One woman’s quest to make sense of a nonsensical world after losing her dream home and all her worldly possessions to a raging and sudden wildfire. Exploring the existence of God, our cultural discomfort with grief, what it means to be human as well as life in a 1967 Airstream trailer, Kristen Moeller shares her humanity, her spirit and her dark edge openly for herself as well as for the countless others who beg to be heard in their wild journey through this wacky world.
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When we lose sight of the light

Posted on: 27 Comments

Those of us who have walked through are own personal fires are sensitive souls.   Most the time we know ourselves as the brave warriors that we are, but sometimes the weight of the worlds woes gets to us and we beg to call uncle.

Yesterday I finished writing a piece for Unity magazine that I had agonized over for weeks. I have experienced writers block in the past but this was writers anguish. Hating everything I wrote, I would stop short of completing it. I couldn’t figure out a way to end it and nothing was flowing. My topic: returning home to ourselves after a period of darkness. Finally yesterday morning, the FINAL deadline after extending three times, I got up early, polished up my 5th draft and showed it to David expecting him to rip it apart as I had. Instead, he loved it, saw my mission shining through and gave me one line of editing.

The truth is (if I haven’t made it obvious already) that I was struggling with my own darkness as I wrote.

How it’s supposed to be: We have returned to our land victorious. The view alone settles and calms us. The house is magical, cozy and beautiful. We have made it back. We are home. We celebrate. Our Tiny House Nation episode is airing on National TV tomorrow and it’s exciting beyond belief. Rebuilding was a grand adventure from planing it to working with all the trades to getting to be behind the scenes of TV filming and meeting the most extraordinary people along the way.

How it is: Really, truly, all of the above – AND – it has been a long road back. We are exhausted. We pushed so hard to make the TV deadline that we went way over budget, pissed off contractors, resided in stress mode. I ignored my food allergies and ate what I wanted and now have headaches, swollen joints and general malaise. We are still in the middle of a move where we are downsizing again and even though I am practicing “conscious downsizing”, not knowing where to keep the toilet paper, the winter boots, the extra sheets – or the guests for that matter – drives me a bit batty. We failed inspections (still don’t have our Certificate of Occupancy!), sprung leaks, dealt with the mess of erosion, the refrigerator still isn’t working (don’t buy a Bosch!!!!). My darkness started swirling around and settled in like a low lying cloud – and I started to believe it was the truth. The sun would pop out and I would remember but then when I turned to the page to write about darkness – and our need for acceptance of ALL of our spaces – I seriously lacked in acceptance for mine. Yes, what they say is true, what you resist persists.

There is an excessive amount of chaos in the world right now. Gaza, Iraq, Ukraine, planes being shot out of the sky, Ebola, to name a few. I recently read about a mother from the pacific Northwest who was reported missing and found in the woods, an apparent suicide. I thought about her for days not knowing what was true for her but knowing something had her give up and give in to the dark voices.Unknown

And now Robin Williams.

I (like so many others) am heart-broken by the loss. And I (like so many others) get it.

What I fought to keep at bay during this crazy time was my dark depression. That voice that wants to obliterate me and obliterate the world.

That’s the mystery of both addiction and depression. From the outside, Robin Williams had everything. Exceptional talent, brilliance, success and he was beloved by so many which is evident in the outpouring of devastation all over social media and the news. We LOVED him. How could he have not loved himself enough to stay alive? How could he have taken himself away from his family? How could his success and what he has achieved be enough to keep him here?

The diseases of addiction and depression makes no sense. In those trenches, the light doesn’t shine. You can’t see the beauty that is all around. And then the weight of knowing how you should feel, what you should be grateful for, sucks you down even further.

Yesterday in the piece I submitted, I wrote about the path of the ‘Firewalker’ – those who have walked through the fires of life and keep walking even though the weight of the world sometimes feels too much. In returning to my writing, I reconnected with my mission. I write for those who grapple with darkness yet see the extraordinary light and beauty that does exist. I share my own struggles so others don’t feel alone in theirs. That’s what my book was about – it’s not about not waiting and blindly jumping into action. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not empty words to slap on a bandaid and throw you back into the game. It’s not about the heroes journey which although inspiring, is also a standard of perfection against which to measure ourselves. It’s about coming home to ourselves – our messiness, our craziness, our lack of perfection, our complete perfection.

On TV tomorrow night, we don’t know how we will be portrayed. There is a story to tell – and it is a grand adventure – and there are pieces that will be missing (or even misunderstood). I know that those that love us and know us will get it – and I know that in the mind of the general public we are opening ourselves up to scrutiny and being misunderstood. Right now, I don’t mind. Right now, I am grounded in both my light – and my heart aching sadness for the loss of someone who didn’t see enough of his own light to stay here any longer.

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27 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    Thank you for saying what I could not say myself. I too have struggled with depression and often feel alone in my struggle. I have a beautiful life, so many gifts, but the darkness looms around me. Thanks for the reminder that it’s all ok – and we are not alone.

  2. Leslie Wharton says:

    Beautiful. I have writers block right now too because I am trying to write about arriving in Washington and being distraught after losing everything. I always try to cheer it up. I write what I think instead of what I feel because its scary. I try to look at what I do have. I hide all that I have lost. I have my love. My life. Robin Williams. A gifted life, a tormented life. Balance, feeling both and bouncing back.

  3. Debra Basham says:

    The most important gift we can give is our honesty. You do that every day. Some days the moon shines full in the sky, but other days you cannot even see it. The moon has not changed.

    What you are saying is the light is always there–even when we experience darkness.

