“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”—Siddhartha Gautama (via aetherlibrary)
I am a Canadian and found myself pregnant in college after having just started dating someone new. I gave myself a week to weigh my options, and finally decided to have an abortion. I made my appointment, and would be going the following week.
When I got there, no one was picketing, which I appreciated. However that did very little to calm my nerves and I vomited in the parking lot. I can only imagine how horrible an experience it would have been had people been there yelling at me and trying to tell me how to make my reproductive choices.
I flashed my I.D. before a camera and they let me in. I met with a doctor who asked me to fill out some forms and said she would come back in a few minutes. They were not the kinds of forms I was expecting. They asked me what, if anything, worried me about the procedure - things like that. She came back five minutes later and we talked about my concerns. She helped me to feel better about the procedure and she told me what would happen. I understand that in the U.S. some states are trying to force women to listen to the fetus’ heartbeat or have the doctors tell women that a fetus is the “beginning of life” or some-such. I probably would have cried and left if I had been shamed at the clinic. It was not my proudest moment. I had just vomited in a parking lot and was shaking and crying sporatically due to nerves. Anyway, the doctor talked to me about different birth control options. I hadn’t heard of some of them before, and decided to try the NuvaRing. She gave me a year’s prescription, no questions asked.
I left without paying a dime. I got my abortion done when I was about 6 weeks along, making it far less complicated than if I had to wait until I had enough money saved. To all of the Republicans out there who arbitrarily decide that Canadians are unhappy with universal healthcare, I can assure you that I am thankful for it every fucking day. And because I had my abortion in college, I have a career. It infuriates me to think that most Republicans want women to be forced to have children and then don’t want to support poor, working-class mothers. I wish the women in the States could have the same rights as I do when it comes to control over my own body, and I sincerely hope to see it one day. But I am nervous for them because the government wants to take their choice away. Will they go seek back-alley abortions? Use a metal clothes-hanger?
Can we forget about protecting fetuses? We need to fight for choice to protect women.
Many of us have set out on the path of enlightenment. We long for a release of selfhood in some kind of mystical union with all things. But that moment of epiphany—when we finally see the whole pattern and sense our place in the cosmic web—can be a crushing experience from which we never fully recover.
Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. You can not turn away. Your destiny is bound to the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.
To seek enlightenment is to seek annihilation, rebirth, and the taking up of burdens. You must come prepared to touch and be touched by each and every thing in heaven and hell.
It is very hard to live with silence. The real silence is death and this is terrible. To approach this silence, it is necessary to journey to the desert. You do not go to the desert to find identity, but to lose it, to lose your personality, to be anonymous. You make yourself void. You become silence. You become more silent than the silence around you. And then something extraordinary happens: you hear silence speak.