180924 – Dear Diary #1

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~ ]

Am I “in the mood” for this? Can’t say, but let’s try.

Good morning diary. I know you have no idea who I am, or why I would be addressing you in such familiar terms. Well neither do I. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Introductions, perhaps? My name is Sha’Tara. Pleased to meet you. No, don’t read between the lines, I know I’m pretending but we have to start somewhere.

Where? Well, we’re in my back yard under a very bright Autumn sun and enjoying the latent heat. Got the garden mostly cleaned up – this is a text editor so no pictures – and I’m looking at some little things I could do to “the homestead” to forestall some more frost damage due to those bitter eastern winds I’m anticipating by at least 3 months! I think closing that garage entrance “wind tunnel” with a wide half-glass door would be good.

For now, everything is very green and lawns are still being mowed, including a contract one I have to get to tomorrow afternoon on “Little Mountain”. I’ll try to get some pictures, something I’m definitely not reliable at doing. That’s it for the small talk, diary. Now to what I really meant to say.

I woke up this morning, as on so many mornings now, with a weight on my heart as if I was carrying the whole world. Was it due to dreams? I don’t know, I cannot remember having any, just the weight that with a nice light breakfast of protein mix and a slice of thick, raisin toast, seemed to lighten up. The feeling is still here though, as if it is begging to be analyzed and understood.

I’ll tell you what, diary. I think these heavy mornings are due to a rise in my level of empathy, stretching out further and farther upon the planet, picking up “stuff” that unfortunate “others” are experiencing. Wouldn’t that make sense? It cannot be from my own life: there’s nothing personal in it that one could label as negative. Peace, relative quiet, health, enough money to live comfortably, a small mortgage carefully managed. A few friends also carefully “managed” so there are no cling-ons in the mix. So, definitely not about me.

What about “out there”? Well I know that there is a lot of trouble brewing and spewing out in many places. I know there are literally millions of people, animals and “others” suffering terribly because of the greed and presumption of some and an uncaring attitude from many. Am I one of those, diary? If I take my comfortable life as pivot point, then yes, certainly I could be accused of not caring.

But it’s not that simple, is it. I know that I could throw in the towel, as far as this middle class lifestyle of mine is concerned, settle my “debt” with the bank and take the left-overs, something like a half a million dollars of “cold hard cash” and go out into the wild blue yonder looking for more effective ways to help the downtrodden. Yes, technically that is a possibility. But realistically?

Back to working with those ubiquitous “charitable organizations” being told how to dress; how to behave towards others; how to speak and what to say – most of the emphasis being on conformity to some group rather than on the work at hand. Chances of that happening, diary? Nil. Binder Dundat, never again.

Other possibility, give it all away. Sure, then become a burden on “the State”? No, that isn’t happening either. And at my age, how long in any case before the body does a back flip and it’s all over?

So, back to analysis of this heavy feeling upon awakening – using that term in the literal and etheric way. It isn’t about “me” doing “more” for the oppressed, it’s really about sharing that place and space with “them”. It is how true empathy develops and makes its home in the mind and body. If I live with this growing sense of empathy I know that it puts me in a differnt space, from selfish to selfless. If-when someone calls for help I know I will be “on-call”, ready and willing to respond. That’s what this is all about: a tuning of one’s attitude to the world, from one of taking, to one of permanently ready and willing to give or share.

Right now. From right here, from within my comfort zone, independently in charge of my choices and movements, self empowered and fully responsible. What do you think of that analysis, diary?

37 thoughts on “180924 – Dear Diary #1

  1. katharineotto

    I’ve had that concern, too. Human angst seems like a thick gel that surrounds the planet, making it hard to move or breathe. It doesn’t seem to help anyone for me to take it on, like a martyr, but to try to rise above it, if I can, so demonstrate the ability to others.

