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.
In a downward spiral,
feeling unloved, unseen,
And this is all a sign
that I have abandoned myself,
that I need to turn toward myself,
and find out what core wound
I’m believing right now.
But it’s so goddamned much work,
and I feel tired to the bone.
No one ever told me
that it would be this painful
to awaken, evolve, and overcome.
I long so deeply for resolution;
there is none in sight.
It’s only me here
with my two children, hungry, bickering,
as real life just keeps going on.
It began with multiple interruptions
to my morning meditation…
my son ran in the room
and my husband wouldn’t wake up
to get the lad some food.
And so it fell on mama
to rise early from her cushion,
as she was attempting to awaken,
as her husband was allowed to simply sleep…
The stories about
putting everyone else’s needs before my own,
so many stories in my head
contributing to a dark mood,
and the noise from the outside world,
enough to make the sanest crazy.
There is no vacation from one’s darkest thoughts.
I haven’t had mind altering substances for years,
and sometimes in moments like these
I remember why I drank wine and beer.
But no more,
I made this commitment to being clear,
and that means diving deeper
when the water is dark and frigid
when the foreboding depths
seem to conceal
a terrifying truth…
There is no end to this pain.
Of course, I could also reason
that the deeper I dig,
the more space I will have to welcome joy.
When the light of awareness
pierces the murky depths
I might discover
there is nothing to fear,
I won’t suffocate in my pain,
I might learn to breathe underwater.