The inner place that scared me most

 

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It’s early, so early in the morning and I want to write a personal blog here on Simply Here, a place where personal blogs don’t usually appear because the fingers are too busy delightedly typing about non-duality and awareness and Oneness.

For most of my life this ego-personality has felt very restless, unsettled, a bit uncomfortable and confused.  A spiritual journey ignited early in life as a quest to *find myself*.  To learn to deeply settle into this skin, to collapse into the solidity of these bones, to breathe clearly from these lungs, to beat upon the earth in full cooperation with these feet.

It felt like the journey to truly claim the self would somehow serve others, in the same way the action of a single bird serves the entire flock.

 

Freedom

Freedom

While some people want to be a “writer” or “accountant” or “musician”–my deepest desire was simply to be myself, because in some odd way it felt like I was unable to truly roost in this body, as a faithful companion to this mind, as a friend to this heart.

I noticed an almost complete inability to exist in the emptiness of myself.  Every time I couldn’t figure out what to do next–an inner panic ensued.  So I had to keep busy with small things, ANY things, eating chocolate chips, checking email, compulsively watching blog hits, drinking a glass of wine, ANYTHING that would quell the inner panic and anxiety that needed to be doing something, anything, please God, or the creek shall rise and I shall die.

No one knew about the panic.  Not my husband, family, best friends.  Heck, I didn’t even really know about it.  It ran in a loop beneath full consciousness, this pattern, this deepest fear.  It never blossomed into anxiety because I fed it with *things to do*.  I fed it with walks in the woods, blog posts, jobs, computer card games, raising kids, phone calls, Facebook.  (You want to do something?  You don’t know what to do?  Well, hold your horses, we’ll find something.)

The empty abyss at the center of Kathy scared the living daylights out of “me”.  I felt like I would die if all the daily activities slipped away and “nothing to do” slowly kidnapped and murdered me.

Can you imagine moving into the woods–the middle of nowhere–with this as one’s deepest fear?

Up

Up

It became a constant game of running away, running away from the nothing-to-do hole at the center.  You have no idea how easy it is to keep busy with a thousand activities when you’re spending your life running from yourself!

Thus birthed the spiritual journey.  I shall face this emptiness, this nothingness, if it’s the last thing I do!

The journey began slowly (and it’s been recorded elsewhere, so never mind the details) but built momentum.  Slowly, slowly, I peeked into the gulping gaping emptiness.  Incrementally, oh-so-incrementally, I settled into the abyss.

A huge part was learning to feel, truly feel, huge pulsating waves of restlessness, boredom, excitement, inspiration, fear, anxiety, delight.  These feelings felt so huge; it often felt like feeling them fully would destroy me.

Once, visiting my daughter in New York City about five years ago, a tsunami of pain hit the center for no discernible reason and I felt it–on and on and on–as it silently surged through the human body for about a half hour.  On the surface, I chatted and lathered a bagel with cream cheese.  In the belly the pain raged, almost unbearable.  And then it left, leaving tumbled inner craters and deep-sea treasures on the beach of my being.

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The journey to the center finally revealed pearls of *who we really are*.  The muddy waters cleared to reveal something beyond this Kathy-person.  The ocean of existence, non-separate!, showed itself as a reality that always-ever existed, before Kathy set off on her search for the Holy Grail.

The last couple of years have revealed muddy jewel after muddy jewel.  And the ability to be with both the mud and the ruby.  The emptiness turned out to be so full of everything that the fear is dissolving by itself.  Or–when it does reappear–it’s OK to sit at its feet like a disciple saying, here I am, here I am, I will not desert you yet again.  I notice I am steadfast with the fear–what I am has ALWAYS been steadfast with the fear–even during the times Kathy thought she was running helter-skelter away from that charging mama bear of nameless fur.

One of the main reasons I quit blogging regularly last year was the recognition that this had become yet another prompt for escapism.  It felt necessary to channel the restlessness even deeper inward for a while longer, to face that charging wild creature which threatened to annihilate.

These days, almost 30 years after the search began, it lately almost feels like it has ended.  (Although what never ends is the continual revelation of the next moment with its completely unexpected gifts.)

Finally.  Blessed Spirit of the Universe, finally!  It hasn’t ended in any place that the mind imagined.  It has ended up back in this Kathy body, accompanying this Kathy mind, feeling these Kathy feelings.

I don’t feel enlightened or awake, neither abiding or non-abiding.

In true fact, I feel more human, more messy, more creative, more able to hear a criticism without getting defensive (but not always!) , more able to meet the many parts of self clamoring for attention.  I wipe their tears and hug them more.  I allow them to exist, even while seeing their ultimate non-existence.

I’m celebrating this wave in this ocean.

I simply feel like a person (and maybe not even that) who is sitting in a chair and fully allowing herself to BE.  The journey seems to have moved full-circle from the emptiness into the fullness.

Thank you for reading and for your own blossoming journey into the inner places that have scared you.

 

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9 thoughts on “The inner place that scared me most

  1. I have ended up in a very similar place by my own pathways of course. Able to accept being human more, seeking to abandon this life as it is much less. Not seeking a “holy grail” any more. As you say, not “enlightened or awake, neither abiding or non-abiding”. Allowing existence seems to say what that is like pretty well from my own perspectives on it all. And knowing that all of it is transitory and in that sense not real because it doesn’t last, will change, and go on to something else. No need to get in too much of an uproar about it. Thank you for sharing your own blossoming journey with us all.

    • Thank you for sharing that, Deb. I do appreciate you reading and thoughtfully commenting. You have such a gift for summarizing and acknowledging and honoring the journey. And such a journey it is!

    • But you have returned–and I am happy to see you! Hope all is going well after your surgery. (And that your brain returns bit by bit as the days go on.) Thank you so much for reading and enjoying this little essay. It felt raw and real and somehow important to put into words. Usually write this kind of thing in my journal, but maybe someone else would feel the energy in it and incorporate it into their own journey.

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