Sunday, July 19, 2009
Many of the people who wanted to support her were embarrassed by her. One day she seemed to be thinking about the government, the economy, history, and the next day, she was searching for something personal. When she talked openly of her sexuality, her family , her friends were uncomfortable.
The truth came one day, that her spiritual enlightenment had not changed her ability to open her heart, her mind, her soul to others. She had always been an open book, and so she remained. For her to be a different person instead of an improving person would have made her something inhuman.
Inhumanity was a terrifying existence that she had witnessed over and over again throughout her trials and tribulations. So many people were bound by the letters of the rules and regulations that they had forgotten how to feel compassion for others. She had weathered the lack of compassion from all sides, even in her own home.
And during that time, she began to see, hear, and feel changes in some of the people. She read it first, the guilt over how she was being treated. That had given her hope. She began to implore to peoples' conscience, to their reasoning, to their humanity. They answered her.
She saw it in her co-workers, felt their embraces once again. She had challenged them to look inside themselves, and they had bravely done that. Some had apologized, in their own way. Others wanted to, she could tell, but they were afraid. How sad to be afraid of their own knowledge of what is right!
These were the ideas and restrictions she knew were wrong. The word had been used to gain control over these people. In their defense, she knew that most of them had wanted to do what their faith required and had listened to their leaders in blind faith. It is an easy thing to be misled over time. She was not without fault either. Did not want to cause any unjust suffering, but she knew that she had unintentionally hurt her sisters and some of her brothers.
She was not the only person to hit a brick wall in learning. Not the only person to lose her job over it. To suffer injustices. But her learning was unique. The uniqueness brought attention to her and to others whose lives had been negatively altered by the illegal and horrific use of control by means of the word.
Her faults, some events beyond her control for medical reasons, and she did not know what else, had all been spread, played, shown to anyone who wanted to watch or listen. Much of the torture and torment meant to drive her down was on public display. Many had watched, listened through the worst of it. They knew the worst she could ever be. Now they would see her grow.
In the hospital, she had debated whether or not to hide in a cave. But then anyone who thought that no one could rise above or overcome would never know there could be a victory for the fallen. She wanted to show everyone that one could be enlightened and not have a perfect life. Her confusion, her decisions were problems that others also faced. She wanted them to know they were not alone. There was nothing wrong with them if they were not perfect.
Unchanged needs: bills to be paid, friendship, spiritual fulfillment, a full cupboard, sex. Enlightenment did not make those needs disappear. But how hopeful could anyone be by someone who was put down and did not rise up? She was able to get through many difficult times in her life because she knew of others who had gotten through obstacles. If she could make a difference for even one person, then she would do it.
Being enlightened did not change who she was, did not change her problems, but it made her a better person and better able to think through and deal with her problems. A lot of people had no other life to return to, or they had less than they had before they were beaten down. There was another way, confusing and imperfect at times, but there was a way. If people, even her daughter and son knew of her fight, of her path to overcome, then they might be aware of the dangers of simply following the herd, of going along. They had to know that there was a moral trade-off. If she disappeared, did not let them see her as she always had, they might think she sold out. That was never going to happen.