I’m missing

I was just reading something about how to fulfill your dreams, or at least manifest your plans (two entirely different things, in my book), and the question asked was “What’s missing?”. Hmmm. Interesting question. What IS missing that leaves me unfulfilled and incomplete. Truth be told, I’m not sure I’m incomplete, but I feel like that’s a different issues so won’t deal with it now. But what leaves me feeling unfulfilled, like I can’t get what I want out of this life, like I consistently fail to manifest what I desire, what I picture in my mind’s eye? What is that all about?

The simple answer that most people offer to my question is that I don’t feel worthy. Well, that’s too simple for me. What is worth? Worth what, and worthY of what? I am worth breathing, I am worth eating and drinking, I am worth things necessary to continue my physical life. Am I worth happiness, and does that translate to deserving happiness? There, I am not so sure. I sometimes feel as though I deserve nothing, from the standpoint of feeling the world owes me something. I’ve had circumstances and people chip away at my soul, my spirit, but I’m still standing. Even my mother said I had it hard, whatever that means, but one cannot be compensated for that. There is ultimately no recompense for abuse, and it can’t be remediated or litigated or undone. So. What do I deserve? And is “deserve” the same as “worth”? I’m really not sure about that.

There’s a saying in recovery that “if we got what we deserved, some of us would be recipients of jails, institutions, or death”. So, in many cases, it works to my advantage to not get what I deserve. I get that. Now whether or not I’m worthy to be a full participant in that brand of universal and karmic justice is unknown. Worthiness seems to be a much stickier wicket than “deserving”. Worthiness brings up all kinds of moral and character judgements, at least for me it does. For instance, I just Googled “worthiness”, and the definition returned was “the quality of being good enough; suitability”. Good enough? What is good enough, and who sets the scale? To me, the scale is entirely subjective and as such, relative. I’m good enough to be treated with respect, or am I? I suppose what feels like a better fit is that I’m good enough to be treated with respect if/when I am good enough to treat others with respect. That feels a bit more balanced than a quality that is subjectively defined as “good enough”.

To further exhaust the argument of “good enough” vs. “worthy”, I return to another popular recovery axiom – “you build esteem by doing esteemable acts”. That makes sense to me, in an energetic and vibrational kind of way. If I define myself as a thief, and steal from other people and institutions, the energy I’m throwing out is that of a thief, that of taking what does not belong to me. That seems to be a discconnect, unless I’m a sociopath and have no conscience about it…but that’s not me. If anything, my conscience is ambuilatory and self-aware, ocasionally clobbering me with waves of guilt about having done inestimable things 40 years ago. Whatever. Back to defining oneself as a thief…if that is the energy and vibration I’m throwing out, I will probably get that or better in return. I’m going to lose things in an unfair manner, I’m going to have negative consequences (the least of which are legal) come to me. I get very frustrated when it appears that people are stealing, or cheating, and accruing no consequences. I have to believe there are consequences that are just not apparent from a distance…on closer examination, these people seem bitter, unhappy, tight, tense, not anyone with whom I’d want to share a cup of coffee. Maybe that’s just rationalization on my part, but it seems to hold true. I just read an article about Ghislaine Maxwell, who was somehow involved in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking ring. She’s still in a NY jail, and losing her hair and losing weight and the computer she is allowed to use is “inadequate”. Whether convicted or not, this is someone who stole trust from a number of people. She’s not having a good time at the moment, so I suppose this is the consequential phase of her behavior.

I dunno, though…I know someone who is in prison at the moment, for a crime she says that she did not commit. It was a murder, of an intimate partner. She maintains her innocence, but the system did not agree. Since there is an overwhelmingly negative consequence for her, does that mean she did SOMETHING wrong to “deserve” that? Does she “deserve” that outcome? Our justice system asserts that she does, having been found guilty – despite her protestations. I’m a little troubled by my apparent slide into that puritanical eye-for-an-eye sort of dynamic, and I have to think about that. Perhaps this is how I am continually don’t get what I want, what I feel is “due” me…that I deserve. Oh, my. This is as sticky as worthiness. I am not pleased with that, but I’ll need to delve further.

Deserve. Worthy. Guilt. Innocence. Good enough, not good enough. Those are all subjective iterations. There are gradients inherent in all of them, continuums. If someone does take the life of another, our law says that it matters little if you meant to do it or not. If you didn’t mean to do it, you may be accused of manslaughter or negligent homicide or something, but if you meant to do it you’ll probably be accused of homicide. If you meant to do it and PLANNED to do it, the charge will definitely be homicide and if it’s ugly enough, it will be capital murder. That’s only the legal constrictions. I’m more concerned with esoteric function. I suppose that is how I will get some distance from the frustration of observing that some people seem to have no consequence for doing bad things…I need to separate the human legal and societal constructs from the Universal and esoteric laws. I suppose, as I have said many times, Karma is a bitch, and she takes no prisoners. There has to be Justice in the Universe overall, else we might still be space dust.

