When we lose sight of the light
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.
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.