I want to be good. Domesticated. Housebroken.
I turned fifty-something this week and a full personality makeover looks unlikely. There is nothing my weary psyche would welcome more than to embrace peace, love, understanding and its accompanying arrogance. I want to be detached. I want to meditate and travel and make enough money to afford hummus. My journey has not been serene and never will be. If only I could have found some way in my life to cash in on my alienation, I’d feel successful and thus more comfortable with it.
Where I live, the expression about “having hatred in your soul,” is a popular put-down for anyone whose opinion is different from yours. It’s an all-purpose cheap shot that covers just about any subject. I can’t seem to spit the words out even when I really want to insult someone, because it’s just too lame, and how do I know I wouldn’t respect that person? It’s a fine line.
I know people who have sold their soul to serenity by trading it for their personality (like what happens to some people in AA). I would gladly give up the personality I came with, which is apparently defective, to be swathed in the protective cocoon of new-age coolness. An acquaintance who teaches school recently said to me that kids who get bullied in school send out signals that make other kids bully them. If you’re like me and bullying enrages you…well who wouldn’t be envious of this self-protective viewpoint? Isn’t that what we all strive for? To dilute our anger? That’s pretty impressive to not even have hatred in your soul for bullies! But while you’re brandishing your superiority, I’m feeling intimidated and no longer know what to say. (I sure have a lot to say about it now though, after thinking about it.)
Yes, there are ideas, actions and people in this world I hate. But for a person with hatred in her soul, I get a lot done. Good things, that help people and animals and my community and my little ragtag family of refugees. Maybe my hatred of one thing evolves from a compassion for another. I don’t know but I’m facing life head-on every day and keeping it all afloat for those who depend upon me.