I meant to post this yesterday. I wrote it at the park but by the time I got home I was feeling too overwhelmed with whatever overwhelming things have been happening to re-write it here. It's all good though, just needed to take some time to recover.
Here is the post:
Life itself is unjustified and unjustifiable-- that is why using a lens of justice (or judgement or even purpose) doesn't work well with it. This is a pattern that I keep creating in my own life and the result is always the same-- guilt.
I want to live my life in a way that is good, but what exactly does that mean?
Since "good" doesn't objectively exist it has to be defined. How you choose to define "good" will set the standards and expectations you have for yourself, as well as what you perceive as "bad" and "failure."
So how do you define "good"? And then how do you apply that definition to life?
I tried once to define goodness as kindness and not causing harm. I thought pain was bad and so I thought to be good was to never cause pain. This was impossible and I quickly ran into problems.
I tried again. This time I defined goodness as "utility", but then I couldn't find a purpose meaningful enough to justify my existence. I could not make myself "useful" enough and if I got sick or hurt or unable to serve I thought I was "bad". Again, this definition become unsustainable.
Religion had its own definition of good, so I tried to borrow that, but the results weren't any better. What about culture? Society said that being good meant working hard, getting married, having certain things and following certain rules, would that be enough of a standard? But the results were still the same.
No matter how I tried to define "good" and what standard I set I always failed-- even when I succeeded I failed. In fact when I hit all the check marks I had made for my standard I felt even MORE guilt. So I felt guilty all the time and then I believed that since I felt guilty it meant I was guilty and since I was guilty I must have done something bad, and if I had done something bad then I must BE bad.
I have played out this pattern over and over and over. It does not feel good. But why does it work that way?
I think its because my idea of "success" actually equated to the suppression of myself in one form or another. No matter how I defined good there was an aspect (or multiple aspects) of myself that did not fit the definition and it was impossible to sustain that definition indefinitely, in order to try to sustain it I had to imprison, restrict, or completely abandon any part of myself that did not fit my model. But the acts of imprisonment, restriction, and abandonment went against what my heart felt to be true. So in order to be "good" I had to act in away that felt fundamentally "evil" and that created a paradox which would ultimately result in a loop of guilt and pain. The suppression of life-- any life-- including parts of my own felt really wrong on a deeper level than I could express and the more I suppressed the parts of me that I thought were "bad" the worse I felt.
The more rules I subjugated myself to and followed, the more guilty and fragmented I felt. The more I tried to be good the more I felt myself become evil. But why?
Maybe it's because life doesn't care about my definitions of good and evil. Things that exist do not exist as "good" or "bad". They just are. Happiness is happiness. Pain is pain. Life is life.
There are some things that I prefer and some things that I don't, but having preferences don't make those things better or worse. Things just are. Life just is and the reason for existence is simply to exist.
If we are all part of life then our reason for living is just to live. There is no "good" or "bad" way to do this, it just is.We just are.
I have tried to justify why I am here. I tried to prove that I deserved to be alive-- but I couldn't fine a good enough reason. I think it's because there isn't one-- not externally. The reason is within itself.
I had a conversation about this with my sister last year when I was consistently being told (by real people and not just the voices) to drop the judgmental attitude. I have been working since then to drop it-- not because being judgmental is "bad" but because I've lived in this pattern long enough. I don't wish to experience it any longer. I am tired of feeling guilty for everything I do and don't do. I want to see what happens if I live without guilt instead.
It's not an easy habit to break, but I am learning. Patterns still show up but that isn't bad, it just shows me where I can let go more so that I can create a new pattern instead.
The truth is that what I want. What I really want deep down is just to be me. I want to be who I am, as I am every moment and if the appearance or emotion of that being changes in each moment then it changes, but so what? Life changes. I want to be myself without feeling guilty about who I am. I don't want to feel like I have to be more or less than what I am. I just want to be. I don't want to be "good" anymore. So I am learning a new pattern one that doesn't evaluate everything as "good" or "bad" or "better" or "worse". Things just are. I just am. Life just is.