I just spent a week in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It wasn't a pleasant week but it wasn't really bad, either. there are a number of people there who I really love, Julie Endresen is at the top of that list. She took care me, to the point of sending me to her therapist because I couldn't stop crying while I was there.
I finally figured it out, why all the tears. I had been suffering there. The altitude, the weather, the sadness so prevalent in New Mexico washed over me and I drowned in all of it. I lived for ten years and made some major contributions to the welfare of the state. Transgender people are completely protected by law now even though I had to fight through the prejudices of the many gay and lesbian people. We were both ostracized and treated as outcasts for sticking to our principles and making sure everyone in our communities arrived together at the finish line.
The suffering I was feeling was for the life I had lost. The "community" which was really an illusion in the high desert, the friendships, the sense of home all evaporated in a very short time. I tried to see an old friend and the conversation turned ugly right away. I decided to skip any attempt at reunion.
When I told my Buddhist teacher about the exchange he said, "Oh she is suffering." At that moment my vision of the world opened up. People are cruel because they are suffering. People say mean things because they are suffering. Friends stop being friends because they suffer.
This is the essence of Buddhism, to end suffering for all sentient beings. But I must start with myself.
How do I end my suffering of ending my portion of my life in New Mexico? How do I end the suffering caused by my physical pain in my feet? How do I end my suffering? I don't have an answer yet but I hope to find a clue soon.