This is about cutting through the bullshit. My own bullshit. The bullshit that started the moment I was born, when I was a tiny perfect baby and someone said, “don’t cry!” And somewhere in my little baby brain the thought formed, that I should not be crying. That I was somehow less for crying, and that my mom and the world would like me better if I stopped. That other babies, who are not crying, are better babies. And so I stopped crying before all my tears had been shed.
That little baby notion of wrongness gets shoved into the closet at the back of our minds, and unless we empty the closet and turf that baby bullshit out, it can stay there and fester for the rest of our lives. It leaches a little poison out, that says I am bad, and you are bad, we are bad. We deserve all the pain that is coming to us, and we can lessen the pain by doling out a little retribution to someone else.
It is possible for me to trace back some of my own delusions of unworthiness, unlovableness and unattractiveness to my mother, or to my mother’s mother, or to the bigger lies of advertising, consumer capitalism and war. I can see that all my suffering comes from these delusions. All my ancient twisted karma. The causes and conditions of human misery. But it doesn’t really matter where the skeins of delusion originate or where they intertwine. What matters is that I recognize that they are bullshit. There is real work to be done, and I must not waste any more time in punishing myself.
I wipe clean the glass and peer through it, and look! More bullshit! Truly, inexhaustible. I crumple another sheet of newspaper, run another bucket of water, add a capful of vinegar. Another dirty window. Start again. I will clean the windows of delusion, transforming poisons into compassion and sympathetic joy.