I woke up yesterday morning, I had to be somewhere in half an hour, and instead of rushing as I would have otherwise, I just stopped. I stopped and sat, and something stirred within my chest and I started to cry.
Because I woke up with this song (from a Shaman King clip) in my head, and the same feelings that I had while writing the very first entry of this journal came back. Once again, upon waking.
Loneliness, loneliness, loneliness.
Loneliness, this deep sadness after the ending of almost every story I love because each of those stories (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Shaman King…) is about lonely people. Lonely people who find each other and maybe eventually leave each other. Lonely people who’ve been alone their whole lives and finally find friends. I love each character, empathize with them, relate to their solitary and lonely life. I feel as if I’m one of them, too– another lonely person who just wants friends, and finds them somehow in this other world. As if every character were truly my friend, the kind of friend and companion I’ve yet to encounter in real life. But at the end of the story, when the unreal world disappears, I’m the one alone. Of course… it’s only a “story”.
Ryu, the character from Shaman King who sings that song, spends his whole life searching for companions, for his “best place”– the place that he belongs. After he meets Yoh, he’s found it. He’s found his best place– through companionship, through friendship.
When I was thirteen I told everyone my biggest fear was being alone. But I was wrong: I’m actually okay with being alone. In fact, I love solitude, relish in it– perhaps even more so than most people. But loneliness is a completely separate being from solitude.
We can all be in the middle of, not just a crowd but people we know, even love and care about, and still feel lonely.
I know I am blessed; I am so thankful. There are amazing people in my life and I know it. And I’ve been fortunate enough to find and be with a great partner, too.
But I still yearn for that sense of companionship. It’s not even that I need it… I’m content with what I have. I really am.
But because of that, I understand lonely people. Because even though I’m not alone– none of us are; we are all interconnected, interdependent– I feel lonely. All the time.
(And I realize I don’t talk much about weakness– especially not my weakness. I try not to show it, to admit it. I’ve been eating out of stress lately and I didn’t even want to admit I was stressed… and still don’t. I don’t feel that stressed. But I do feel … a little tense, a little nervous… I’m aware that I’m using food to comfort and medicate myself, and I’ve made the choice to do so. I still refuse to be unconscious.)
Not everyone understands why I want to love everyone in the world. Truly love each individual being. I might not like them, even. But I want to love them, to wish them happiness, to help them out in times of need. I want to love him and her and you.
In fact, I’ve had the epiphany lately that not many people understand why I would want to love every being on earth at all.
“Maybe… the people who do bad things… maybe, they’re just lonely.” Said the ghost of a murdered girl at the end of Tokyo Babylon.
And I believe it. God, do I believe it.
Nobody is bad. Nobody is unworthy of love. “The people who deserve love least… need it the most.” (Heart Warmers)
Think about it.
I truly believe there is no such thing in this world as a “bad person”.
There is no good or bad. In the end: “The only true justice is love.” (Quoth Marco from Shaman King.)
That’s why I love Shaman King so much. It’s a story of a group of loving and naive shamans– who are really just kids– trying to defeat a man who, over the course of a whole millenium, spends three lives (two reincarnated) murdering and trying to exterminate the world of all humans. He hurts and kills so many, robs countless families of their fathers and mothers… yet in the end, it’s only because he is the one lonely and utterly alone, and it was humans who killed the only loved one he had.
Even those who do bad things have their reasons, their broken hearts. Their anger, their sadness. Their loneliness that may have no end to its depths.
Nothing can excuse their actions, but what if.
If we stopped to be more understanding and loving towards those we are quick to label “bad people” instead of creating more hatred… how might our world change?
If we forgave those who did us wrong, and set them and ourselves free from anguish, from the lingering pain of bitterness and resentment… imagine how different our lives would be. How free we would be. If we forgave ourselves.
If we realized that every rude and inconsiderate person we come across might be suffering from something terrible in their lives. If every customer that was impatient and annoying was in a hurry to go to the hospital for their loved one. (I learned this from customer service training at my second job as a hardware store cashier. Thanks, hardware store, for inculcating me with a lifetime start towards customer/client/human satisfaction.)
If we paused and tried to understand people who hurt us instead of reaching for pettiness and revenge.
If we stopped to consider that lashing back at and trying to hurt someone– who might be acting out of pain to begin with– just creates more animosity, hate breeding hate.
Forgiveness heals. Love always heals.
That’s why I try to love, trust, and forgive as many people as my heart can take. I’m human… but I can at least try my best.
I’m not telling you you should, too.
But the world, each individual in it– can always use a little bit more understanding. So turn the other cheek… at least sometimes. Reach out to the bully who’s acting out once in a while.
Behind every horrendous action lies a human who, too, has a heart.