    Nature provides such solace and seems to regenerate my depleted reserves. I do believe we work out our own problems and the world’s problems in our sleep, whether we remember dreams or not.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Perceptive comment, Katharine. While part of it is, for me, how I’ve explained in my comment to George, the mutation towards becoming a full empath, there definitely is an encircling and binding of planetary thought and expectations. A “great split” is in the making between man as the ruling thought-mind on this world, and the world itself. Man is definitely caught in an old pattern of thinking whereas the planet is evolving and moving on, shall I say. Climate change, for example, is a part of this natural, inevitable change. It could have been something much more catastrophic and sudden, like a cometary impact or a sudden overlapping of tectonic plates. We got “lucky” and given a chance to re-think our approach to life on earth (which will go mostly ignored) and a challenge to re-shape our entire civilization (which will be thought of as foolish). Our “luck” will simply run out and that will be that, with some survivors in horrific conditions that could have all been avoided. The planet is doing more than changing, it’s mutating, and some of us having caught on are allowing ourselves to mutate with it. It may or may not save us but it will allow us to understand the forces at work at this time. I like the idea of knowing what’s going on, not just ignorantly being dragged through it. When man’s technological “rope” breaks at least some of us will already be over the cliff, not dangling in midair still bragging about how high we were able to climb.

      1. katharineotto

        Interesting. Awhile back, I wrote a (sort-of) tongue-in-cheek sci-fi story about an “earth-split.” It’s short. Maybe I will post it.

    2. Sha'Tara Post author

      As to working out problems in dreams, I can’t argue against that, it’s happened to me often enough, you know, that “I’ll sleep on it” to wake up with what should have been a simple solution. I’ve also come up with some amazing solutions to global problems… and learned that the bigger the problem the easier it is to solve. Wars? Solution: stop fighting! Let’s see now, what’s wrong with that solution? Can’t imagine. Misogyny? Respect and protect all women and girls, no questions asked. Oppression? Be compassionate. Nothing at all to do with force, just simple choice. But as Shakespeare remarked, “What fools these mortals be!”

      1. katharineotto

        It seems that people and animals all respond to basic respect for their dignity. I’ve noticed, especially with animals, that they pick up on any sign of condescension. I can see it in their eyes and behavior.

        When I was working, I found even the most disturbed people–schizophrenics, drug addicts, and others–appreciated being treated respectfully. They, probably more than other people, got so little of it.

      2. rawgod

        Hi, Katherine,
        All people, all living beings, not only want, but need respect, and there are a huge number of them that don’t get any. Don Rickles aside, even a little bit of respect goes a long way. Respect gives a person dignity, which helps fill the holes in their spirit caused by disrespect, abuse, mistreatment, and the many other actions that damage our poor and downtrodden and cause many to fall through the cracks of society, and by the wayside of bearable life.
        Few people think of things like that as they see street people and homeless people during their own journeys through the day, verbally deriding them or deliberately turning their gazes away and pretending such others don’t even exist. This is the height of arrogance, and the depth of misery.
        We need more empathic people who will say Hello and offer a smile or afew coins to help them on their way, without them having to beg for such things as we take for granted.

      3. katharineotto

        Thanks for that. Some people, sometimes, just need acknowledgment of their existence. It is respectful and compassionate and oh so easy to do.

      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        Respect is a dangerous word. I’ve used it at times but never, until now, determined to learn what that means for me, whether being given some, or attempting to demonstrate some. It’s a quicksand concept that can mean many things. I have an acquaintance who is convinced that if I disagree with him, I am being disrespectful. I’ve told him he’d get along well with Tweeter-in-Chief. People who would never respect any others expect it for themselves. I am leery of any concept that lends itself to expectation. The compassionate, hence empathetic, need not engage concepts such as respect (or love) because that is already included in the original energy being used but without the confusion of determining what’s what in the transaction. A compassionate person would automatically be respectful of another’s situation or condition. So why do we insist on complicating the main issue with side issues? With compassion all else falls into place. Perhaps that is too big, too large a concept for most people to apprehend. When I read of people using the term compassion, most of the time I know they don’t know what they are talking about because they still believe they can be incrementally compassionate; that it isn’t a “force” that must take over their very life to be effective; that it can be used one day and ignored the next. Not! Tough one.

