I questioned my own motivation for anything supposedly good or nice I had ever said or done. Helping people had made me feel good. Did I stay up all night with the people on the bummers because, deep down, it made me feel better about myself? Because it felt good to be needed by strangers and known to be useful in situations other people ran from? Ego! It could be traced back to ego!
My dear son. Did I think I loved him so much just because of that big hole I had in my chest ever since I can remember and I was just trying to fill it up? Had I been worrying about his body and soul, going without sleep, holding vigil over him--was that actually just fulfilling some ego need of mine? To focus on someone else instead of looking into my own dark soul? Yes. That could be true! Did I really, truly love him if I couldn't teach him about this selfish, evil world so he could protect himself and claw out his own corner of it? Or did I just selfishly want to see someone else hang on to ideals and fantasies that I was having a hard time letting go of? Was love just selfish, too? I was nothing but a dark, tattered ego...out for myself...just like everybody else fighting for survival down here. God this was a horrible place! And where was God, anyways? Was there even something beyond us? Was there anything truly good and pure out there?
I remembered hearing about people who gave away their food in the concentration camps. Was that somehow selfish, too? I started reading every personal account I could find on the holocaust--devoured them--searching in true darkness to find an act of unconditional love. Something that was pure goodness. Something where I couldn't uncover a subconscious selfish motivation. Just me. Nothing scientific. Just a personal quest for my own selfish soul's benefit, my own selfish opinion.
I'd read and read. Individuals would recount how a total stranger in the camp would give them food or clothing...or advice on how to survive. They didn't know the person--sometimes never saw them again after the one act of supposed kindness. But, did the person act because others may be watching (motivation for many) who might think better of them? Not really. Most of the inmates thought anything you did to not selfishly survive was crazy foolish! And if it was a soldier trying to whisper to you on arrival--they could be killed for that. Hummm....
I could see a subconscious selfish family line survival thing with giving food to relatives and lovers...but what would be the gain with an absolute stranger, no one watching you, and you are expecting to die? If we are bottom-line truly selfish and evil--what possible gain could there be? What advantage could there possibly be for you to give up something precious to your own selfish survival for a total stranger's?
Love? A spark of unconditional love...of something beyond the horror of this life? Why did it make me cry?
The more I examined it and rolled it over and looked at it from all sides...the brighter it was in the darkness. I believed it was as close to unconditional love as a human can probably get.
And I kept reading and reading...about the people who risked their own lives to hide and save the lives of others...and, most amazing, the ones who forgave their torturers...the murderers of their loved ones. Shining lights in the darkness! I would read and cry...as I am crying now writing this...
...and no matter what is real or isn't about our nature...just knowing these things exist makes my heart swell and my soul lift...I can physically feel it! Goodness! Love! That is as real as evil.
Suddenly I could see little bits of light--like stars in a black sky--everywhere I looked! It really is true...seek and ye shall find. You will find what you are looking for.
The last year had been bleak and hopeless. Had felt dead inside. I didn't want to live like that. It was a miserable existence. My soul had been shriveling away to something hard and dry. Yes, my eyes had been opened to evil, but...I also truly believed in good and love...
So, now what? I had never been good at seeing evil intentions, telling when people were lying to me...or just being able to protect myself, in general. But--I had absolutely had it with the darkness! If you believe in God, you had to believe in the Devil. If I believed in Good and Love--and I believed in Evil and Hate--well, then--enough fence sitting. Now that I knew--down to my core--I had to pick a side.
How could I teach Dagan how to survive and pick goodness and love if I was clueless how to run the nasty maze, myself?
Okay--I picked God/Good/Love and I was ready for battle. Felt tremendously overmatched and under-skilled, but I don't do things half-assed--was fully prepared to die trying. I knew how close I had been to losing my soul. I wasn't giving it up without a fight. And I announced all this to the heavens--to GA (my guardian angel)--to God.
"I am going to do this--with or without your help! I don't know what to do--how to protect myself. I am scared to death. I'm not a really good person, but I will not give up trying to be! If you are really out there--if you even care at all that someone like me is on your side--if you want to help me out--or even just give me a sign--I will wait for you every night before I fall asleep."
And every night I laid in bed and waited...and milled over questions in my mind. How do you know who to trust? How am I supposed to react when people are mean to me? Or I find out they have been lying to me? What about the people who seem to emotionally suck you dry? Should I still be suspicious of everyone? What should I say to Dagan? How to I teach him if I don't know yet? How do I deal with my anger with the people who do bad things? Should I stay away from people as much as possible? How do I protect myself? Do I need a big wall around my heart?.........
I milled and milled...and waited and waited...
Until one night. I was answered!! :):)