It’s a journey to learn how to love. It’s a journey to learn how to listen, how to interact, how to develop. It’s a journey to learn how to accept and hold on. For some of the older, less technologically savvy folks, it’s a journey to learn how to use Internet Explorer, then an even harder journey to learn why Google Chrome is better. For some of the younger, less open and honest folks, it’s a journey to learn where their place in the world is.
Living is a journey and I’m a firm believer that death isn’t the destination, but just a simple continuation. I’m a firm believer that our physical bodies encase a spirit more free and universal than the limited capacity of our physical brain could fathom.
Religion is not the only way to be spiritual, and science isn’t the only way to understand facts. Given the recent research and mysterious observations in quantum physics these days, it’s evident to me that stories of cultures from the past are ringing more and more true: we don’t just live in the universe, we are the universe.
So, is what you see really what you get? Or are you getting what you see because you believe you saw it? In other words, are coincidences really coincidences, or are they happening because a portion of you is calling out for them to happen?
I don’t have these answers. I may be completely off my rocker; I’m sure many have thought that. I’m sure many thought the first person to claim mental health struggles were perhaps something woven in experience or genetics or brain matter rather than demonic possession were off their rocker. I’m sure many thought the first few to come forward and proclaim those struggling with hearing voices and mood swings could actually live medication/treatment free were off their rocker.
We could go back hundreds of years, in whichever culture you like, and find one person deemed insane for a thought perpendicular to the others.
There aren’t many answers in life and sometimes I feel this is because we create questions the universe never intended to have answers for. I think it never intended to have answers for these man-made questions because, to the universe, neither question nor answer matters. One day we will all be lying in a bed or on the floor or in the arms of another struggling against our nature for one more breath, just one more, to be conscious around our loved ones for another five seconds.
So next time someone gives you a dirty eye, before you get angry, think about how much that glance really doesn’t mean. Next time someone laughs at you or calls you crazy or says your ridiculous or cyber-attacks you, think about how much they’re missing in life; to focus so much negative energy on one person must take a lot of positive energy they could have been putting into themselves and the community around them.
I don’t have much more to say tonight. I sat around a dinner table with guests of house and coworkers and ate a meal all of us cooked together. We all laughed and complimented each other and shared a moment of relief from whatever hell we all experience in our mind. We took the energy we use to beat ourselves up, the energy we use to fight the anger, the depression, the anxiety, the voices, loneliness, the hopelessness and put it into something we could all share and come together over. And that one moment of coming together I glanced around the table at the woman now volunteering who, not only a month before I’d met in the psych hospital where she barely spoke above a whisper, and I glanced at the other guests, each with their own story on their shoulders, and I smiled genuinely for the first time in a long time.
This is what I was missing. This is what she, the volunteer, was missing. This is what each of us was missing until we all found each other.
We’re all one in the same. We’re not “republicans” vs “democrats”, we’re not “mentally ill” vs “sane”, we’re not “smart” vs “stupid”. We all come from the stars, and we each have a story worth sharing.
That being said, I’ll leave you a quote from a healing book my Native American Lit. professor gave me a gift a couple semesters ago, entitled: Prayer To Find It Everywhere:
There’s so much missing, so many places the magic goes awry, but let me find it everywhere, in cross-country restaurants, waitresses with an easy smile, in people at crosswalks and crossroads, everywhere, each day at least in little ways. Let me not focus on what can’t be done, but on what’s here, who’s here trying, doing it, offering it freely, for their own desires. Let me find these people and spread their tale too, of how this came to be, of why it is, of what we must see and do. Let it fall easily, anyway it can, before my open eyes. Let the simple reach me, and let me answer from the heart. Let me return each greeting in respect, always knowing how far we’ve come and how much it takes to bring it all together, every time. Let me find it in the midday train whistle, and the distant barking dog. It’s good from here, and it keeps on going everywhere it needs to. Let this be.
–An excerpt from the book “Sam Woods, American Healing”.