“Make plenty of deposits in your karmic bank.” This is one of my father’s three creeds for life. I have believed it to be a universal truth for all of my life. I have over the last couple months seen firsthand the results of what happens when one does not live by this motto…when people act purposefully unkind, when people make withdraws from their karmic bank instead: When people do harm to another without thinking through the consequences, When people kick others when they are already down, When people have only their own interests in mind and not the best interests of another. I have a very high pain threshold, for myself. My tolerance to pain both mental and physical is quite strong, but when my loved ones are hurt or are hurting I am like a mamma lion ready to rip out a throat. When I am in lioness mode I am fierce.
Today I am in lioness mode. I am angry that someone who has shown me great kindness has been purposefully treated unkindly by others. I am unsure how to handle myself. Where is my level of responsibility to protect those I love? Am I partly culpable? Years ago I heard Eddie Vedder talk about how Pearl Jam is a religion, and he says there is only one commandment, don’t be an asshole. I have, since I heard these words, every night as I fall to sleep, silently asked myself, “was I an asshole to anybody today?” It feels good to admit it and ask the universe for forgiveness when the answer is yes. It is seldom yes. I try very hard to make my father proud by living his creed, not just uttering the words mindlessly now and again. I try to make plenty of deposits in my karmic bank. This belief in “being good” if you will, generally keeps me from violating this one commandment for how I choose to live my life.
My life and my lifestyle has been vastly different since the 5th of July. I’ve made different choices about how to act and what to say, how to behave and how to blend in, how to protest or object and how to agree and participate. I am becoming a different version of myself and I feel, deep in my core, that the essence of who is me had been in hiding for so very long due to choices I made and now as I near my 45th year of life, the very me that is me, seems to be blooming. I feel more “myself” these two months than I have felt in my entire adult life, perhaps because I am finally feeling like I do not have to think THIS way, act THIS way, agree THIS way, look THIS way…perhaps it takes a certain kind of love or a certain kind of acceptance in a relationship for one to be who one is.
As a result of this new found freedom to be, I find that each day I WANT to be a better version of the me I was the day before. There may not be a RIGHT way or a WRONG way to act, but indeed by behaving in a way that is as authentic as possible, one knows that one is on the good path…I want to do for my Darrin what Samantha did on Bewitched; crinkle my nose and fix things. I want to call Endora when I need back up. I suppose if one does not understand karma and the implications of being an asshole, then one can’t see that behavior that makes a debit and not a credit is a really bad choice. Can I blame these people for behaving with selfishness and unkindness if maybe they do not even realize that they are acting in these ways? A baby throws food from her high chair as soon as she has the manual dexterity to do so, and only stops doing it when she learns it is wrong…maybe if a person is never taught about karma and debits and credits they just simply do not know any better…My lioness mode has waned during these minutes of writing and now I just feel a little sad on behalf of someone who deserves nothing but happiness. I can’t make anybody see my way, I can’t make anybody act the way I want them to act. I can only be accountable for my own debits and credits but I can say a silent prayer tonight, when I analyze my asshole-ishness of the day, for those who do not understand, to see more clearly in the morning.