Requested List: How I Learned the Reasons I've Hurt People
@HeatherQuinn requested this after reading my list of "Reasons I've Hurt People." I don't really think I can summarize it all here, but I hope these glimpses will suffice. Fuckin' love ListApp. Where else can you get into this shit?!
- •Blew up my life in a big way.
- •Crawled around L.A. asking for help, and got it.
- •With a friend's guidance, started journaling for 10 minutes each day: "No more, no less." Was instructed to use this journaling for all the gnarliest, most terrible thoughts and impulses I had. Bleed them onto the page.This was a crucial tool for figuring out what the hell was going on with me. I could follow an angry thought all the way through to the desperation and grief underneath.
- •Read an old "Lone Wolf and Cub" comic (the classic Japanese manga series). Came across the Buddhist maxim, "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." Could NOT wrap my head around what that meant. Became DETERMINED to wrap my head around what that meant!I couldn't believe a major religion said something like that. Can you imagine a Christian saying, "If you ever bump into Jesus, kill him"?! Started reading everything I could to understand that quote. The answers that I found were crucial to understanding "why I hurt people." (And tons of other stuff!)
- •Had a kid.Saw, face-to-face, my most primal impulses reflected in that kid. Started to gain some more understanding about what was underneath those "hurtful" actions.
- •One day, was out with the kid and had to stop at a K-Mart to buy her diapers. Noticed a bargain DVD bin. Bought a five-disc collection of Jack Benny TV episodes from the 1950s for $5.99.Jack Benny was a comedian whose character was known for being cheap and vain. I became obsessed with listening to his old radio shows, watching his movies, reading every book about him, etc. I realized that Jack had all these "bad" character traits - but he was willing to laugh about how they were human. I never realized how much of comedy was about honesty and self-forgiveness! I started looking at my own "bad" traits in a more forgiving way.
- •Did my damnedest to stay away from patterns and behaviors that led to me hurting other people (and myself).Got a lot of understanding that wasn't available before.
- •Meditated, prayed, wrote, talked to my friends about it.For, like, TEN YEARS NOW. Somehow, I wish the process was more unique and exotic - but it's pretty much the same "new agey" stuff you always hear about.
- •And that's how I learned.Seriously - Jack Benny is my spiritual avatar, and he (and my daughter, and my wife, and my mentors/ friends) saved my life!
- •Thanks for requesting this list, @HeatherQuinn.