The very moment I woke up and realized that I was completely responsible for my life (not Jesus, not God, not my parents, etc…) I was thirty-eight freaking years old. Kind of an old bag by then, to have understood such a simple concept about being alive on this planet. I don’t know why it hit me so hard at that time. Most likely it was my gay Atheist roommate who made no excuses for any of her problems. She was mature, responsible and incredibly whole in herself. She was also dynamically present, which was quite noticeable, because most people are not. Most people have a million things going through their heads and they get dragged around by those thoughts like they are some sort of puppet being held hostage by their thinking process. My roommate was all up in the now, without having even read an Eckhardt Tolle book, or having God as a crutch in her life. She was like, this is my one chance as a human being and I’m going to give it my all. I am going to be who I am and do my best while I am here. If I make mistakes, I’m going to clean up my mess. I don’t have time for nonsense or bullshit. This is it.
Although I don’t share her belief about this being the only chance I get to do it right, I certainly had a big shift (wake up call) while I lived with her. I was standing in the mirror, cleaning my dresser when it hit me. This was right after a dream I had where I stood in the mirror. Reflected back to me, was Christ in all his white light glory. Incredible dream that I won’t get into right now (it was for me), but when you have a vivid dream about standing in the mirror and seeing Christ, let’s just say that it sort of has a profound impact. In real life (after the dream), I was cleaning, and suddenly overcome with the notion that I had no excuses – that I was responsible. Let me back up a little bit… Prior to the dream, I had lived with the belief that Jesus was going to be coming back someday soon to remove me and all the other “believers” from the messed up planet. Because of this belief, I was lackadaisical about being here. It was always in the back of my mind (you see) that I was entitled to not worrying about the planet because God was going to destroy it anyway. OMG I could go back and slap myself across the room for being so ignorant back then.
The moment I stood there with my dusting cloth, and as I looked into the mirror – what I saw for the first time ever was a perfectly capable human being who had no excuses but to be responsible for myself. I even considered the fact that Jesus may not be coming back in the literal sense of the interpretation of the Bible. I mean, I had grown up with this image in my mind of a trumpet blowing and Jesus appearing in a cloud. He was going to scoop up all his people and whisk them away before things got really bad here, but the thing is – things are really bad here now, and I stopped blaming Satan a long time ago. People are assholes – selfish, greedy, and lacking a sense of personal responsibility to their surroundings. I was one of those people to some degree. My excuse was never really Satan (once I became an adult), but it was my addiction, and some of the trauma I endured. My excuse was always that I had an out at some point when Jesus came back in those clouds for me, but then it hit me that my roommate didn’t have the Jesus excuse, and also that dream was so powerful – basically placing me in a state of knowing that right here, right now is all we have. I am what I am always seeking. There is no separation of “when Jesus comes” and right this very second (which is all there ever is). So all that future grandiose thinking on my part, was a hoax – a trap really, to keep me in a state of yearning. It was the very component that makes up suffering.
We suffer because we long to be out of this moment. We long to be removed from our pain. We suffer because we don’t accept what is, right now. We want something other than what we are feeling, what is occurring, how the moment is unfolding, etc, but the entitlement we uphold, is that someone is going to come along and save us from it. That’s a lie. That’s a big, fat fricken lie. I recall the moment I looked in the mirror and thought, “I’m the one who has to save myself.” Shock. Desolation. Fear. Terror. All of these awful feelings seized my heart, but that’s exactly when I knew that I had been completely irresponsible (and delusional) for myself and for my own life. If I was afraid to take complete responsibility for myself, then (so help me God), I hadn’t been responsible for myself for thirty-eight years. I had been waiting for a pie in the sky savior. I know without doubt, that the savior is never apart from me.
That year, I stop daydreaming about a future Earth and began being present for the earth that was my own human body, which is the only thing I have control over. I became aware of what I was doing, how I was acting, what I was putting in my mouth, what was coming out of my mouth, and how I responded to the world around me. Other people became more important than my hair (and make-up). I finally realized that this was it. Perhaps I will have another chance to get it right in another lifetime, but all I ever have is right now – right this moment, and right this moment, all I have control over is me. So dammit, I’m going to give it my all while I’m here. I may mess up at times. I may forget once in a while. I may have bouts of anger or days of pain, but those moments belong to me and I’m going to embrace them. I DO embrace them. I certainly do. I have a fire burning in me like never before – a passion for life – an inner power that burns with the moment. I’m excited to be alive, and open to making a difference, but the difference I’m making isn’t that I am trying to change everyone else. I’m simply changing me to be the world I want to see (thanks Gandhi). I have a deeper love for my environment, the people around me, and also for myself. That moment when I woke up and decided to take responsibility for my life was scary, but since then, my life has been a series of small miracles (some bigger than others). Because I have a grip on reality now, I understand that I am creating it as I go along. That sense of wonder is stronger than ever, and I’m no longer pining for someone to come along and change it up. If I want change, I know (for a fact) that it begins with me. And in the profound words of someone else (I don’t know who said this)… “We are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS,” meaning, stop trying to DO something, and start BEING someone while you’re here.