Thailand: Trash or Not to Trash (#falsedilemma)


Look at this photo!  This is Paradise! Such a lovely scene. But closer to shore, it’s a different story. See the vast collection of garbage the tide brings in daily?


Literally bags and bags full of trash (mostly plastic and a shocking amount of shoes)! We spent 15 minutes picking up 6 big bags of trash and this is still here. Seeing all of this trash made me mad. This is why plastic is the worst! My inner social worker activist was actively recommitting to a zero waste lifestyle and also plotting how to take care of the worldwide trash problem! Then I was overwhelmed at that thought. Our worldwide trash issue is so much bigger than me. I felt fired up then hopeless and defeated in space of 15 minutes  

Because yoga training and because life-long exposure to church-life metaphors, I’m gonna wax philosophical here. I don’t think people would produce as much trash if they had to pick it up themselves. If no one came to take care of your rubbish but you couldn’t just hoard it at your house, wouldn’t you massively decrease the amount of garbage you accumulate? I would! Not many people go around collecting trash to display in their living room. “Oh yes, see this one? Yup, fished that out of Frank’s bin yesterday, 30 more Dasani. Look at that unidentifiable chunk on the lid. What’s that? Oh yes, I’ve got about a 1000 bottles now. You should see my used diapers in the guest room!”


I think about myself and how much life force I have spent trying to pick up other people’s trash (metaphorically speaking) making myself responsible for or invested in every hard story I come across, trying to fix and nourish every flower on the world vine. And guess what? I became massively burned out! And despairing and hopeless! And felt sooo guilty if I said “no.”


I take full accountability here. I don’t need to pick up all of the metaphorical trash people try to give me or trash I see. I can take care of my own trash, my own story. I don’t need to rescue anyone because guess what? They don’t need to be rescued! In fact, I’m treating them like they are incapable when I walk on egg shells around them or treat them like they need fixing! How condescending of me. People have all of the resources in themselves to figure their crap out. And I don’t have enough life force to rescue them. And most of the time, they don’t ask me too! And don’t even want me too. So I’m wallowing in a landfill I built myself! What is this madness?!


Here’s to having a voice, maintaining good boundaries, cultivating self-awareness, and giving people their power back. When I get frustrated with the practice (because self discipline is hard!), it’s little nuggets of insight into my own crazy-making patterns that keep me motivated to continue. It’s yoga off the mat, people. Who’s need am I filling? Is it really about someone else or is it my need to find purpose in being needed? 

(Also... pretty please consider minimizing plastic use... because Ocean).