The Tyrany of Fragility

I feel the pain of people who have been physically, emotionally , psychologically and sexually violated. Who have been demeaned
and made to feel like they are less, less than others, less than human. I have been one of those people for most of my life. To be honest, my entire life has been an exercise in vanquishing the inner self loathing that is the legacy of those painful experiences. .I have borne those scars and still carry some open wounds from those violations. Some were from strangers but some were from my own family and in some cases from people I considered to be friends.
I have always refused to identify myself as a victim. I always saw myself as a target. I could never afford self pity because self pity is a hindrance when you are trying to survive. For a long time I believed that I became who I am in spite of the horrible things that happened to me and that were done to me but when I was about 47 years old
I began to understand that I became who I am because of my response to those horrible experiences. First and foremost those experiences introduced me to my own grace, to my own dignity. Cruelty taught me what it means to be kind, the lack of compassion I received taught me empathy, the hurling vitriol, lewd innuendo and brutal remarks led to my unswerving need to define myself by my own standards and to develop my own values and to bear no ones judgment. The threat and fear I lived under grew my courage. The near constant rejection created my unshakeable faith in my strength of spirit, which has always blissfully soared above every sordid experience I was subjected to, I have always found the laughter loophole in every personal tragedy and all these things and have midwife my personal evolution as a human being .This has taught me to share myself with the world. To always give the best of myself because in the end we are left with what we give not what we receive.
Slowly I learned that it is impossible to avoid pain but that suffering is a choice and that happiness is an innate quality I possess, that happiness does not reside outside of me and I don’t need someone else to give it to me. I know that joy is our natural inheritance as human beings and resides plentifully within each of us.
I refused to allow the brutality of life to make me a smaller person or to internalize the betrayal of others because life taught me they were not betraying me, they were betraying themselves. The betrayals hurt yes but each betrayal made me more innocent and paid off my own shortcomings to others and slowly I became debt free paying all that I owed with my sorrow and my sorrow diminished and my capacity for love grew.
My world is built on the friendship and camaraderie of likeminded souls. We are overjoyed to find one another and we don’t feel we have to alter or control each other’s individuality. We don’t compare and weigh our suffering against each other but we know in our hearts what the others have survived by the kind of jokes they make and the timbre and color of their wit. Surrender , retreat and giving up are not in our vocabularies. We are not hurt by the opinions of people we do not respect. We don’t need approval, approval and growth don’t really mix. Anyway we couldn’t afford the price of approval when we were young and approval has no value when you are old. I learned that there is a world outside myself, a world I am part of , a world that needs me to my contribution and that in order to contribute to this world I have to know where I begin and where the world begins and in order to know that I had to learn to understand myself and my feelings and to take responsibility for them because without that responsibility and ownership of what hurts me and what makes me happy I would have no power. True power comes from knowing the absolute truth about ourselves and that takes ruthless honesty. We have no power without love , without love and empathy for both ourselves and others ,we cannot complete our character, which is given to us like seeds are given to farmers, to grow and to harvest from, to create abundance that nurtures us and allows us to share its bounty. We are never a done deal till we leave this planet. Don’t sell yourself short.