My post last night was a little too dramatic for my taste. See, I’m on a hamster-wheel about my finances and it’s taking quite a bit to step off. After writing that post, I texted my best friend about 20 times (Carly is a saint, ya’ll) and she coaxed me down. She’s quite good at that. After 19 years of knowing each other it’s kind of our way. We talk each other down from emotional cliffhanging on a regular basis.
When I was able to calm down and look at my emotions more mindfully, I was aware of what was underlying the whole thing. Sure, I’m terrified. By which I mean I’m scared shitless. However, I’m not really terrified about money. I’m terrified that I am in charge of making sure I’m okay, of planning my life out so that I’m well-taken care of. Something in me says that if I make one little misstep, the whole house of cards will fall apart.
My therapist would agree. Last time I saw him he said that it’s all just a house of cards anyway, isn’t it? I’m still getting used to the idea that nothing is permanent or guaranteed. I’m sure being a trauma survivor doesn’t really help that. At the very end of my fear is this idea of what happens when the house falls. In my head, I see myself going crazy. Losing my mind. Also, that seems logical to me considering the vast history of mental illness on both sides of my family. My dad’s side looks especially terrifying, what with its multiple instances of delusions. My grandma, my grandpa, my uncle, and my dad ALL have suffered/continue to suffer in various degrees from delusions. (Delusion = one of the three roots of suffering according to Buddhism)
I looked at myself last night and I saw delusion, expectation, clinging, suffering. I see in myself the same things I see in my dad. Talk about terrifying. I want to run screaming from all the zombies that invade my brain at that thought. Except that I did have the presence of mind to finally return to my sangha last night, and what the dharma talk covered is still with me.
We talked about the 6 paramitas. One of the 6 paramitas of Buddhism is “generosity.” The idea of generosity includes the intention of being generous with my compassion. I see in myself the suffering I also see in others, so therefore can have compassion.
Psh. Who wants to have compassion? I don’t. Are you kidding? THEY are the bad ones! THEY are the wrong ones! Have compassion for THEM?
But then I can’t help it. It just comes. I see back through my ancestry and it’s so obvious. We all struggle against impermanence. We have used delusion to avoid the idea that it’s all falling apart, anyway. I finally can understand why my dad became so afraid and invented the whole delusion of “the Money.” The money was really just a keyword for being rescued from the fear of everything disintegrating.
I carry that exact same fear within myself. The very same one. Terrified that everything’s going to fall apart, I manage and manage and manage.
Which brings me to the third paramita – forbearance. That is to say, acceptance of life. Patience with life’s impermanence. The awareness that “this too shall pass.” It’s staring into the great wide yawning hole inside myself, and falling in.
Do you know what happens when stardust falls into a black hole?
It is enlightened. It transitions to another realm. Scientists are just now lending validity to this idea, but I’ve been fascinated by it for years. I started a fictional story of a girl that passes through a black hole to another dimension. What I was writing was what I needed to say to myself. Fall in.
Paramita. Crossing over to the other shore.
I see it now. May I transition to the other dimension, where the hamster wheel doesn’t exist.