Don't Hate, Investigate! Question 1

If you're struggling your way through the rough tunnels of guilt, pain, regret, heartbreak and all those unfortunate things, well....c'est terrible. And you're right, no one envies you. But on the other hand.....welcome to the club! The club of we've all been there. Once you've clawed your way through something truly rotten, you get instant VIP membership.

One of the most potent elements of negative emotions is that they create a facade of isolation, like you're walking around with one of those fish-bowl space helmet on. You are separated, no longer included in the world around you. This exclusion is something only you can perceive, but that makes it all the worse. If no one is aware of your internal isolation, then no one is going to reach on in there and yank you out. You are 100% alone in your heartbreak/anger/depression/guilt/you-name-it.
The tumultuous, lonely rapids of isolated suffering

As it turns out, you are never alone in your experience. Everybody goes through it. That's everybody- no exceptions. You can choose to battle the rapids of suffering all by your lonesome- but be aware, they're be steep, and studded with undercuts. Far better to pull the cork off, open up, and hop on the raft of human connection. It's still going to be a bumpy ride, but you are guaranteed safe arrival to the tranquil shores of resolution. Best of all, at the end of it, you'll find yourself with a gift to take home for keeps- the sweet fruit of empathy.
Arriving victorious at the island of resolution of happiness

The one pitfall is that we're programmed not to talk about it. This is a problem. It prevents people from being able to help you. It prevents you from being able to help yourself. Worst of all it renders all the empathy in the world useless, because you're not making it known that you're in great need of some.

My goal is to chisel through that isolation- not easy in a place as icy-cool as Seattle. If Seattlites had their way, they'd have you thinking they were flawless, tech-savvy, yoga-lated (that's yoga + pilates) subhumans that survive on shade-grown, fair-trade, organic espresso and probiotics and have never had a pit-stain.

This, ladies and gentleman, is a lie. They are liars. Though well dressed (in that casual way) and wealthy enough to have the townhouse and the prius, they are nevertheless confined to their own prison created by years of slight (never admitted) personal failures, social and sexual repression, sun-deficiency and the long ago but still lingering moments of great embarrassment they've never been able to get over because they won't talk about it.

And today, I am going to help bust them out.

I decided to start light. I thought of an issue that has been eating at me since I first went to boarding school at 15.

Then I went to the mother-ship of all the shade grown yoga tech-masters: Zoka cafe in Seattle's ever gentrified Greenlake neighborhood. I asked this question to everyone who walked in the door between the hours of 10 am- 1pm.

Have you ever secretly eaten your roomate's food, and then proceeded to lie about it?

The results: a whole lot of people.

Only a few nos and a few other I've never had a roomate. Then there was the hard-to-tally I've never had a roomate but I've stolen everyone else's food. Loved the answer, I'm going to give it an honorary 'yes' vote.

Best of all, I heard some good stories: office luncheons raped, morning meeting danish pillaged, chinese buffets riding home concealed in plastic bags hidden in the purse or breifcase, entire birthday cakes devoured before the birthday-person was even aware of their own celebration.

The results were so astounding that I felt a palpable throb of connection pulsating through the cafe. And now, of course, I'd like to extend the question to you. Less a question, and more an invitation to join me. To join us.

Have you ever secretly eaten your roomate's food, and then proceeded to lie about it?

Answer. Free yourself.

Ice cream: $4.00
Abercrombie shirt: $42.00 (free for Tino, he was a model)
The Human Connection: Priceless