      5. katharineotto

        People use lots of words they don’t understand. Your friend apparently associates “respect” with “agreement.” I would agree a compassionate person lives respect for self and others and doesn’t necessarily need to put it into words. On the other hand, people who are not used to getting it may not recognize it or be suspicious of it or feel you are condescending. Some people associate respect with fear, as in “respecting authority.”

        Putting words to feelings (if respect can be called a feeling) helps make them conscious.

  2. George F.

    You can only tend your own garden and those who enter. You can not take care of the whole world. Keep your money and live well. “Living well is the best revenge.” I feel you, tho. Even Christ couldn’t take care of everybody. Thus, the phrase: “Heal thyself.”

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for that pointed comment, George. I fully grok what you are saying. The “problem” is similar to those encountered by young adults at puberty: there is no escaping something that is developing in mind and body. I’ve always maintained that “empathy” is not a feeling, or even a choice, but a real sense that developing, evolving humans awaken within themselves. Once awakened, it has to go through various stages of development, which entails a lot of mind searching (notice I did not use the word “soul”!) 🙂 and weird thoughts being pushed to the fore. The empath becomes confronted with ideas basically no one else has, or takes any notion of. Like the pubescent, what does one do with those new feelings? They demand to be explored, developed and experienced. I read a lot about people who talk about compassion and empathy and realize that they think of such things as “choices” when in fact they represent a very real mutation – and let me point back to your novel, and the protagonists, Paul and Akira. Thought I’d throw that in again… I can be nasty huh?

  3. rawgod

    Well. S’T, you asked the question. How has the diary answered you, if it has? What do you think is the best way to be, the best thing to do? I await your thoughts…

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      It’s just that George knows “stuff” and needs a bit of goading, methinks, but thanks for bringing that up. I’ll try to play nice…

      1. rawgod

        Hunh? The question I was talking about was the one you asked of your diary entry. That is the answer I wanted to hwsr, lol.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Oh hell… I missed that comma! I thought… well, never mind, I answered you totally at cross-purposes thinking, never mind that either. Apologies all around and if we’re ever together a the pub, remind me, the first 3 rounds: on me! Back to the diary, and is it any wonder I never kept one? Oracle of Delphi or Cassandra, whatever, I’ll get you an answer, rawgod!!!

      3. rawgod

        LOL. At least it won’t cost you anything if we meet in a bar. I only drink sodas or water. I don’t even use pot, not the THC stuff. That means though, you get to buy your own drinks, lol.

      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thanks rawgod.  Now to the question. Years ago when I committed my life to “living compassionately” then to simply becoming compassion, I had no idea what it entailed but I knew it was something new, something “else” I would be jumping into, like every other times in my life when I undertook something “new” – jump in, practically with my eyes closed.  I mean, why try to figure out something you want before you try it, when you know nothing about it?  As Yoda said to Luke: “There is no try, do, or do not, hm.” There is no try because it’s not like going out to buy a dress for a special occasion, is it. Some things work, some don’t but I would never know if I just skirted (no pun intended) the issue. All or nothing, do or die. Many of my life-changing attempts did more “die” than “do” but at least I meant it, all the way through to whatever end.

        This compassion thing seems to be holding, I don’t see a divorce coming down the line! So here’s the diary question: what’s with that morning sickness feeling? Well, the symbolism is obvious: if compassion is my life mate, I’m pregnant and our “child” which is changing my mind and body, is called empathy. This is all very romantically symbolic but it makes total sense.  From a committed choice comes a mutation, something that is changing me completely and forever. Am I disappointed? No. Am I scared of this change? Oh yes. But it’s pretty wild.

        Life is full of ‘What if’s’ but what if this were to catch on? What if this isn’t an isolated case, but the beginning of an epidemic? It’s probably too late for the “Matrix” to have me terminated now but even if, it’s certainly been worth the ride and as the Terminator said, “I’ll be back!”

        Not sure this answers the question but that’s where I’m at.

