Day is greeted by the harshness of my clock. The beep-beeping that sounds to the start of each day, shifts my head into gear, and starts lists and to-do's as I find my bare feet shuffling, padding along the floor of my home. As usual, the day starts with a cry of movement and the noise generated from that widens, broader and broader like a drumbeat hammering out the ever-increasing tempo of each moment. The boom syncopates into many and the well-timed beats fall into a din a disarray of sound following me wherever I go.
Just keep moving.
It's all a blur – impossible to take in – as if my eyes cannot adjust well enough to make sense of the constant hustle of motion everywhere I turn. I’m in constant flux. My mind adapting to a thousand different stimuli. And, yet, a thought off in the periphery of my mind. Something... What was it? Nothing. Shut up. Forget it. Back to moving. Back to work. Back to noise. Lunch. Did I eat? Wait... yes, that sandwich. The clock is ticking toward five. My mind is ticking itself to the abyss.
Just keep going.
A moment and I'm driving then off the next thing, appointment, place, person, whatever. The din has risen to a volcanic boom and ash is all that fills my eyes – one motion to the next to the next to the next. The malaise creates a haze of numbness. And I stop feeling. That’s better. Isn’t it? Not feeling means I can manage. Who cares? It’s not like anyone notices. Success doesn’t waste time on feeling.
Just stop caring.
Behind the wheel again, the clenching of my jaw leaves my musculature knit into a finely meshed wire sack, and I slowly open and close my teeth for relief. And all at once I'm in the driveway – home – if you can call it that. How did I get here? When? The door of the car swings open as I find my feet falling much more heavily as I make my way through the front door. Inside, I breathed. Had I done that today? I must have. I'm still standing. I think that needs air, doesn't it?
Just keep standing.
Microwave. Scarfed food. Television. Facebook. All squished together in the few moments that I pretend that I’m catching my breath. Huh? Dressed for bed? Apparently, I had done that, too, and found myself tucked neatly between my bedsheets.
Just rest. Just rest. Just rest.
Then, all at once, it hits me. The sound I avoid every evening, the deadening quiet. It could go on forever until the tiny sounds try to fill in the widening sense of pressure. My heartbeat. My breath. They fill my ears as the last bit of light slinks away below the horizon and I become wrapped in the dark yet silvery embrace of the night.
No moving, no going, no standing.
All there was to listen to now was that little indiscernible sound of the inside of my head. Then, another small noise as a choked gasp and I recognized soft droplets of tears forming in my eyes.
Stop feeling. I can’t. Stop feeling. I can’t. I can't stop feeling.
The gasp builds into a shuddered wail from somewhere deep within. I silenced it – swallowing the feeling into submission where I no longer had to listen. Soundless as it was, I heard and felt it in my entire being. My body a rock of dense nothingness, and my eye stared blanking as if dead already. Wouldn't that be nice? It is in the noise of my sorrow that another sound in my head grows louder.
But it is different.
It encourages me. It whispers to me about what is possible. It tells me what I can do. It tells me I am worthy of love. It tells me all the things I should listen to and refuse to believe. I find myself in argument, preferring to wrap myself in the cold despondence of despair. I’m more comfortable there. That’s where I belong, after all.
“No, you don’t.”
It’s almost forceful, this thought, as if it is not of me not my own thought but from another source. I want to cry. So, I do. It is long and cold and ugly. Each tear sheds away a dream I’d lost and hope I’d never have and the silent death of a life that I wanted so badly. But, told myself I wasn’t worth having.
I startle at the sense of warmth.
It’s not me. I know it’s not because I try again to argue. Pulling out every tactic from the toy-box of my five-year-old self to throw the adult equivalent of a tantrum – trying to have it “my way” even if it means misery. I am in charge. And, I choose to be miserable.
“Yes, you’re in charge.”
I almost hear it this time. And for the first time, the room fell truly silent. I feel something nearby – offering comfort. It’s right there. I look in the direction and see a faint outline almost like when I see people against the white walls in the conference room. They call them auras, but I never really subscribed to that bullshit. I have real stuff to worry about.
Real stuff? This is real. Maybe I was full of bullshit, and this is real.
I can’t help it now. My need to reach out overcomes every sense of hesitation. “I’m in charge? But, what do I do?” I am finally ready to hear answers to seek refuge instead of hide in a sea of my sorrows. The conversation is long. It is all positive. It is all simple. It is a doable. It was there all along. This time I was listening to something that told me to love myself and leave behind the self-pity and self-defeat. It told me to assume that that I could and laugh at what I thought were mistakes.
That, dear readers, is an intense 911 call from your spiritual council. It comes in different forms for all of us, and often, is quieter as it hums in the background. Stay tuned for next week’s blog to understand what connection to spirit is like in daily life and how to recognize it from the chatter in your own mind.
Thanks for reading