    I, too, am so sad about Robin Williams. I know his soul lives on, but I will miss his gift with skin on.

    Enjoy the TV show. Whatever is shared will be perfect.

    Great love for you!

  4. Meg Skelton says:

    Thanks Kristen. After watching the news tonight I just sat on my couch and wondered with the dichotomy of blessings and chaos right now what step is next. It is all in divine order, but sometimes it just makes no sense.

  5. Danielle Carr says:

    I cannot tell you how much I related to your article. I, like you have,some very dark moments, where I can’t see even a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.For those of us who struggle with serious periods of depression, it is important not to feel you struggle alone. Thank most grateful.

  6. Paula B says:

    I watched you on Tiny House Nation (loved this episode-the BEST one yet!) You were so genuine and likeable right away. I pray God’s blessings on your life as you enjoy your Tiny Home and as you express your soul in your completely enviable home office! I’m glad I googled your “restored to wonder” line and found your blog.

  7. Rich Gee says:

    Love this piece – really got me to think about some of the dark places I go in my mind. But then I need to grab onto that guide rope and make my way back to the light by thinking of what I’ve accomplished so far and all the wonderful, loving people around me. Keep it up – Rich

  8. Lhotse says:

    I had to look you up after watching your episode last night, and feeling deeply affected by it. Especially having spent my glory days in Conifer, and it thusly holding a place in my heart. Your beautiful spirit emanated right through the screen. I admire your strength and look forward to checking out your writing.
    Your home is just wonderful. I’ve been interested in alternative building for many years and am just getting to the point of being able to actually DO it. Financially, and emotionally. I am for the first time in years not feeling like crawling into a permanent hole is ultimately the only way through. Or, out. The darkness looms indeed but I seem to have found a beam of light.
    Caustic time in the world to be ready to be alive, though I am trying not to dwell on it without being ignorant to it. Late night ramblings. I apologize.
    Carry on spreading goodness.

    • I appreciate your late night ramblings! They sound like my early morning and late night thoughts :-). Receiving your message this morning lifted my spirits. I wish you luck on your building adventures! Best advice – don’t do it quickly! Research all the options, and save money just by doing that! We moved so quickly that we went WAY over budget. Blessings to you.

  9. Sandy Golnick says:

    Dear Kristen,
    As always I am touched and moved by your “voice”. Interestingly, I am left with the experience of gratitude for what I have experienced and am experiencing…”the good stuff and the bad”. It allows me to feel you and others. Sometimes I have felt guilty or maybe lucky to have my life. It has been an amazing life, one that I love and find joy in living. Today I am grateful for you and your contribution to my life. Love you dearly. xx

  10. maria Olaughlin says:

    Dear Kristin,
    Watched the show …loved it…told you my shoes wouldnt fit in it..and that is AFTER the fire we had…we UPSIZED…
    read your book on the beach today….loved it…
    Most grateful that you can say that we can grieve differently and that messy is ok. I cried remembering that you were the gorgeous, blonde THIN popular girl that everyone wanted to be.. and that I was not. And yet you were already suffering…wondered how you pulled that off. I see David Orlandella on Facebook and think of you two. It all looked so really really good. Thanks for baring your soul. I struggle with anxiety and accompanying depression. This week I decided to go gluten sugar, dairy and red meat free. Feeling ridiculously physically better already 8 days in. Not turning back.
    Love you for all that give to us and to those whom you can help. I am one of them.
    XO maria

    • Thank you Maria! You touched my heart with your note. Yes, messiness. Wish I could love it always – and it has been my greatest teacher. Thanks for being a fellow traveller on this path. With love!

  11. Dar Sery says:

    Thanks for your Unity article (especially the last paragraph) and the words of wisdom — thru tears I shall overcome — tho there are times I just am ready to give up! Much to give — but —

  12. Tracey Evans says:

    Hi Kristen I came to your website via your piece in the Unity daily prayer booklet. I loved what you wrote and believe I’m a fire walker too , to read your experiences and how you have responded suddenly everything makes sense things are not meant to be fantastic all the time everything has a season and we have to life and firewall at the same time x two years ago I was made redundant I’m educated but it’s difficult I’m an energetic and contemporary 52 year old ! But feeling that ageism is alive and well here in the UK :) I’ve retrained in NLP has taken me to India and I’m launching myself in March locally to advertise my coaching so no money but a richness of new friends and a journey with old friends I’ve also moved into a rented house and left a partner of 14 years ( a happy relief he was emotionally abusive ) I’ve never written on anyone’s page before 😉 but was drawn to you and your Unity article it makes so much sense and is joyously hopeful Thank You x Do you ever visit the UK to speak ? Blessings to you Tracey x

  13. Kate Unger says:

    Your short piece in this month’s copy of “Daily Word” led me to your website – that is exactly how God works in my life. I woke up this morning needing a great deal of encouragement, and after reading your words, knew that I had found it! You just gained another follower- my walk through the fire involves being a caregiver to my adult daughter who has cerebral palsy. Her sharp mind is trapped inside a body that does not work very well, and we struggle to keep our spirits up as life gets more and more challenging. It’s one day at a time, but we keep moving forward. I will share your words with her later today, and I know they will encourage her too! Thank you!

    • So glad you found me Kate! That is quite a journey you are on. Do you write?

      • Kate Unger says:

        I journal from time to time and have written poems and reflections occasionally during this journey. I love your statement – Don’t die with your book still inside of you….I’ve been told on many occasions that I should write a book….it’s complicated ( as it always is)

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