Since returning to Australia, the phrase ‘You deserve it’ has often passed my ears, yet I’m not sure what it is meant to convey. I’ve often been the recipient of this when stating how I have addressed my needs in terms of somewhere more suitable to study or dealing more effectively with stressful situations.
The people who have said this are obviously expressing positive and supportive feelings toward me, usually matched with great relief that I have extricated myself from yet another difficult situation. However, I find myself not quite connected with their intentions…
For the past several years in Japan, I have been practicing 断捨離 (dan-shya-ri), a Japanese Buddhist philosophy which focusses on needs, not desires. For the first few years, I spent realising that many things and people in my life were not actually necessary: I greatly reduced my volume of belongings, and the number of people in my life. I also focussed on the thoughts and feelings which I did not need, such as paranoia and revenge.
Gradually, I reached a point a few years ago where I removed things from my life which I did, in fact, need ,and this began a turning point in my experience of 断捨離 where I understood I was not addressing my needs in a positive, proactive and supportive way.
I do need intimacy, love and affection, an emotionally safe environment, non-aggressive and supportive people, and functional equipment to access the larger world, since I choose to live in it.
As I navigate my re-investment in society, gradually regaining a place to live, a social life, and a path toward social contribution, I don’t feel I ‘deserve’ any of the accoutrements which compliment these decisions, just that these are a series of resources to achieve my goals, deserving or otherwise.
I have pure gratitude to everyone who has supported and is supporting me as I rebuild my life. Perhaps it is they who are deserving.