I don't want to belong anymore. In fact, more than that, I don't want to want to belong anymore.
I talk often of community, collaboration, family, connection and love. Yet, so often when I find and enter a community, no matter how lovely it seems, I find it built on division; on them and us.
I cannot take it anymore.
I am sick of people who hurt other people. I am sick of being manipulated, seeing others manipulated, and it being assumed that I want to manipulate others, just because people see what they are.
"whose group are you in?" or "Whose side of this are you on" they ask. Maybe not in those words.
I cannot bear to watch people's anger as they become the cruelty they fight against, as the inequity of our society takes its grip on them and they can no longer feel the empathy needed to see the other side. They cannot see the privilege they hold, or the struggles and traumas of others. They stop taking important factors into account, responding with compassion in their heart, and they stop meeting people with the generous expectation of their intention.
My sadness overwhelms me as I watch people clamouring for the most attention, the biggest accolade, for glory, and to be the authority, or the one in the "right". Even people who strive to teach empathy, compassion, respect, divergence and inclusion are so influenced by our poisonous society that they need to be the expert in, let's say empathy, and in that pursuit they lose sight of empathy altogether, throwing it as a sacrifice to the gods of success and recognition.
I am not immune.
When we see things that bring us pain, frustration and anger, we need to look inward, and work these traits through in ourselves. I have wanted others to take my side. I have wanted to be the authority. I have felt that others success means my failure. I have lost focus of the real goal, in pursuit of perceptions of success. I have lashed out in anger, when I was hurt, or when things felt unjust.
Now it stops. As far as I can make it stop:
I refuse to take sides, nor to stand by and allow people to hurt others.
I refuse to focus on being more than someone else, over my focus on helping someone else do better, and be more free.
I refuse to let my joy in raising others to be tainted by anyone who seeks to take advantage of that.
I refuse to be less of myself, to restrict myself, to mask my issues, to stem my compassion, or conform, just so I can belong somewhere.
People don't understand me. People don't agree with me. People don't like me.
And that's ok.
Because I understand me. I have courage in my convictions. I like me.
And I know I am not alone.
The people who count don't require me to hold their opinions, and don't need me to belong in order to love me.