Reposted with permission from fetlife guest blogger: _pavlov_ See original post here!
Sometimes, in periods of sleep disturbances, waking too much at night, too many nightmares, I have waking dreams.
Sometimes they are terrifying and I see-but-don’t-see monsters in the corners, watching me, hungry. Sometimes they are beautiful and I see-but-don’t-see the shadow of every hand that touched a door, so many different lives in the same place.
Sometimes I forget them.
Sometimes they burn into the fabric of my mind so profoundly, things never again look the same.
Once, I had vision of harm, of hate, of evil.
I saw it first in myself.
This dark, scratchy, smokey thread.
A winding, sticky, hatred.
Laughing at me in contempt.
It came into me from a small crack in my soul. It went out of me through my hands, my mouth, onto other people, harming them, sometimes then taking root in them. Sometimes then turning around and coming back to me, the thread thickening.
I saw backwards.
How it came into my soul, from a pain so deep it pierced me clean through, how continued exposure allowed this pain, this evil, to take root inside this crack, until it spread far enough to leak out in my words, in my actions.
I saw further backwards.
Into the people who harmed me. This dark thread connecting us.
I saw how it came into them, the same as into me.
My vision expanded outward rapidly, the black thread now a web connecting one person after another after another. Further and further backwards in time. Me, my mother, her parents, their parents.
And forward in time. Me, my partners, their partners, their friends.
I felt a white hot burning rage.
I felt a revulsion so profound all the hair on my body stood on end.
I looked at this thread of hate and evil.
And how it spread. And how it managed to exist outside of time all at once, in the present, the past, and the future.
I wanted to infect it, the same as it infected all of us. To inject into it an antidote. And let it spread, from one person to the next, to snuff out the existence of this thing, my enemy.
Things are not always what they seem.
You cannot hate away hate.
Niceness is not always kindness.
Love does not always feel good.
Evil can be seductive, masquerading as necessity, or righteousness.
People who do evil actions should not be allowed to continue doing evil actions.
It is through evil actions, and damage, that I saw that thread of evil pass from one of us to the next.
But I can also no longer hide from understanding that it likewise spreads outward from me. From allowing my actions to be driven by hurt, and rage, and hate in me.
My pain is my pain. I cannot magic it away.
But when I turn my pain against others, even when I have every right to the pain I feel, I spread harm done.
Do not mistake me.
I am not trying to say we should rehabilitate those who cause great harm in our communities.
I am saying we must not let the very righteousness, that certainty that they had, that their actions were justifiable, we MUST EACH not let it rule inside of ourselves.
Do not be fooled.
It is not necessary to be hateful in order to protect you and those you love from harm.
It in not necessary to cause harm to harmful actors when you remove them. That harm breeds more of this evil.
That does not mean we must tolerate harm, tolerate evil.
But things are not always what they seem.
And when it seems you must react with rage, with harm, lash out, you are not being told the truth. Those are lies whispering up from inside you.
We can deal with our feelings separate from how we treat others.
I am going to kill this thread I saw, this enemy of mine.
But I cannot kill it by killing all those who it currently touches. It does not live in their bodies.
I am going to snuff off its ability to spread outward from me. I will deny it its progeny from my branch in its foul web.
I am not perfect.
But, whenever possible, I will choose kindness.
I will not be seduced by hate.
I will not believe its lies.
Every action in kindness I choose denies my enemy the opportunity to grow a hate-child.