      5. rawgod

        I guess we all need to bring light to the unknown dark parts in our lives (not in a religious sense, or our baser selves, but just to places we may fear or not understand), allowing us to see there are others around us who need our help, even if it is just a smile or a kind word. I was lucky in that when I was homeless it was before society called it a systemic problem, and people did not look down at us. We “hippies” were seen as a phenomenum, not as the dregs of society. That has all changed. Even ex-hippies have become so self-centered they have forgotten when they were poor and homeless. Life was so much easier back then–NOT! That’s partly because there were a lot of rich kids just playing at being poor. I admit, some were, but most were young adults who were on their own, trying to stay warm and fed while trying to make sense of a cold and hungry world. Compassion and empathy were not everyday words in our world, they were things we had to learn in order to survive.
        Some survived, some didn’t. Some learned, some didn’t. Some grew, some didn’t. Some of the world changed… Most didn’t.
        And that is where we are today, in my mind. I am no longer talking about a group of people that were once called hippies, I am talking about regular people, those who care about others, and those who don’t. If the number of people who care can grow, and the number of people who don’t can become lower, there is still hope for this world. If the opposite is true, the hope will fade…

      6. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: ” If the number of people who care can grow, and the number of people who don’t can become lower, there is still hope for this world. If the opposite is true, the hope will fade…”
        Yes, that is a truism.

  4. Sha'Tara Post author

    Thanks for the question, rawgod. Maybe I should take Katharine’s advice and sleep on it? It would be really nice to experience an appropriate dream on the subject of empathy. I’m pretty sure I’m getting it right, but…?

  5. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Hi Sha’ Tara.
    Definitely tuned into the substance of the world around and within us.
    As we have discussed often, we as a species quiver on the brink of going up or down (very quickly). There is much we are not sure of ourselves and in our state of consciousness we seek for answers or indication, which other species do not. (As an example I’m thinking of the incredible aerial displays by large flocks of birds).
    On the other hand we have a capacity to achieve so much, and one of those fledging abilities is to reach out to emphasise or in compassion help others. And yet, we are still single individual souls and it seems to us we are unable to hold back the flood of greed and anger. This can lead to all sorts of manifestations, some good, some bad (I’m still battling with the latter and my ‘assault rifle solution’….yeh that’ll work won’t it?)
    There is no easy answer for caring beyond small boundaries many folk set up. We live with them, we try and work with them and adapt or evolve with them. We strive. We hope we are going in the right direction.
    Never give up, never set limits. Soar when you can. Rest and reflect other times.

  6. Sha'Tara Post author

    Ah, you would be thinking of murmurations. When we still had starlings here these aerial displays, particularly near sunset, were amazing. Now we only see small displays from shorebirds if one is near a substantial shore, that is. Our bird population is dying off. Even the ubiquitous rock doves no longer frequent city streets. Yes “we” are a volatile species with most either not interested in any answers or seeking them in the usual tried and failed systems and processes. Hence my “sorties” outside the box, or any and all boxes, however seemingly pointless or ridiculous my forays into the untried may seem. Better to have tried and failed than simply accepting what the “murmurators” choose for themselves? And who’s to say it will fail? I’ve come to realize that the naturally empathetic human being is a mutation that has yet to be experienced on Earth. Why not me? Everything to gain, nothing to lose, isn’t that what’s called a win-win situation?

