People adore platitudes. They make them feel better.
I have a library of them, a veritable catalogue of them stored in my head that have been said to me well meaning friends and relatives with the very best of intentions. Every one of them has served to piss me off and increase, not decrease, the sense of furious anger I feel toward the Universe.
People like to say “It will all work out” or “The best rainbows come after the storm” or “Think positive and good things will happen to you”.
There’s a certain vibe that emanates from people occasionally. It’s deep sympathy and pity mixed with an inherent belief system I understood once upon a time, because it was what I believed, too– that there existed within the world some kind of balancing force, some karmic pendulum that would ensure good people were happy and rewarded for the act of just being ‘good’, eventually.
And again, I say… bullshit.
If that’s true… can you prove it to me?
Where does that fit into the equation?
“It doesn’t exactly work like that”, a friend attempts to reassure me. “It’s not so much karmic forces. It’s just logic– if you act like an arse, you will end up alone and probably miserable. If you’re a nice person, people will want to be around you.”
But there is scantly little that is ‘logical’ about the social behavior of human beings, when it comes down to it.
So again I say- bullshit. And present my evidence to the contrary.
When my husband died there was one person in particular who you would have assumed, given the circumstances, would be one of the first to offer love and supportive. Not only did they withdraw their own support, they advocated for others to do the same.
At the time there was little I could offer myself in way of comfort. I found myself counting my friends on two hands, and then one. The best I could do was believe what I’d always believed– that the inherent perpetually turning wheels of karma would work their justice. That this person would, eventually, be alone and miserable once people realized the kind of blackness through which she viewed the world, the way she lashed out and bit at those most vulnerable in her pain.
Eighteen months later and my own loneliness stabs great big jagged rips through my core most days. My self esteem is in mangled, trodden upon pieces on a dirty garage floor. I’ve lost so many of the people closest to me. Dating is a tactical and emotional battlefield, and I scare people with the depth of my emotions that don’t feel so intense to me, but must see, like looking into water so clear you can see it turn from turquoise to ink black but so deep you cannot see the bottom.
I try not to weigh myself up against others most days. I don’t compare myself or my situation… it feels as though everyone else always come out better off, and there’s no point in feeling like that.
But if I do compare things and events and people, and I really can’t help it on the occasional necessary visit to this one particular person’s house… I see the difference between the life they are living and my own, stark and real and in direct contradiction to any idea that karma governs life.
Because I witness her surrounded by friends, a partner, multiple people who love her. She has all of her friends… and a lot of mine, too.
Where’s the balance in that? There isn’t one. Everyone can note their own examples, I’m sure. A man who worked hard all his life only to be left on financial ruin by bad circumstances, versus someone who had never done an honest days work in their life and yet has blessings fall abundantly into their lap. The sweet woman who adores children and cannot conceive, versus the mother of four who does not seem to care one way or another. The pack-a-day smoker who lives to be ninety, versus the young healthy father of six who has a heart attack on his daily jog.
It will work out, we tell ourselves. A window does not close without a door opening. The Universe rewards goodness, kindness and honestly eventually.
Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. If I’m required to believe any of that, then show me evidence. Pile up the stories and anecdotes you can recount that restore faith in human nature against the ones that I could tell you which speak to its desecration.
Your pile will never stack up to mine.
If that sounds bitter… well… it is. If it sounds as though I’m becoming all those things I didn’t want to be… then maybe I am.
Because maybe it’s not bitterness. Just reality catching up with my naivety. It had to happen eventually.