Some years ago, I gave up the folly of making New Year’s Resolutions. It seemed artificial to make a big deal about what was in actuality just another day.
However, isn’t that all they are? Each day is just another day, pregnant with hope that we will find the strength of change within us – for that’s the only place that lasting change comes from. We can hold hopes and desires that someone Beloved will protect us from the chasms and labyrinths of our own minds and hearts. Who doesn’t love being wrapped in love and settled into a safe place to hibernate through the storms?
Sometimes though, we grow up and realize we have to weather the storms, with our Beloved close – no doubt, but the decision to live, to make a change has to be of our own making. It’s a decision I’ve made so many times over the years.
I wrote recently of the loss of someone else’s Beloved. It brings up so many feelings and fears for me – ones that cannot be remedied by prayer or seeking solace in the arms and kind words of my own Beloved, and much beloved friends. There are fears of facing this life all alone, and then fears of facing this life in love’s company and still feeling all alone.
I find myself battling old fears, old voices that this suffering will never change. That all the work I did, or thought I did, was not enough to save me. Still I drown in feelings of my own making, pain of my own making – but no, I can’t afford to heap blame upon myself at this juncture. This pain just is. The thoughts of going to sleep, hibernating through another year of potential feelings and pain. Through reaching and struggling and never feeling I have quite made it.
I promised myself that I would commit to writing something here every day of this year, 365 days of excavating feelings and the root pains of my soul. Is it any surprise the thought of doing that fills me with fear and the desire to just go to sleep, to never wake and never have to deal with the difficulty of living.
I know, however, this is something I cannot do. I can only remind myself that things have been better in the past, and will be better again. So I take steps for protection. Adjust medications accordingly, plan for a visit to my counsellor, who I have missed so much, promise myself kindness and rest, and to just deal with each moment as it comes. Such is all any being should aim to do.
Since February of 2011 I have dealt with an ongoing pain in my right kidney. This is different to other pains I have had that are no doubt clear manifestations of the mind-body connection – the pain reflecting the travails of the mind. Yet all the scans have shown nothing, and the prognosis is perhaps tiny kidney stones that can’t be resolved. But after this recent loss of my friend’s Beloved, I no longer trust doctors. I have taken some of the steps to remedy this pain, drinking more water, and yet the pain has not resolved. It waxes and wanes, but never leaves. I no longer can be sure what is real and what is not. Is it Sjogren’s, or is it psychosomatic? Why are there traces of blood? Does it matter? I find the search for the meaning of the pain less important than the prayer for its cessation. And is it any real coincidence that I’ve been told in traditional Chinese medicine, the kidney is the seat of emotions, or the seat of fear, both interchangable in meaning for me?
Perhaps my only cure is to write my way to the source of this pain. I’ll go digging through the garden of my mind, and find the things buried there, feelings and hurts, the things I am supposed to forget, but can’t seem to. As I learn to “weed” the secret garden of my mind, I’ll continue to learn what skills I can of self-love, self-compassion, of being present here, now, with the pain – alone – and with those I love: the Beloved, the wise counsellor, the friends – the teachers that surround me.
Only there lies hope, only there lies the broken path to the future, to the grove in which I need to sit still, and not chase time, but let time come visit me.
All these moving moments, come weave around me, and let me sit still and learn to feel.