I never had things my way. Things never came easy, like it seemed for most people. I used to fight for everything all the time. I’d get what I wanted rarely, but it was always a big struggle. Recently I did work within myself to release some traits that no longer served my highest good, my superior intentions: jealousy, bitterness.
I tried to let go of some of those “shields” my friend, Nancy, pointed out. She was a big help. “You gotta stop fighting everything,” she’d say.
And fighting is one of the things I released. I thought it was better to shift my defenses to allow for more ease. Better for overall karma, right?
Nancy noticed changes. And gradually, other friends did, too. At first, I felt great, powerful. But, then another pattern emerged. I became a “yes” person.
I went from one side to the complete other. I’d skipped through the middle ground. Danced right past the peaceful, placid, humble place I’d so desired. And I’d worked my ass off to get where I was.
It wasn’t easy to wake before dawn for months. To endure boot camp, to take on those fuckers every day, pretending they were the enemy. Yes, sir. They were the insurgents. Yes, sir. They were the ones I’d trained to get, to maim, to kill. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Off we flew toward the land of the Middle East, Kool- Aid drank, motives repeated in our brains like a bad movie, in our core. Brains scrambled like my aching heart.
And then the universe served a challenge on a grand scale to see how much I’d really learned. I experienced hell on earth, up close, not through the lens of a camera, or through a television screen. Smelled rotting flesh. Saw something beyond fear in children’s eyes. Heard other soldiers express grief at night into pillowcases.
So I decided, “I’m not fighting anymore…I’m done.” I gave up. Before a week passed, I knew it wasn’t my truth. I couldn’t do it.
I’m sorry that I didn’t fight for myself. Or my family, friends, for all the things that I’d worked for, including my life.
When the times got tough, I curled up like a potato bug. Silently screamed “uncle.”
I failed you, and our community. And our country.
I don’t know how to live with that.