I haven’t published anything on this blog since February 1st. More than three months have gone by. I wish I could tell you that I haven’t posted because I’ve been busy traipsing around the world in my flourishing, virile body, with all my buckets of money and a sexy lover by my side. But, alas, such would be a lie. A coveted fantasy, sure, but still a lie.
What I’ve actually been doing the past three months is falling deeper and deeper into a black hole of sickness and depression – a vicious chicken-or-the-egg sorta cycle where I can’t tell if I’m sick because I’m depressed or depressed because I’m sick. But before you go feeling sorry for me, there is good news here! I have discovered the perfect ingredients for Misery Soup! (You know, in case you get bored with cream of mushroom.)
1 part unemployment
1 part breaking off an engagement
1 part financial hardship
1 part consecutive MS flare-ups (yay 4 weeks of double vision!)
1 part still grieving a dead mom
And…a dash of Hulu.com (7.99 buys you all you can watch! The entire season of Lost, anyone?)
I know it’s crude, but if I can’t laugh, surely I’ll cry. And okay, admittedly, I’ve done a lot of that the last few months as well. But, as with all darkness, if you look closely enough, you can always see rays of unexpected light bursting through the brittle surface. For me, those rays have taken the form of spiritual growth. Hard won, painful, sometimes forgotten, sometimes denied, sometimes celebrated spiritual growth.
I have leveraged my weeks of being in bed with double vision to dive into A Course in Miracles (possibly the most profound text in existence). I have taken the universe’s cue that this is time for internal work, not external activity, and engaged in many hours of attempted non-engagement (i.e. meditation).
I have had days where I’ve been inspired and hopeful, despite the confluence of distressing circumstances I’ve found myself inside of. And I’ve had days, more often than not, where I’ve been so weighted down by hopelessness and fear, desperation and frustration, that I didn’t think I had the strength to wake up the next morning.
This last year and a half has been so intensely humbling in every way that I can only hope I am being fashioned for a level of spiritual warriorship the likes of which I have yet to even imagine, much less embody. I must believe this, because otherwise the existential suffering would be more than I could carry.
But I am writing this post today because I can say, with some cautionary optimism, that I seem to be crawling out of that black hole these last couple weeks and spending more time healing in those warm rays of light, and hope.
An incredibly talented friend and soul sister, Cathy Aten, who writes an amazing blog about living with MS (www.cathyaten.com), wrote to me last week and said, “I so appreciate the fact you are out there, walking with me on this infernal path we walk.”
I loved that. And I want to borrow those beautiful words to thank all of you who are reading this, who are out there walking alongside me on this infernal path too. And I’d like to suggest that perhaps it is precisely this downright diabolical, wicked ground on which we tread that will carry us closer to heaven than we ever thought possible, right here in these flawed bodies, with these tender hearts, in these very lifetimes…if we let it.