I don’t know that well who’s sending me Buddha quotes in an effort to make me feel better. I’m not effing ready to feel better. I just got started feeling crappy. We’re not in our home, we could go back, but we’re not going back, not yet. It’s boil-only water, it’s still a lot closed, we’re settled here, Mike’s out of town, and, and, and. And by the way, why am I feeling so defensive about that to you?

Who’s judging me? Are you judging me? If so, so what? The mean person whose judgment is getting me down, who’s constantly judging me, is of my own making. It’s good old Evie my inner critic who’s telling me things like, “If you were stronger you’d go back now,” before the village was normalized, the second they removed the concrete barriers from the end of our street, which was yesterday. Some stores are open. The fancy dog treat store was open yesterday, the pharmacy, an aesthetician’s office. But none of the restaurants, the health department says maybe the end of next week for those. I don’t think the banks, and not most of the other stores. Not yet.

And frankly, I’m scared over there. That’s what it is. And no one wants to hear that or admit that. I’m scared of my home. I’m scared. And I’m pissed off because I don’t want to be scared. And I’m pissed off because I’m not Buddha and this change is painful.

So I get it. I get it. I’m pissed off, scared, sad, confused, uncertain, and I’m gonna get through it. We all will. This is what getting through it looks like, for me, right now. It’s time to make Ax’s lunch. They can use the indoor toilets at school now, but not the taps for hand-washing. Progress. I’m gonna keep going.