My inner world shattered. Well, that’s what it felt like. What precipitated it began months earlier, but the tipping point occurred on August 1st. It was as if I’d stepped off a curb to cross the street, a regular event that’s occurred at the same spot dozens of times, when a speeding tractor trailer came out of nowhere and skidded into me, shattering me along with my world on impact. Only in this case, the regular event was paying my bills and the speeding truck was a single thought.
The single thought which struck me that day: I will never truly get ahead or have enough, mainly regarding finances and other worldly matters. It seemed to me I was on a gerbil wheel, going round and round yet never getting anywhere. And, I wasn’t alone. It all appeared to be a game, and the game was rigged. I was struck by the uselessness of it all.
At first I was really pissed. Then came the hopelessness, along with a brief indulgence into despondency and depression. I wanted out. I wanted out of the game, my life, marriage, community, and basically, I wanted off the planet. It never occurred to me to actually commit suicide. Instead, I let myself slowly slip under the waves of blackness and apathy, and felt myself drowning there. I didn’t sleep all night, tossing and turning restlessly in the black sea.
On August 2nd, the day after my dark night of the soul, I walked around my home, through my life, like a zombie. “What is this all for?” I asked myself. I couldn’t talk with my husband or anyone close to me. I had never in our 25 years together completely stopped communicating with my husband, even during seeming times of conflict. For the first three days I just disappeared inside myself. He later told me, it felt like I’d divorced him. During this time, I wrote a poem and posted it on my page, maybe hoping my family and friends, especially my husband, would see it and understand where I’d disappeared to.
I knew whatever it was I going through, I had to get myself out of the emotional quicksand I was in. So, I utilized the tools I use in sessions to step back and get a larger perspective. What I saw disturbed me even more. I saw a pattern spanning lifetimes: I would work hard and finally achieved my dreams—the marriage, house, kids, social connections, health, wealth, and career. Once there, I’d become disappointed that success didn’t bring me happiness. Then, I’d do something crazy to crash the dreams and go off looking for happiness elsewhere.
Up to this point, the pattern was mostly subconscious, playing out over and over, including a divorce earlier in this life. Twenty-six years later, I found myself again at this pivotal place, having fulfilled most of my dreams. This time I choose to see the pattern rather than repeat it.
On August 3rd, the feeling of grief continued, coming over me in waves. I woke up that morning while in the middle of doing a life review, as if I was getting ready to die. It was then I knew I needed to try and see this from my soul’s perspective. Of course, from my soul’s point of view it all made perfect sense, because my soul knew I’d never find happiness in the outer world. It was then I began to come out of my funk, gradually, little by little. Although I still had a lingering sense most things in my life were meaningless and empty.
That night I had an amazing dream, a soul experience I think, which was both hugely expansive and tremendously comforting. I woke up and immediately wrote about the dream. I knew it was time to break the silence with my husband, and I wrote the poem in a card for him. It was August 4th, which also meant it was time to go back to work and see clients. This brought me out of myself a bit more. Even better, I realized everything I was saying to my clients was exactly what I needed to hear, which proved to be very healing.
Eleven weeks later, I continue to gradually integrate this experience into my daily reality. I now can see, it wasn’t my inner world that shattered. Rather, it was my attachment to the outer world. It was the false foundation of my life that shattered. Although intellectually I understood it was never real to begin with, it was something I’d invested much energy in over many lives. It’s no wonder the game seemed rigged. Since the outer world is based on impermanence and limitation, it can only lead to loss and lack.
Now, I choose to be happy no matter what’s going on in the outer world, and I invest more of my energy in the inner world. The inner world is based on limitless possibilities; it is unchangeable and eternal. Some call it heaven. If I look for heaven outside myself, such as in worldly success or in some distant place you go after death, I’ll never find it. If I look for heaven within, I’ll not only realize it’s been here all along, but I’ll also radiate it out into the world and see it reflected back from all directions. Like I experienced in my dream , when one’s attachment to the outer world is severed, we often find ourselves floating out in the cosmos in the farthest reaches of creation, lying in the Beloved’s arms.
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I’m not there all of the time, and I still mourn the me I thought I was. Not surprisingly, I’m hearing from many people they are experiencing something similar. We all talk about it differently. Some refer to it as a death and feel they are dying, others feel as if they’ve moved into a new dimension, some call it the death of the ego, and then there are those who cannot understand why they are grieving, crying all the time, when nothing in the outer world has changed.
I dedicate this story to those fellow travelers. May you find the unlimited abundance and constant happiness that await you in heaven, which is closer than you can imagine.
Note: The poetry mentioned above can be found in the two prior blog posts. See the May 2015 blog post for a description of one of the precipitating events.