Lone Raindrops

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Last Monday I moved house again. I have lost count of how many times I’ve moved; of how many times I’ve flicked through old pages holding encounters, woes, stories only I know. It has been 13 days since I wrote in my journal. The turquoise book seemed buried too deep and it felt as though I had too much to write yet I was emptied of writing. Somehow I could not bare the task of writing my thoughts, emotions and events, it all appeared far too heavy and I needed rest from constructing sentences out of pain that produced joy.

Sometimes we need to empty ourselves. We need to let ourselves breathe; let ourselves be still; and let ourselves ponder.

Circumstances arise when we need them and God knows what we need and when we need it most. Our challenges are to bring us closer to accomplishing great things. They provide us with moments to acknowledge our blessings and they are opportunities to be stronger, braver, and more resilient time and time again. Through each challenge we are prepared for the next, we gain more compassion or patience or self-belief. We build upon our foundations with each difficult experience, layering comprehension of this earth life.

‘Imagine for a moment that you are a drop of water. As it happens, you are a very unique little drop – beautifully shaped, with only a cute little distortion in the way you reflect the light. People praise your beauty, and in time you come to believe that you are special.

But as time goes on, you become lonely. You long for the companionship of an other – another drop of water who will love you as you love it and help you feel less alone. You find that other, or you don’t; you fall in love, or you don’t.

And then one day it starts to rain. Seven billion drops of rain fall in a single afternoon and you are no longer alone. Briefly, you touch mitochondria with a single raindrop and before you know it, two have become one. You are still alone, but you are larger than before. With each drop of water you merge with, your entire being expands, until all seven billion drops become one ocean.

And you are still alone. And all is well.’

{Michael Neill, The Space Within -Finding Your Way Back Home}

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What to do about bullies?

 

In life people will manipulate you, mortify you, patronise you, disrespect you, and lie to you. What can we do? How are we to overcome the feelings that are initiated by these somewhat despicable human beings? In most cases I can sustain my inner peace. I am able to accept that nobody is perfect and people act in these ways for reasons that are out of their control. But why should I immediately forgive someone and keep quiet about persistent behaviour that is purposefully used in attempts to degrade my self-esteem, isolate me, and crush my spirits? This is what angers me most, and in these rare moments I feel the anger build up inside me to reach a point where my natural reaction is a desire to inflict pain using violence. I know this is not beneficial to me and it does not ensure that the person causing this pain feels remorseful or compassionate but I want them to know what I feel; I want them to understand the unwelcome feelings they create within my body; I want them to see how it’s not right, it’s not humane and it’s not the way they should treat fellow people. Yet they continue as if all is well with not a care in the world and treating other people in the same way. How do we put an end to this brutality that divides humanity? How do we teach these bullies a lesson so they will cease to be repeat offenders of emotional abuse?

 

Depression, Alcohol and Creativity

Perhaps the worst part of my depression was the guilt that ate away at my insides. I knew that the feelings I had and the way I was living my life were not right and as each day passed by I would feebly attempt to gather strength to turn it around. It was the disappointment in myself that tied me down further, my inability to complete daily tasks that were only necessary for survival like buying food from the shops, made me regularly question my place as a human being. Each day I would write lists to complete, with number one always being to get out of bed. Even this was a battle with the evils that governed my thought processes as I argued with myself over the pro’s and cons of dragging my body outside of unwashed sheets.There was no purpose, no reason, to leave the room that I hid in. I was studying a degree yet this was only another social activity, another embarrassment, another guilt, and another opportunity to feel deeply inadequate.

My confidence had been vacant for so long I didn’t know the meaning of the word and when assigned with presentations to the class, a fear trembled through my skeleton. It was truly a living nightmare to stand in front of a group of people, address them on a subject I could muster no interest in and present using a mind that was consumed by worry, fear, memory-loss, lack of focus and the idea that everyone was against me. The only times I could communicate with people was when I went out drinking. I would throw back drink after drink so that finally my mind was poisoned and tricked into believing that I was happy, overly confident, and outrageous until I awoke trying to piece together fragments of the night. I drank until I could not stand, could not speak my own name, and could not remember the turmoil of my life that I was persistently escaping from. I favoured hangovers because it was an excuse to lay in bed all day but I would still lay amongst guilt for doing this to myself and for letting myself wallow in pity.

Creativity would only escape after I drank some alcohol and I could always feel the urge inside of my blood trying to be released. It was supressed with my emotions as if I had stopped myself from feeling anything other than pain. I was ashamed of who I was and didn’t know who I was so when I drank I allowed my suffering to spill out onto blank pages in slurred words and buried them between hoarded coursework and memories so no one would see what I really was. I was un-hinged, broken, divided, drowning and alone. I was suffering with depression, anxiety and social phobia, and I thought that was the way I was. I thought these illnesses and all of the extra side effects were my personality, but they were not. They are not a part of me and I have learned who I really am and accepted who I am so I can live my life with a free mind.