Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Where is this life I dreamed of? Part One
The other day there was a moth in my kitchen; the moth was very beautiful, strikingly so, actually. It was early in the morning; no one was up but me. I stood next to the sink sipping my first cup of coffee of the morning at watched the moth. It was still dark outside, so the moth fluttered here and there around the dim light over the sink, a tiny dusting of iridescent powder floated around the moth like pixie dust every time it banged against the light. I marveled at the tiny details on it's wings.
"How many people actually see such things," I wondered aloud.
The moth banged hard against the light, and seemed to knock itself off balance. Before the moth could right itself, it flickered and fluttered down to the sink, and landed in the casserole dish soaking from the night before. Covered in cold, greasy soap, the moth struggled, just getting more and more covered in the muck.
Suddenly overcome with sadness, I set my coffee mug down on the counter and my eyes filled. I shed hot, bitter tears for the dreams I had carried and somehow lost along my journey when life got in the way of living them.
What can you do when you wake up, I mean, really awaken with awareness that this is not the life you dreamed of? Is it possible to turn the life you are already living into the life you always dreamed of?
Going back to the moth for a moment; not accounting for the amount of awareness that a moth can or cannot have, do you think the moth expected such a disaster? I'll bet not. What "disasters" have we experienced in our life's journey that stopped our forward movement.
What knocks us out of our chair, or out of happiness?
Loss of wealth?
The moment of awareness is different for everyone, as is the path to survival. I believe that there is hope, however, for everyone.
The first lesson that I am learning on my own path, is the importance of grieving loss. Whether it is the loss of wealth, material things, relationships, or even a life, it is crucial for us to grieve. While everyone will grieve in a personal way, there are some generally accepted "stages" of the grieving process: *
Shock: This stage began for me with the loss of colors, smells, and tastes. I still had my senses, of course, but I had no appetite for any of the things that brought me pleasure. I lived on coffee and auto-pilot.
Denial: This is where I hung out and justified... everything! I made up reasons that I thought made my loss acceptable, and even deserved. If it was supposed to happen, then nothing changed; "it is what it is!" I kept telling everyone. This stage, for me, tried to disguise itself as acceptance, but it wasn't really.
Anger: I thought I would break teeth here, from all of the angry jaw-clenching I was doing. I snapped at everyone, could often be heard muttering, "I hate my life!"
Bargaining: This was another stage of justification for me. Hanging on to false hopes and creating my own solutions that really weren't going to go anywhere. I think of this as my "busy-work" stage.
Depression: This stage really explains itself. I found myself muddling through days, just thankful that I had a child to take care of, otherwise I would not have found reason to even get out of bed in the morning.
Testing: This is where I started "tapping my toe out on the ice to check the thickness." I started to realize that no one could, or would, give me the decisions to make, no one would tell me what to do, or how, or when to do it; I had to try myself. So in small ways, I began to try little things to get moving, even just a bit, in a forward direction again. For me personally, I began to seek work, and in seeking work, I started to feel like I had my own purpose again.
Acceptance: I will let you know when I'm there. But the best part about this place, is that I know it exists!
There are no hours, days, or weeks that are set by grief. Depending on the type of loss, the process could take hours, or much longer. More important than the time it takes, is the direction that you're headed in.
One thing I strongly believe in, is that we should always endeavor to keep moving forward! The realization that we have lost sight of some of our dreams is a horrible moment; the realization that there is opportunity in that awareness is the moment where we gain freedom!
Until next time, Dream Prolifically!
*Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle