I feel alive today.
For the first time in over a week, possibly two, I am myself.
I recognize this body, this mind, this face in the mirror with its lines and its curves and its spots. Instead of disdain and dislike, I see love staring back at me. I see me, I feel me…and this is an astounding revelation: I am me and I am here. I am alive. I am living and breathing and I am love and I am surrounded by love. And as with every awakening, I wonder how it is I could forget the beauty and magic of this life.
I wonder how I could forget who I am.
Every few months, I wake up in a fog. No. Sometimes, it’s every month. Similar to how the city felt earlier this morning, smothered in a cloak of clouds, so heavy and dense that not even the power of our metal birds could take flight, a paralysis seizes my being and I cannot move. It’s as if I am moving in slow motion, if I am moving at all. The light in my mind has turned off and without the light, my brain gets stuck in a loop, in the darkness.
This can last one week, but if I am being honest most times it lasts two. And it feels as if I am a tiny version of myself, dressed in warrior gear, stake in hand, battling my giant mind that at different times can look like different things. A fire breathing dragon. My biggest fears and sorrows in the form of a monster. I am a little me, fighting against the darkness in my mind, the big me. I am at war with myself.
I can be told 10,000 times a day how much I am loved. How beautiful I am. I can be hugged and kissed and showered with adoration. And still, a battle rages within. I can tell you I love you a thousand times a day. How beautiful you are. And I can hug and kiss and shower you with adoration. You are my favorite. I can see your goodness, your light. And still, within my being I continue to fight and scream and struggle.
Each time I am at war, I can feel the ground shift. Each match brings me to a different place, a deeper place, as if I am getting closer to the heart of my darkness. It is hot and I am scared, but I know to set myself truly free I must reach this place and face whatever it is that is waiting for me.
And so. I roll out my yoga mat and I move. I sit on my block and I meditate. I draw a hot bath and I soak. I lie on a table and have needles stuck in me. I fast and I sit with mystics and shamans. I play my big bowl and my little one and I sing and I sing.
I go to a park where I can walk in the trees with my dog and my love. I dig in the soil and plant seeds that I water each day. I sweep and I scrub and I clean. I find words in my thoughts and I let my fingers touch a keyboard and see them spring to life on a white space in front of my eyes.
These are my tools, my weapons in my war.
Despite the darkness I know that there is a switch somewhere that will soon be turned back on and everything will be illuminated.
I will know that I have survived and that I am me and that I am love.
*This piece was adapted from my blog, onbeinglove.
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Editor: Kate Bartolotta
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. I Still Think of You. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. How My Sister’s Death Transformed my Self-Perception.