This post was a tough one for me to write, but it gives a little insight on where I'm coming from and what happened to me that makes me want to write this blog. I hope you find something in it for yourself.
A few years ago, I went through a horror. A horror that brought me low. Things became so awful, one day I found myself in the fetal position on my bathroom floor (if this sounds very Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love, I promise there is no plagiarism…these are the true facts of my life). I was sobbing, cause really what else would I be doing? Playing bingo? No. I was sobbing because I hurt. Every inch of me, inside and out.
I literally felt that there was no place to go, no one to talk to, no thing that I could do that would lift me and make me feel that anything was worth it. At the time, my spiritual bank account was pretty empty and I wasn’t very religious (and I admit, I am still not religious), but because I couldn’t think of anything else to do, I prayed. Hard. I said, “God, if you are out there listening to me, please do something. I can’t do this for one more minute. I am lost, I am alone, and I am so, so sad.”
I’ve got to be honest, even as I sit here writing this, there are tears in my eyes. Those few moments in my life, at the lowest of my lows, were so bleak that I can’t help but feel compassion and a great amount of sorrow for the girl I was then. She was hurting so much. More than I can imagine, even now, even though that girl was me.
As I lay there, curled up, cheek on the ground, tears streaming sideways down my face so they pooled oddly in my ear (and now, among all the shattering pain, that odd detail is one that I remember vividly), I continued to pray for grace.
And (my tears are flowing freely now as I type), then it came. The thing that I cannot describe. The feeling that I was lifted. Somehow, it was like up until that point I’d been living my life looking through a window heavily condensed with fog, and then suddenly, that window was crystal clear. This is crazy, and kooky, and if it didn’t happen to me, I may not have ever believed it, but in that moment, my life was saved by a love that I can’t explain or understand. In an instant, every quote I’d ever hoarded came to life and revealed itself to me as a masterpiece. “Be the change you wish to see in the world’ was my mantra. And I knew what it meant, deep in my heart. Before they were words; they became a benediction. “If love is the answer, compassion is the way.” These sayings became more to me than I can ever explain. In an instant, they became my entire consciousness.
For a few weeks after that, my ability to understand, to be compassionate, to see through to the hurts and sorrows of others was completely illuminated. I think, but am not vain enough to say too loudly, that I was given a glimpse of enlightenment. I understood things on a plane I had only caught millisecond glimpses of before. I was living love. And it was amazing.
Gradually, though, that faded. And I was angry. Angry that I had been given this rare and precious gift of understanding, and that it was fading. Like a particularly brilliant sunset, my awareness was burning away. I tried to hold on to those abilities that I’d gained. That rare gift of deep compassion and understanding. That feeling of unmatched bliss. But I couldn’t…and I was mad.
Over time, as I re-established my connection with my understanding of the divine, I came to understand the miracle in my life in a new way. I had been saved from certain destruction when I could not manage on my own. I had been lifted and shown another path. A wonderous path, a healthy path, a fulfilling and blissful path. But the God of my understanding wanted me to figure it out for myself. The gift was given, but to keep it, I had to do the hard work of learning, growing, giving, caring, and opening. And as I came to see that I had to work for my bliss, that I had to care about others, and myself. I had to work at understanding myself and why I got myself into messes, why there was drama when I wanted peace, why I used guilt and shame to manipulate others.
The real gift from the miracle in my life was that I was opened to a life of learning who I am. And of always questioning why and what I am doing. I don’t have it figured out. I’m not even close. Every time I snap at someone in anger, every time I have jealous thought, or think an unkind thing, I know 1) I am human, and 2) I have a long way to go.
This miracle is a large part of why I do this. I wonder if there someone out there hurting, really, really deeply, and needing help and understanding and just not knowing what to do or what to think. I wonder if they’ll read these words and find some hope, find some ray of light that can encourage them to open their eyes a little wider.
There are miracles in this world. You are one of them.