  7. franklparker

    Fascinating discussion you sparked there, Sha’Tara. Not sure where I stand on this empathy/compassion/respect business. Should we respect or feel compassion for those who feel the world owes them a living and do their best to grab it, whether the corporate greed at one end of the scale or the spongers living on welfare at the other? I have said it before, and will repeat it here that the very least one ought to do is to ‘pay your way’. If you live in any kind of shelter you did not build yourself (including making the bricks and felling the timber); if you eat food you did not grow (or gather) yourself and you wear clothes you didn’t make (again, including every process between skinning or shearing the animal to sewing the knitted/woven pieces together) then you have a duty to do work to the equivalent value. Whatever the technologists might claim, machines will never do it all – and those machines need people to make them, mend them or write the software to drive them – to say nothing about the damage they cause to the planet. Anything left over, after you have ‘paid your way, should ideally be used for the ‘common good’, though I’d struggle to define that.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for that comment, Frank. I’ve always felt (as one who is usually at the giving end) that respect is earned and should never be expected, especially from those who do nothing to earn it. Yes, I think “earn” is a proper word to link with respect. In a capitalist plutocracy, no one respects anyone and in a socialistic society, vice versa. When both ends of the spectrum suck from the middle the end result can only spell disaster. I’ve never liked the word “respect” because the connotation is always, “I deserve respect.” No, no one “deserves” something they do nothing to obtain or live in such a way as to turn it away from themselves by not respecting themselves or exuding disrespect for the society they live in. I repeat, respect can only be earned. Or perhaps, like “love” “respect has too many meanings; too many shades of grey attached to it. If we mean “charity” we should use the word charity. IMO! If I choose to sit with a homeless person to discover the “why’s” of their homelessness, I’m not expressing respect for their lifestyle if I happen to totally disagree with their choices; what I am doing is being compassionate in my attempt to help another. Respect may come from society if that individual chooses to accept the help in order to overcome and rise above her/his current condition. ‘Nuff said!

  8. Lisa R. Palmer

    I don’t think I can add anything of substance to this discussio, but I can certainly “validate” that heavy feeling you’ve been waking up with. I’ve noticed it, too. Some days it’s so restrictive that I have trouble getting up at all. And there is nothing in my personal life to account for such “ugh”

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Well Lisa, they’re good discussions that end this way. That feeling? I explain it to myself thus: I’m “mutating” into something I’ve never been and that means the discomfort of change. I can imagine that going from chrysalis to butterfly isn’t all that comfortable and simple either. How many don’t make it and die in the process? It’s taken me 30 years of preparation and I’m still making huge mistakes. Maybe for the insect there is a “natural” process that its metabolism trusts in but for us, it’s all new and we’re flying by the seat of our pants in this. On top of the change there is also that remnant of programming insisting that it’s all illusion, that if it hasn’t happened before, then it can’t happen/isn’t happening now; that we’re fooling ourselves in thinking we can “do” change within ourselves.

      1. Lisa R. Palmer

        Your words ring true for me, and lead me on a journey. A journey of ambiguous feelings and thoughts of doubt. After all this time, and all this training, all this thinking and all this learning. After choosing and loving and carrying on, against all the odds and currents… Well, it just seems like I ought to be more certain of where I’m at, and where I want to be.

        Instead, the moment, this moment, is all about uncertainty for me. But perhaps that is just a measure of the change…

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thanks for your added comment, Lisa. The way I see it, civilization as we know it is splintering along new lines, no longer along religious or political beliefs but along the lines of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ or along the lines of social justice versus injustice. The old patriarchal systems cannot deal with this because they are controlled by the entitled’s and these can never admit they be the architects of social inequity. But in some people’s minds, the image is becoming clearer and that means conflicting feelings and choices of action. The old carrots on the sticks are still there being promoted to hide the widening cracks in the fabric of society but becoming increasingly irrelevant to those whose awareness is being triggered. Imaging being born of land creatures but realizing you have “wings” attached to your body and after watching winged creatures fly about you decide to try your own wings and fly. Where does that leave you? Between realities. No longer acceptable to your own – you’re a freak and they’d kill you if they caught you – and equally a freak to the birds who shy away from you or think of you as easy prey. Neither the land creatures nor the birds realize that what they are seeing in you is their own ‘solid’ reality splintering – irreversible change. For the change agents that is definitely an uncomfortable place and no comfort to be found in either the old ways, nor the new. Hence why detachment and self empowerment was made so much of by the Teachers because all the familiar is now the enemy and is doomed.

  9. ELLE

    Such a treat to get a glimpse into your thoughts. Thanks for bringing this to light–this complexity of emotion, of personal difference–what a ride.


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