I had a stomach ache last might... LOL
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-=[ When Shit Happens ]=-
In the late 70s / early 80s, I worked in the Wall St. area at a well-known corporation. I was young and dangerous (LOL). I worked with a group of young men just like me, young, full of life -- and mischievous. I wasn’t allowed near the secretarial pool (no problem, I got them in the elevator); I worked hard and played harder. Our department was called “Romper Room” because we were always getting into some type of trouble or causing drama.
One of the things we did was play pranks. The prank playing would eventually cause two of us our jobs (playing a prank on CEO is not a good idea) and it got so bad, I used to walk around looking behind me all the time. We were very creative. For example, I advanced to a quasi-supervisory position (not because of my work ethic, but by dint of seniority). I would order one of the guys to pick up some garbage around his desk, act as if I were having a baby behind it, have him sweep it into an envelope, and then secretly mail it to his house (it took him years to figure it out).
The mother of one of the crew kept receiving subscriptions for Screw magazine (don' t, look at me!). Mothers and girlfriends were favorite targets. You can’t get any lower than targeting a mother. I mean, mothers were off limits, you could get killed for targeting a mother, but that never stopped us. As our antics “evolved” we found newer and more creative ways to go lower.
Hot foots, phone calls in the middle of the night, booby traps that would make Rube Goldberg mad with envy -- it was all there in our department of about 10-15 men in their early 20s. Let me tell you, those days were a lot of fun. It was then that my partying began to take on epic proportions and believe me, when I got high, I was
Out. Of. Control.
Well, one day, I was visiting one of my co-workers in New Jersey. Another friend of ours lived across the street and I got in into my head to order a truckload of sand and have it sent to his address. His father had a lawn that he loved more than his own son, I think, and that upped the wow factor up a few notches. My accomplice/ friend upped the ante even more when he suggested we change the order from sand to fertilizer. Pure genius!
We made the call, put in the order for a truckload of fertilizer, and gave our co-worker’s address across the street. We sat by the window and waited...
A while passed and we saw the truck pull up to our co-worker’s residence and then something happened we didn’t plan for: the driver dumped the fertilizer right there on the lawn!
This took the prank to a whole other level. We were beside ourselves with laughter. The sight of our co-worker’s mother running out and then his father and the ensuing argument was priceless to us at that time. Then our co-worker came out, looked around and it hit him that he was being pranked. LMAO!
I know, I know, it’s fucked up, immature, blah blah blah... as we would say back then, “Unclench the anal sphincter bitches... ” Yeah, it was wrong, but we were young, dumb, and full of cum, shoot me.
Shit happens all the time. The Buddhists have a pretty cool teaching story/ metaphor for this truism.
Imagine you’re having a beautiful day at home with your spouse. All of sudden, out of the blue, you realize someone has dumped a truckload of shit on your front lawn. There are four realities to this situation:
- You did not order it. It’s not your fault.
- You’re stuck with it. No one saw who dumped it, so you can’t call anyone to tow it away.
- It’s filthy and offensive, the aroma fills your whole house. It’s almost impossible to endure.
- No, I didn’t order it.
In this metaphor, the truckload of shit on your front lawn symbolizes the traumatic experiences that are dumped on us in this life. As with the truckload of shit, there are four things to know about the tragedies in our lives:
- We did not order it. It’s not our fault (the “Why me?” factor)
- We’re stuck with it. No one, not even those who love us most, can take it away (though they try).
- It is awful, it destroys our happiness, and its pain fills our life. In fact, at times it feels as if it almost impossible to endure
- No, I didn’t cause it.
Taking into consideration the above realities, there are several ways we can respond when shit happens. The first way (and this seems the most popular) is to carry the shit around with us. Some of us put the shit we’re handed in our pockets, in our baggage, and some inside their bras. We even pout some down in our pants. What happens is that some of us quickly realize carrying shit around leads to the loss of many friends. Even your best friends don’t like the smell of shit.
“Carrying around shit” is a metaphor for falling for the seduction of depression, anger, or negativity. This isn’t unusual. In fact, it’s a natural and understandable response to adversity. But our loved ones disappear because it equally natural and understandable that our friends don’t like being around us when we’re so depressed. The smell of shit often gets worse, not better.
But there is another response we can choose. We find that we’ve been handed a truckload of shit, we can acknowledge the tribulation, sigh, and then get to working. We can bring out the tools and shovel the shit into our wheelbarrow, wheel it and dig it into our garden. This hard, exhausting, and often very difficult work, but deep down we know there’s no better option.
Some days, we can barely fill our barrow. But the fact that we’re doing something about the problem, rather than complaining, helps lift us out of our depression. Every day, we dig into that shit, and the pile begins to get smaller. Sometimes it takes years, but the time comes that the shit on your front lawn is all gone. In addition, something else has happened. The flowers in our garden are bursting out in a riot of color all over the place. The sweet perfume wafts down so that your neighbors and even people passing through smile in delight.
Your fruits and vegetables are nearly bursting with ripe fullness. In addition, the fruit is so sweet, you can’t possibly buy anything like it at the local supermarket. We share those gifts freely, even with strangers, without planning to, or expecting anything in return.
“Digging into the shit: is a metaphor for welcoming the tragedies and fertilizer for life. It is work that we have to do alone -- no one can help us here. But toiling in the garden of our solitude, day by day, lessens our pain. When we have lived through tragic pain, learned its lesson for us, and toiled in our garden, then we can put our arms around another experiencing deep loss and say softly say to them, “I know.” And they will realize that you understand. It is here that compassion begins. We can show them the gardening tools and offer them encouragement. But if we haven’t grown our own garden, this can’t be done.