In July 2020, as a few of you will know, I briefly died and on returning to this dear but beleaguered and much abused planet, I discovered that the severe depression which had been my ‘companion’ for the vast majority of my life had healed. I could ‘see’ where it had been, but all that was left was a gentle scar. However, I still returned to the same mind with it’s warped and twisted ideas of my life and living, but with one great difference, I had been beyond this life, no matter how briefly, and that changed everything.
I grew up and was educated into a complete sense of my own worthlessness, and what a grand job they did. It took many years before I could consider that the depression might have been as a result of my inner being, my humanity, fighting back against the injustice and wrongness of abuse, but what I never made any inroads on was the inner voice with which my own mind attacked me constantly. I did notice that the voice got louder and more vicious if I did anything good for myself and one of the worst places was in the kitchen. I would be subjected to an assault so violent I could never overcome it, whether cooking, washing up or tidying, my mind would throw everything at me, including a litany of my many and diverse failings, shamefulness and inadequacies.
I had to die to discover that it is impossible to earn love, love does not work or even exist within the parameters of earning it or of being worthy of it, in terms of merit, other than by just being. I grew up with a God of vengeance, writ deep in my soul and my view of life was always of waiting for the hammer to fall. I was doomed to fail and all my efforts in life would be marked and marred by an internal dialogue of hate filled failure.
Fast forward to Christmas Day 2021. I decided to cook myself a Christmas roast. I’ve made rapid growth over the last year in the nature of love in artistic expression, not just in making small dioramas, but as a project which encompassed how I shared them, packed them and posted them and interacted with their recipients as part of a much bigger deal about the nature of love and learning to love myself. I was helped enormously by this from scripture: In order to test Jesus a lawyer asked Him what is the greatest commandment in the Law, to which Jesus responded with what is the most important teaching in Christianity. For clarity I am going to quote the Amplified bible – “And He replied to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as (you do) yourself. These two commandments sum up and upon them depends all the Law and the prophets.”
History reveals just how true this is because Christianity is littered with the bodies of those who were the victims of the, psychopathic self regarding, hate filled, self aggrandising, ego maniac, religious who have hijacked the humble faith that Jesus lived and was murdered for. They don’t get it and they don’t want to.
It is Christmas 2021, this stuff matters, it’s the stuff on which humanity will live or die. Politics will not save us, religion will not save us, money will not save us, the law and human rights will not save us. In order to change the world what we need is faith, because the answer to the world’s woe is love and love not as a noun (as in, “I LOVE my Teddy.) but a verb, something we do, taking action, in our feet on the ground real world. We don’t need to even use the word love if we act on it.
But, and it’s a big BUT, it is a battle royal, there is nothing easy involved in a world dominated by war, greed, economic slavery and hatred. We are educated to believe the lies of state and corporate greed.
In order to learn to love myself, I needed to step outside the slavery of money, politics and legislation that broke me. What I have done with my little tiny dioramas is challenge myself and my own humanity to learn something about love. Love that matters, love that can make an impact in no matter how small a way. The most important thing in the universe is Love.
Today I made myself a meal, I had bought all the ingredients, cleaned and tidied my kitchen in preparation, and set myself up to face whatever demons might assault me if I dared to make myself a simple loving meal, AND I was looking forward to it. All the work I’ve done this past year, through being creative, paid off, I did it, I have challenged monsters and won, after 70 years of hellish oppression. If you can’t even feed yourself with well prepared food and cooking, because you are too oppressed to find the energy to survive the monsters inside your own mind, cooking a roast dinner on Christmas day is a huge fucking deal. I did it and it was amazing. You can’t earn that kind of love, or be worthy of it, you just have to believe it’s possible and be open to it. “There is nothing more confining than the prison we don’t know we’re in.” – William Shakespeare. And the whole of mankind is in prison and the key to the door of that prison is love. You don’t even have to understand it or be an intellectual or a scholar, in fact the most lowly and broken people are more capable of understanding it than those who are confident of their own greatness and position. As Jesus put it, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Because it’s about love, in fact, that’s all it’s about.
Keith Lindsay-Cameron. 25 December 2021.