And I believe in love. And beauty. I believe that every single person has something they find beautiful and that they truly love. The smell of their child’s hair, the silence of a forest, their lover’s crooked grin. Their country, their religion, their family. And I believe that if you follow this love all the way to its end, if you start with the thing you find most beautiful and trace its perfume back to its essence, you will perceive an intangible presence, a swath of stillness that allows the thing you love to be visible like the openness of the sky reveals the presence of the moon.
But I do believe in the world beyond appearances and that there is so much we can’t see or touch or know just by looking. And I do believe—because I have experienced it again and again—that the world beyond appearances is as real as a chair, a dog, a teapot.
As soon as the feelings come out, there is an inevitable recognition of the self-inflicted violence and suffering that fuel any obsession. And on the heels of that recognition comes the willingness to engage with and unwind the suffering rather than be its prisoner. The exquisite paradox of this engagement is that when suffering is fully allowed, it dissolves.
But to actually feel that I am not broken—I can hardly explain what that is like. It’s like being a piece of holiness. It’s like saying that goodness is not just for everyone else, it’s also for me! It is me!
People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.