Lessons from a Chaotic Life

posted in: chronic illness | 2

I’ve seen chaos personified over the last few weeks. Through the eyes of someone I love dearly, I’ve seen fear of what might become, fear of change, grasping for the rigidity of what is right now, while all the time the world of work and bills and society keeps plodding on its inevitable course. It seems somewhat astounding to me now, given that through my loved one I have seen the crisis of my own youth, and makes me wonder how the hell I survived it to continue to become a moderately sane, tax-paying drone in this modern world.

I am also astounded that we can go on denying our feelings – the feelings of self-imploding and disintegrating – that we can go on with the mundane life as if nothing has happened. It’s all changed, hasn’t it, or is it just me?

So many souls believe “the end is nigh” – that the world we know will be rattled by a change – apocalypse or rapture, and that a chosen few will gain enlightenment and somehow be brought to the fore, to become the players in a new world.

I realize more and more that the new world is already here and that we are all players. We deal with very real pain and suffering, and for those of us with sensitive souls and heightened senses, we wonder daily how we can survive this, as our bodies deal with remembered and reflected pain of the everyday world. I wonder also how it is that so many cannot see the shifting ground, the very foundations of the world coming apart at the seams.

Every night, I dream wild and vivid dreams that constantly reinforce the true nature of the world. They tell me that life is impermanent, and those of us who hold on for nothing to change are perhaps the insane ones – not those of us who already feel the changes and suffer very real physical and mental anguish.

I don’t believe in apocalypse or rapture, however. The world is not going to dissolve or absolve us of the responsibility to face the problems we have, the struggles of those we love and those of strangers alike. No, instead, we are expected to live knowing pain and uncertainty, and find a way to make sense of this chaos.

Everything has changed in my world, but for so many in the outside world, it seems we are still walking the same path to manufactured happiness: a spouse, two and a half kids, a house, car and a credit overload that drives so many mad in the small dark hours of the night when they get a glimpse of the world’s true nature.

Even as I emerge from a self-enforced leave, I still feel the terrible suffering in my body and the shock of awakening in my heart and mind. There is impermanence, and no amount of grasping ┬ácan return to me the state of idle convalescence – of a feeling of safety in my little shell, with the trinkets I hold important as touch stones of sanity.

I will go on. I will feel the impermanent nature of sanity, but will remain conscious. I will work, even though those tasks seem so utterly unimportant to me now. Work cannot rouse my greater interests or passions because it is a false refuge – a stepping stone on a scrambled path to normality.

Normality, however, is really for those of us who can step off the path, who can let go in the river, feel ourselves bashed against the rocks, be submerged in eddies only to be spat up on the other side, gasping for breath and recognizing the nature of our near death experiences, while we go rushing on to enlightenment.

My only comfort in this chaos is the thought that surely sometimes I will merely circle in the eddies, come up for air and see the face of love and awareness, and get the strength to go on amidst all the pain and suffering.

Blessings,

Jane

2 Responses

  1. Deborah Carruthers
    | Reply

    Your blog really touched a place in me, especially the part of living with uncertaintity and pain. I like the desccription of suffering and our fear and attempts to avoid it feels very much like being bashed up against the rocks. I love your vision of strength , love and awareness. For myself, suffering has offered an opportunity to love more deeply, often not actualized until later.

    Love and blessings,

    Deborah

    • jane
      | Reply

      Deborah, thank you for your gentle wisdom, including the reminder that greater teachings can emerge at a later time. I feel so blessed to have your compassion and friendship in my life.

      Love and many blessings,

      Jane

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