If I am not the mean voice inside my head,
who am I ?
Am I any less the mean voice than the loving one?
And just who gets to determine who I am?
A houseful of belongings,
no motivation to figure out where they’re going,
and the clock ticks away unrelentingly.
This house is not my own.
Then again, neither is this body.
I rented this form from Planet Earth
and to her it shall return.
What will I do with this borrowed time,
as each day draws me closer to my death?
I dreamed of self-realization…
for the longest time I thought
each day would unlock a little more of the mystery.
But in the wake of this rude transition
from married to single
from wealthy to impoverished
from homeowner to homeless,
what does this self-realization journey matter?
Will God come and save me if I’m living in a box?
I need to take action,
and my will is gone.
My creative spark is snuffed out.
Or maybe these words provide a glimmer?
Someone had to write them.
Who is she?
I guess it isn’t all gone…
I feel lost, alone, directionless, uncomfortable.
What is my purpose?
It says: You have no purpose.
But why I am I alive?
It says: There is no reason. You should end it.
But what about my children?
It says: They’d be better off without you.
And my yoga students?
It says: You’ve been lying to them all along.
It’s time they knew the truth.
But surely this will one day get better?
It says: Not for you. You will never be happy.
But what about nature? The sun? The forest?
The cycles of life?
It says: What about them? You’re still depressed.
You’ll always be depressed. Face it. End it.
But I can’t do that to them. To my friends. My family.
It says: Why not? They don’t care. Not really.
Not enough to help you or save you.
I know there are other voices in my head.
Why is It the loudest?
If I stay in the now,
everything is ok.
If I allow myself to regress to the past
or project into the future
I am filled with regret and shame
or anxiety and hopelessness.
Clearly the sane choice
is to stay in the now.
How do I do this?
I breathe, and I feel my breath.
I really look at my children
as they read, or play, or eat,
or argue with one another.
I notice my hands batting
at the insect that buzzes near my ears
as I walk in the humid forest,
earth floor damp,
ferns glowing emerald green
in the golden dusk light,
the beauty of it all.
Oh my mind,
I beg you.
Stay present. Stay with me.
Stay here now.
Haven’t I suffered enough,
Or do you want to break me even more?
I feel like I’m already mostly dead.
Do you want me to die all the way?
I am a ghost in a body struggling to live
and it feels like a burden to eat.
And yet I must feed this body,
because there are two children
relying on me to be here for them…
and they deserve a living, breathing mother
who can help smooth their way through
this rocky journey of life.
Is enduring this pain the sacrifice I must make?
Is this torture of terror, uncertainty and homelessness
the very thing that’s making me strong
and ready to change?
But how can I change
when I lack the energy
to meet my most basic of needs?
When it feels like a burden to be alive,
how do I choose to keep living?
A teacher shared with me recently
that we humans live in a great paradox
of which we are innately aware
but which is so overwhelming
that it is the root cause
of our misery and all the behaviors
that arise from our misery.
The paradox is this:
Our consciousness is infinite
and yet our bodies are finite.
The awareness in us is as vast as the universe
and yet our tiny physical beings are fragile, vulnerable.
This paradox, and the tension it creates
is too much for many of us to bear.
And so we numb.
We get addicted.
We look outside, to escape
the tension orginating from the center of our being.
I have faced this paradox over and over
as I have watched my life dissolve
before my very eyes.
Everything I knew has been obliterated.
The consciousness in me can be at peace with this.
My body is terrified, suffering from complex PTSD.
Every day I dance on a fine line
between hope and hopelessness,
love and fear,
existence and non-existence,
infinity and limitation.
I can tell you, it’s a lonely place to dance.
Back in anxiety and depression,
like they are waiting there
always in the wings
for a moment
that I might just gain some footing
at which point
they stick out their legs
just as I walk by
DOWN I go
tripping, falling, stumbling,
They tell me to remember my place.
They won’t let me ever forget.
How do you escape a prison with no walls?
How do you gain freedom
from the inner persecutor?
I would tear them out if I could,
but I can’t find where they live.
How do I find resolve to keep going
when it feels like agony just to breathe?
Stuck in darkness.
Swallowed in a feeling of futility,
waiting for it to end.
What is the solution?
I’ve tried everything I could
and now I’m told
medicine might help.
My feelings are valid.
My circumstances are challenging
and every time I reach out for support
my arms aren’t long enough
and my cries aren’t loud enough;
despite my best efforts to connect
I find myself engulfed
in utter loneliness.
If you’ve never been here before
you might find it hard
to relate to these words.
If you’ve been here before
tell me how you got out.
If you are here now with me,
let me know.
Let me know I’m not alone.