One final argument on this, on deserving and on justice…a squirrel or rabbit may be prey for a hawk or an owl. Does the squirrel or the rabbit deserve to die a somewhat brutal death, torn apart and eaten while still alive? They scream, and seem to die horribly, but everyone agrees this is simply natural order. Nothing personal, just business…quite literally. There is no judgement about worthiness, or about deserving, or about good qualities. There is no scorekeeper to determine that owls across the territory have eaten enough squirrels for the month, so the next few squirrels will be spared to maintain the owl-squirrel ratio in the territory because, well, it’s only fair. That is not natural law, that is not Universal law. That philosophy is human law, and applies only to human-human interaction. It certainly doesn’t apply to human-animal interaction, so a human might kill a squirrel or a rabbit in much the same way as an owl might, intentionally. There are no consequences for us in so doing, because after all, we’re the apex of the food chain, of the animal kingdom. So, there’s yet another glitch in the process…we’re only concerned with worthiness and deservedness concerning ourselves. I’m interested by my thoughts about the spiiritual toll that implies…do we not have responsibility to mete out justice on smaller-brained life forms as we would have it doled out on ourselves? By that, I’m not asserting that we should go on trial for killing squirrels and rabbits, but…our intentions should be more spiritually conscious. Killing a lesser life form in order to eat is not, in itself, a spiritual non sequitur. The larger question, though, is do we “deserve” to eat more than a squirrel “deserves” to live? Is a human life worth more than a squirrel’s? It may depend on who you ask.

I’m not entirely sure why I romped off on this journey into the bowels of ethics and worthiness. I have long been really perplexed by not getting what I want, even when not getting the desired result was actually more beneifical in the long run. But…I want what I want. I want to feel like things are working out for me, like the winds of fate are on my side. I want to feel like I’m winning. Maybe it’s all randomly cyclical, maybe it’s what people have always said – you win some, you lose some. Maybe observing the apparent success of others is delusional at best…or maybe it’s just about what seems to be the high esteem that successful people are afforded, regardless of their character of being “good enough”.

That high esteem is what makes 8-year-old boys emulate football stars who physically assault their girlfriends, or who engage in dog-fighting rings. They are not judging the bad behavior, only the end-game, the celebrity and the wealth and the attitude that says “I can do whatever I want and I’m still famous and rich and screw you anyway”. This is the same attractiveness that President 45 had – he could say the most outrageous and hurtful things, and still got to sit in the Oval Office and still had people doing his bidding and cheering for every insult that he uttered. This is also what has so many intolerant people decrying “political correctness”, claiming it simply causes us to lie to each other, to not say what we mean, to not tell the truth.

I have thought some of the same thing, that we don’t say what we mean, that we lie creatively to avoid conflict, that we gloss over the truth so as not to engage, that we hide in our seeming politeness. I don’t think that’s a function of political correctness, however; I think that’s due to the root cause of lying and hiding behind our truths, of being afraid of healthy conflict. If I really don’t like white people, and I have to work with them, should I not comply with the code of conduct that says don’t call people names, don’t insult people, don’t alienate people, do whatever you have to do to keep focus on the work and ignore the personal feelings. Well, if I don’t acknowledge, if I’m not honest, at least to myself, that I really don’t like these people, I’ll probably do stupid passive aggressive things, and when caught, start my defense with “But I have no problem with white people. I was raised to believe that people were just people.” , and there we go.

I’m going to be sneering on the inside every time I say the “right” things, and I may very much want to escalate my anti-white people behaviors outside of the work place. Because I can. Because I am so fucking angry that I have to be nice to “them”. That I am so fucking angrey that I have to work with “them”. That I am so fucking enraged that I have no choice about any of it. And there it is…again. I feel that I have no choice. That can make a person want to kill. Or climb up on the roof of the U.S. Capitol with a confederate flag and then go inside and poop on the floor. That’s rage. That’s “screw you, you ain’t NOTHIN’, and you ain’t more than me” kind of rage. It’s the rage that says I’m gonna walk off with your official podium over my shoulder and put my feet on your desk, just to show you that I don’t think you’re worthy of MY respect. That’s depravity, and it’s real, and it’s feral. Nobody can reach these people, and I think we should stop trying and accept the fact that they’re lost to us.

Some of this makes sense only to me, which is fine. I so wrestle with things like this, like is my life worth anything to anyone but me, is my life worth more than a squirrel’s, or an owl, or a hawk. I started with pondering what’s missing in my life, that allos me to go unfulfilled. The question of worthiness is legitimate in that discussion. Not sure about the squirrels, but that’s OK. Perhaps my concept of worthiness involves other people, such that I’m worthy because someone else believes me to be worthy. I never thought my father particularly thought I was worthy, but I don’t think he considered himself worthy, either. However, he got what he wanted. I believe my mother thought I was worthy, but I’m not sure if she thought I was worthy of my life as opposed to hers, or her version of my life. I suppose the work before me, then, is to find out if I beileve myself to be worthy of my own life, and go from there. Right now, however, I am going to have more coffee and then take my medications and (shhhhh!) take the dog out.

Nobody asks if we deserve this, it just … is.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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