Photo - Vanya
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then, face to face. Now I know in part, but then shall I know, even as also I am known.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:12
The simple recognition that there's life after worst-case marked the beginning of a transformation. I told myself, You just can't catastrophize this. It can't just be over. Your life isn't over.
Once I landed smack in the middle of my own worst-case scenario I had to ask, what's the most awful feeling I'm going to have to endure here? There wasn't just one to choose from. I had fear, failure, loss, shame, rejection, and my gut hurt. I wanted to run.
That was the clue, right there - if I wanted to, I could. No one would stop me. For me, running involves climbing between the sheets and letting the world go on without me. I recognized the moment when ordinarily I would check out, go numb, and sink into a "What's the use?" depression.
This time, after running a bit, I took a more measured approach and although the bed and the covers have played a significant role on the path toward understanding and a little bit of recovery, I've been able to shuck them off in an effort to feel what I'd been resisting, perhaps for most of my life.
I didn't have to imagine what it would be like if the worst had come to pass. I'd blown up my life in a spectacular way - financially, professionally, personally, emotionally, spiritually - and there was nothing recognizable left. Not even a few shreds of what had been there before were left behind. Nothing to scrape up and piece together in any pointless effort to cover myself.
I gave myself over completely to torment, staying connected to its symptoms. Heartburn and stomach upset, unable to eat, wide eyed insomnia for days and days. Night terrors stemming from unaddressed fear and the fear itself which made me walk the floors imagining all of the other horrible things that may still happen. There's also some weight gain, along with a general downshifting in my over-all appearance.
I looked in the mirror, not at myself but beyond myself. That visage in the glass is older and heavier. The dull face and flat joyless eyes remind me of no one I know. Sharp emptiness reflects back.
Whenever I lost the focus I was holding on the horror of my life, I'd reclaim my sunken spot in the bed and patiently bring it back. My awareness remained steady, and still. Freed up in this way, emotions shifted and changed like the weather outside the closed and curtained bedroom window opposite my safe space under the duvet.
The emotions I thought would be intolerable actually weren't. I'm bent, deeply bowed to the ground by my life and my choices. I accept this, and do not run and hide from the awarenesses that flow through me, yet do not shift me from my bed. My rock in the river.
I don't have to deny the feelings, and I don't have to react to them either. There they lie.
Depleted. Impotent. Stunted. Incapable. Insufficient. Unhealthy. Poor in spirit. Doubting. I am a bona fide thesaurus of in- and un- words, yet a life-long resistance to being overwhelmed by that seems to have washed down the river. I feel cleansed of... something, nothing specific though.
Standing naked, clothed in what feels like authenticity. Looking through the darkened glass, I wish to know myself as I am known on some great empyrean plane where the glass is crystalline, and it rings purely into the air when touched with another.
I think I may have set myself free. I want to remember how it happened as surely I will need to do it again, only faster.