Thursday, November 21, 2013

So THAT's my problem

Got an anonymous email today:

Ayalet, you are very bitter and angry, that is why no one is good enough for you.
Have some compassion for others and Hashem will have compassion for you

I'm somewhat bemused by this. Yes, I am angry and bitter, despite my best efforts. The brief joyful interlude of this past summer is long past. I would have expected him to say, "That's why nobody WANTS you" than "why no one is good enough for you." That he didn't shows he's probably a much kinder person than I am.

I know I'm judgmental. And unforgiving. Despite entering a profession essentially based on compassion, it's not an emotion that always comes naturally to me. The Dalai Lama would agree 100% with this dude. I should be more compassionate toward others, and then I'll be happier with my own life.

Well, easier said than done. I know you're supposed to be happy no matter your circumstances, but I'm not one of those beatific types who can be joyful amid daily pain and frustration. I know my life is a million times better than a slave in India or Mauritania, a sex worker in Thailand, plenty of people in the U.S. Somehow that doesn't really sustain me through my frustration, pain, bitterness, regret, and envy.

Included in the email was a poem of sorts.

Nothing Is By Chance

Some think that things may happen just by chance
But all is planned by heaven in advance
Those in sorrow and those in despair
May feel G-d turned his back and is not there
But as the stars he counts and knows each name
He counts and knows each living thing, the same
And each dilemma dark to us as night
He frees us when he knows the time is right
Look at all things as if his gift or test
But always know he does for us what's best

I just can't believe this. I'd sooner believe in karma and reincarnation. If I was evil in a past life, then my present life is atonement. But somehow I think my brilliant patient is right: we live, we die, we're gone, and only our works or our progeny live on after us. He's thought about this a hell of a lot more than I have, and technically he's smarter -- at least in terms of measured IQ.

It's sad how well I can sometimes relate to him -- I think that's why I'm so good at reflecting back to him. I know what it's like to live with resentment constantly simmering just underneath the surface, so you're always ready to be disappointed, frustrated, or angry.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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