Another BayArt.org blog post resonated with me that I wanted to explore my feelings on, and share here. What really stands out to me is the messiness of the spiritual journey. This path of healing that I want so badly to be easy and carefree, well it’s exactly the opposite. For me, strength and courage haven’t come during the times of joy and peace. These things don’t happen when I’m breezing through life effortlessly. When life is easy and comfortable, I don’t search for peace, compassion, strength, joy.
If you’re looking for a message of hope and inspiration, you won’t find it in this post. I am at what I hope is rock bottom, and I only write this so that I can remember how hard it was when life gets better in the future, so that I can empathize with others during their hard times, and hopefully be of help to someone one day. Maybe it will be a comfort to someone else out there who’s suffering a similar hardship. I don’t know.
This thing that I’ve invested so much time and energy in, this thing I’ve wanted so badly, clung to, fought for… I just don’t know if I want to continue the struggle. It’s just too hard, and I question whether it’s worth it. Is this really how I want life to be? Yet I am so afraid to let it go, because I know that life is hard no matter what path you take, and at some point you make a decision to stick to your decision no matter what, because you know you’ll just run into different problems that are just as frustrating at a later date. I know this for a fact because I’ve been there.
All I know is that something has to change. I have to change. I want so badly for things to just go my way. I want it to be easy. I want safety and security and stability, and that just ain’t happening right now. I have a support network yet I feel totally alone. Who can I call right now? I’ve called everyone I know, I’ve been to every support group meeting available right now, I went to church, I meditated, I called my therapist, my acupuncturist. I decided to keep my money rather than visit a psychic, as badly as I want to know the future, how this is all going to play out, because on some level I know I’ll be given some vague story about how it will all work out. And I know that it will. The problem for me is that I don’t know if it will work out the way I want, and that’s what’s so painful to me.
This is my spiritual journey. It’s not rainbows and unicorns in the sky with glitter and stardust and angels or my dead mother telling me she’s with me and everything’s going to be okay. It’s me sitting alone in my bedroom at 8am on a Monday morning balling my eyes out trying not to sob too loudly while my roommates sleep soundly in their rooms, and my loved ones are far away in their own world of pain that I cannot do anything about, and in fact I seem to just ruin it because I’m in too much pain myself to be of use to anyone else right now. It’s me crying alone in my room praying to God for help, mercy, grace. If Mom were alive, I could call her, and I’d feel better in the moment talking to her, but I still have to fight this battle on my own. No one else can save me. Her being alive would not change that.
Yesterday I reached a new level of understanding, of realizing I cannot wallow in self-pity, I cannot blame Mom’s death or expect everyone else to understand and pause for the next year or two or five or however long it takes for me to process this grief.
I don’t know if going back to school is the right option. I’d love to feel confident in my decision, secure in knowing this is what I want, and faith that it will work out for the better, but I only feel that this is the only option, the last option. I simply do not know what else to do. I am 40 years old with a master’s degree in field I cannot get a job in, working at a grocery store, making barely enough money to get by. So I registered for classes next semester, even though it’s the last thing I want to do right now. I don’t want to spend all my free time studying a bunch of shit I can’t remember later for a job I don’t know if I can get or will like once I do get it. But nothing else is presenting itself to me right now. So this is it.
If I had any hope or strength to offer, it would be this: ask yourself as you go through the day what you can offer to life rather than what life can offer to you. Say some positive affirmations, no matter how hard it feels, no matter how untrue or fake it feels. If there’s something you enjoy doing, but you just don’t want to do it, do it anyway. This is where growth happens. The journey is not a straight path. It’s a narrow and winding road full of hills, but we will get there. It may not feel like it right now, but we will.