Ever since I was a kid I always had this sense that I didn’t deserve to belong on this planet.
I never understood why, but the neighborhood kids always threw their little cheapshots at me, same with the kids in school, and even people who I thought were my friends, as well as members of my own family. Throughout my life and into my adulthood people continued to “hate” me without even knowing who I was. Many times it was a race issue, and many times it wasn’t. People just didn’t like me for some reason despite the fact that I was always nice to everyone if I wasn’t keeping to myself.
Alienating me seemed like a fashionable thing to do, and this made me incredibly sad and lonely all the time, especially being an only child with no siblings (or any relatives) to really turn to. I used to think that maybe there really was something wrong with me, that maybe I just wasn’t good enough to be considered a human, and maybe I existed separately from this very world that I apparently didn’t deserve to live in.
But that didn’t seem right, because ever since I was a kid, every time I went outside I saw myself in trees, animals, and even the sky and clouds. I felt like there was a little bit of myself in the moon and the sun. I felt like even though I didn’t have human company, I had the company of everything else. So how could I be something that existed completely separate from everything?
But later on in life, I found that the source of my sadness wasn’t that I lived a separate existence from the universe… it was that all these people, despite my attempts at wanting be a part of them, separated themselves from me. According to a Buddhist named Brad Warner, this idea of viewing yourself as separate from the rest of creation is “real” hate.
For many years I suffered from sadness and loneliness that turned into resentment and anger. I gave into that whole delusion of separateness. It wasn’t till I found Taoism and Zen when I started feeling “whole” again. It’s through those teachings that I’m finding my way back to my original self with a child-like silliness and that youthful fascination of the universe around me.
And as for all my fellow humans who live under that delusion of egotistical separation from each other, from mother nature, and from me… well, it’s just not their time to wake up yet. And for that, I should forgive and replace my indignation with compassion.
It’s a work in progress.