I understand the word. I feel the word. I live the word. I am hyper aware of impermanence. It is all around me. The constant changing elements of water, the river that is never the same once visited again. I understand all is in continuum. Nothing ever stops and nothing ever stays. I think I have understood this since I was a small child. I think that understanding such complex concepts at a young age added to my anxiety.
Perhaps this is when I began to cling to my imagination deeper and deeper, and began to learn how to survive. I was a fledgling set out to fly far too early. Someone unadjusted to the world at large made to be a part of something she did not understand and did not want to understand. I hid in my very own nightmares, determined to fight off demons in an arena I created, untouched by the outside.
I jumped fence after fence, leaping from robbers and ‘bad guys.’ I protected my mother from the giant waves coming at us as I clung to the ocean cliffs for life. I ward off monsters pulling me down the bed.
It was impossible to live in the present. Entirely impossible. To feel everything at once would have been liken to an internal combustion. I would have exploded, in one way or another. Instead I locked everything inside and I made promises. I promised to grow up to be a good person, to be a good mommy, and to make a difference in the world. I turned my terrible angst into hope. I set goals. I set conditions. And I made order out of the chaos.
Eventually my goals were reached. I’d done everything I’d ever wanted. My life was set. Every single one. And there I sat, not too long ago, lost. For what was I to do when everything I’d set to do had been reached?
I understood myself and the dynamics of my life. I understood the deepest of religious thoughts and philosophies. I understood my journey and all that had transpired. At least to the greatest degree possible for the person I was.
Had I been a different person years ago…oh so it seemed. Had I been made new week after week, waking up to a person I did not know or recognize? Indeed. I was transformed from the inside out. The dreams, prophetic and enriched with symbolism, came. The painting, the drawing, the poetry, the intense unbearable passion. I was wrapped up in this whirlwind I could not control. I was swept away by the beauty. I was floating. I was where I thought I would remain.
Only I was drowning. I was suffering in a rigidness and extremeness. I was stuck again. I lost myself in a way I didn’t know way possible. I flew up to the ceiling of my own life in a bubble of my own. Everything and everyone seemed a burden but my God. I was able to love, yes, unconditionally, but I wasn’t able to be. I wasn’t there. I was lost in yet another formed self.
I was reformed into something I was not. At least it seems that way through the eyes of retrospection. But what if that was who I am? What if at that moment that was me in completion: this lost heroine found to her own self. I do not know. I only know I was drifting. I was floating. I was no longer grounded. Nothing was that had been before, and all seemed lost and found at once.
It was my new escape. I know this in looking back. But I never would know it then. I’d transported into another place and into another state of being to survive. What was I surviving? This place.
I’d set new rules upon myself: to not fixate, to stay in the present, to be of service, to love unconditionally, to forgive everyone, to release anger. All beneficial rules. All effective measures. Except I wrapped myself in barbwire. I literally took the fencing that had always caged me in—the fence of rules, regulations, and must-do’s—and then made the fencing my very skin. I took my self and made myself the rigidness. I bleed for the world. Or so I thought.
But I was really bleeding for me. I was finally coming to the cuffing of self—to the last prison—the last restrictions of soul. I was making myself believe that through effort, sacrifice, and obeying I would at last be free. That through service, I would at last have found the answer.
I didn’t realize that I no longer need to suffer to be the light.
I didn’t realize that I no longer have to search to find who I already am.
I didn’t realize that the very impermanence that haunted me as a youth, was the same impermanence that would pull me through.
I went on my knees. I curled on the floor and I wept. For through everything, I believed I still hadn’t sacrificed enough. I believed I had to be tortured to heal the world. I believed if I wasn’t bled out I couldn’t survive. I thought, without reason, that to live was to die a thousand deaths.
I begged for reprieve, for change, for retreat. And it came.
The waves of trials. The turmoil of emotions. The constant moving of my foundation. Everything bubbled up and exploded as hot molten. Everything splattered and spilled and spat—hot liquid pain. And the landscape reformed burying me in the process. Momentarily, unable to breathe or float or be, I dug through the debris. I suffered then, but in a different way.
I suffered through finding where I’d last left myself. And I found me. Somewhat buried, too. But not as deep. Just set out as a shell beside the shadows where I moved; hidden beneath the very darkness I carried. An invisibleness that formed into shape with each of my worries and woes. I found me there then, or what remained of me, all withered and severed. And I remembered that I had this funny way of finding places to go while leaving the rest of me behind. I had to have been there, I supposed, in this place of no place, while the other slipped on my suit of being. I had to be there and rest, beyond the structure of the illusion of our world, so I could awaken to me again and behold the lands ruptured and renewed