The abandoned one (A0)
and the yoga teacher (YT)
have a conversation:
AO: I can’t do this. I’m too hurt. I’m too scared.
YT: Just breathe. In this moment you are safe.
AO: I hate him. I am so angry at him
for doing this to me.
YT: Breathe. Slow down. You are safe.
AO: I will never be happy again.
YT: You can only be happy now.
AO: I am broken. No one will ever want me.
YT: You are inherently whole and complete,
just as you are. Feel this. Feel this breath.
AO: I am depressed and anxious. I want to die.
YT: This is temporary, like the weather.
You will live, and this will change.
AO: I am worthless. I am so ashamed of my choices.
YT: You are alive! How fortunate. Breathe into
the center of this hurt, this sadness. Give it room.
Feel it, and then let this feeling go.
AO: This is too much work. It isn’t fair.
YT: This moment. This breath. Feel your body.
Feel your heart beating. What a miracle!
AO: I’m about to be homeless. I’m terrified.
No one is going to rescue me. I don’t know what to do.
YT: Slow down. Breathe. You are going to be just fine.
There is a roof over your head right now.
Love this moment. This moment is all you have.
AO: I’m just so tired. I feel so beaten down, unwanted.
YT: Put your hands over your heart. Close your eyes.
Breathe deeply. You are infinite awareness.
AO: Why me? Why this? Why now? It isn’t fair.
YT: That’s only one part of your mind talking.
Listen to the part that is grateful for change.
Listen to the part that loves you.
Listen to the part that knows you are powerful.
AO: This is too much work.
YT: Yes. Struggling is a lot of work. Why not try surrender?
I’m praying every chance I can get
God please show me what to do,
I’m struggling, please guide me.
In the morning I wake up thinking
I choose to love myself
because I deserve my love.
I keep telling my story.
It gets exhausting telling my story.
I tell it to my friends. Therapists.
Anyone who will listen.
They all say, You got this.
It will all be okay in the end.
But I want someone to rescue me.
I want someone to come along
and make these problems disappear.
And God, Grace, The Universe,
or is it just my luck,
continues to send me people
who listen to my story
tell me You got this
and who walk away.
I need to solve my own problems.
Apparently, I need to realize
that I’m stronger than this.
Apparently, I need to walk this path alone.
There are people cheering on the sidelines,
but I guess I need to walk this path alone.*
*And I have to tell you, it’s lonely down here in this big black hole…
Our brains are hardwired
for love, connection and belonging.
In the absence of these,
our system goes into
fight or flight.
I have been chronically isolated
for two years now.
Besides my children,
I have had no regular contact
with caring people.
I have been in fight or flight
for two years.
When your brain is in
fight or flight,
your human ability
to think and problem solve
by your reptilian impulse
to survive what is threatening you.
I have been operating
from my survival response
for two years now.
When you are in
fight or flight
for extended periods of time,
your system shuts down.
This is the burnout stage of stress.
I am burned out, traumatized
isolated, and terrified.
How am I supposed
to recreate my life in this state?
The struggle now
is between terror and peace.
Some days I wake up and feel fine.
Some days I wake up in terror.
There’s no rhyme or reason.
I just want to find home.
I want to create stability.
I’ve begun sending feelers out
in different directions;
I want to open multiple income streams.
I know I have talents and abilities,
but they’ve been buried deep within
for so long, it’s a process to uncover them.
It takes time to monetize one’s talents…
But I don’t have much time.
My eviction date is set for July 15.
I need to find a home.
How do I find a home
when I don’t have any money?
The people I thought were my friends
have all disappeared.
I guess that divorce, depression and eviction
are too inconvenient for normal, stable people.
What has happened in my life
that in my time of greatest need,
I look around, and no one is there?*
*Just wanted to acknowledge that there are people here who have been generous in expressing their concern…so I didn’t want to come across as ungrateful for that.
Up and down
like a rollercoaster
Sometimes I tire so
of this realm of duality.
Sometimes I crave the absolute.
There have been many times
this past year and a half
where I was sure
I didn’t want to go on living.
The pain was too intense,
the grief too deep,
the anger too hot,
the overwhelm too suffocating…
and I just wanted to escape.
But somehow, magically,
at just the point when I had reached
the peak of my pain
and was ready to give up,
someone or something would show up
to help me give life another chance.
I am so grateful for the incredible grace
that has flowed through my life,
always giving me reasons to stay alive
when I was ready to reject everything.
I give thanks to the one who knows me,
to the one who knows exactly what I need
to always give life another chance.
“In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Could I be grateful for even this?
Could I love even this?
Could I train in seeing meaning
in everything around me,
and could this meaning
bring an end to my suffering?
I was down again today.
Had a spat with my sister,
was triggered, lost it.
I slammed and screamed
around my house
like a lunatic.
I took a bath seething
hotter than the steaming water.
I felt weary, alone,
and so completely low.
I wrote to God,
asking him to strike me down.
I asked What’s the point
of struggling like this?
I asked Why should I
keep suffering like this?
I told God I was so tired
of all of it. I told God
I was ready to die.
Then I cried
and cried and cried
I texted a friend.
I spoke briefly with my mother.
She didn’t know what to say.
I hung up and cried more.
I tried texting my friend again.
No answer. Again.
Crying in my kitchen.
Crying the laundry room.
Crying in the hall.
Crying in my bedroom.
Crying until I was blind.
Finally I tried another friend.
She said, “Wanna bring your kids over for pizza?”
Thank you God.
I guess today isn’t the day to die.
And then it hit me—
not like a ton of bricks
like an angel giving me a little love slap—
I really don’t have anything to stress about.
I have food
I have shelter
My children are safe and healthy
I have a family who loves me
and friends too
I am able-bodied, able-minded
with so many resources available to me
to craft a life in alignment
with my deepest soul desires.
What in the HELL am I stressing about,
I put myself in hell and have wallowed in it,
only because things didn’t go the way
I thought they would.
Welcome to REAL LIFE, Lorien.
I’m ready to get over my damn self.
No more stress.
In the depths of sadness
in a trance of unworthiness,
I somehow managed to reach out
to a friend who reached out to another friend
who then invited me to dinner…
and she gave me the name of a sitter.
Miraculously the sitter was available.
I had a burst of energy then,
and cleaned parts of the house
that had received no attention
for several months.
It felt good to freshen up the place.
And it felt good to escape
the depths of despair,
to take some fresh air in my lungs,
go out, and remember
I don’t have to be alone.