Strength over fear
When your strength is stronger than your fear, you move mountains. Courage is not measured by the actual number of wins you have in life. It is measured by the number of times you get up when you have fallen. It is a mark of perseverance and faith. It is doing the right thing even when you risk it all.
Resisting the urge to cower in a fetal position has become a daily activity for me. It started for me, like many, in March when the world shut down. I fought the instinct to hide away, wanting merely to rock back and forth like an idiot savant, only surely less fluidly. Mustering the energy to move forward was a none so easy task. But there were bills to pay, promises to keep. And, like so often in my life, it was up to me to make things happen.
So I did. I awoke early, busied myself by making plans, limping along on my creative writing journey, inquiring within, staring the innermost parts of myself down. Examining the ugly. And learning to love it anyway.
This morning I sat cross-legged on the floor of my bedroom. I invited my Ganesh statue to join me as I took a few swipes at the singing bowl resting on a bright orange pillow to my left. The elephant looked at me benevolently as I closed my eyes.
“Go to the light,” I heard a voice say to me as I visualized myself bathing in the Ganga river, willing the pain to float away with its surge. Watching the tears meld with its rhythm from my inner eye.
“Go to the light,” the voice said again. “You are the river. And the river is you. You are the stars and the moon and all the planets combined. And they. Well they are you. You are in the Universe, of the Universe. You. Are. The. Universe.”
I paused, inhaling deeply.
“Let me guess,” I found myself arguing with the voice inside my head. “And the Universe is me.”
I stifled a giggle as my mind expanded. Maybe the voice was on to something. Maybe, just maybe, all the obstacles and fears and anxious moments that made up the past few years really were preparation for something far greater than I could imagine.
“But why didn’t I listen to you sooner?” I surprised myself by continuing the inner dialogue with this spirit that had clearly gotten inside my head.
I chewed on the thought for a moment. Why would this God or this angel or whatever sentient being I was talking to lead me astray? Did it even want me to be happy? Wasn’t that the whole point of life?
“You needed those experiences to get where you are now. Without them you could not see the unseen or hear the unheard.”
I expelled another breath, feeling a mixture of confusion and exasperation.
“Well,” I began. “This certainly is new ground for me.”
I sat up straighter, still in the lotus position and dared ask another question.
“Will you show me the right path now?” I asked, hesitant that the voice would grow silent. Now that I could hear it, I didn’t want to frighten it off.
The voice grew quieter, as if to soften the blow of what was coming next.
“The path you are on is the right one. In fact, it always has been. I will be with you to the end of time,” it reassured me.
I furrowed my brow. What a crock of bull manure.
“But why, why did you leave me? All those years? All that time of suffering and pain?” I could feel my pulse quicken.
“You always have a choice. It is not I who made you suffer. I offered you experiences. You got to choose. And some of those choices brought on the suffering. I have always guided you. I always will.”
This was getting ridiculous. I was arguing with an invisible being, locked inside my mind. Maybe it was all just a load of bull. Surely, I was making this up.
“How do I know you are real?” I found myself feeling desperate to get to the bottom of it.
A pause. Then the voice returned.
“How do you know you are?”
Well, that made no sense. I knew it because I could feel the sensations in my body. I could hear my own voice, see my own reflection. Of course, I was real!
The voice continued. “I am real because you can hear me too.”
Great, I thought. Now the voice is omnipotent and telepathic.
Then, it hit me. If I could hear this being and it could hear me, we really were one and the same.
“Yes,” the voice agreed without my speaking outloud. “We are all one. Every creature, every human being, every living thing is connected. There is no difference. You only think there is.”
“So, if I am to live my purpose, which is to change the world through words, I need to keep doing that, right?”
“Yes. Because if you do not fulfill the mission set before you, people will suffer because you will suffer.”
“Well, I can’t carry the responsibility of the world’s suffering on my shoulders,” I nearly shouted with indignance. “Why would it matter anyway?” I could feel myself pouting. A wave of shame washed over me.
“Everyone matters. Your energy matters.”
I knew the voice was right. What we put out into the world amplifies a thousandfold. It really did matter whether I continued to flee from what I knew was right.
“So…” I said sheepishly, slightly regretful for my outburst. “What do I do next?”
I could hear the voice smile the same way you can when you are on the phone with someone.
“You know the answer to that question.”
With a sigh, I slowly unlocked my legs and rose from the floor. Walking over to the laptop I hadn’t touched in weeks, I flipped it open to the blank screen in front of me.
“It is time we begin.”