Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Wait Is Over

It occurred to me the other night that for years now, I've been running a tally of all the unfortunate events that have occurred during my lifetime--a tally that has often left me feeling overwhelmed and bewildered, even bitter and jealous towards those who seem to have had such an easier time of it.

But you know what? I'm sick of feeling that way. While lying in bed that night, I suddenly felt that yes, it's true that I've suffered in ways that most people would consider torture, but I also felt that it's all been quite an extraordinary journey in terms of raw life experience.

For reasons I don't fully understand, there's been a sense of shame attached to it, and I see now that I still carry secrets, even after all this time. And in my subconscious mind, these secrets are the proof that at my core, I don't really deserve to be walking around among the masses feeling good and healthy. I'm a fraud, and all this shitty stuff that has happened is because of that--not because I'm a fraud necessarily, but because of what I'm hiding.

But then it hit me: Having survived all of these disasters has certainly made for an extraordinary life, and when I look at it alongside my God-given gift of communication, I can see quite clearly that I'm not really doing anything with it.

On the one hand, there is this all this extreme life experience, and on the other are these communication skills that I've been developing for years. Whether they're skills in writing or painting or music doesn't really matter; it's what they've all added up to that counts--an ability to communicate on various levels with various tools, and I'm not using them to their fullest.

When I used to write songs, I would always incorporate my life experience into the work, even if the songs were somewhat fictional. But when physical pain took over my mind and body, I simply couldn't find the words or the melodies anymore that could express what I was going through. It was that bad.

Painting became an easier outlet, but at some point, my life and my art began to part ways, and I began to wait for that golden day when I'd finally feel better, when the pain in my jaw and face and abdomen would be gone, and then I'd be able to make use of my talents. Only then would I be able to fully enjoy them and make sense of all this, as if 20/20 hindsight were the only valid lens to look through.

But you know what? That painless day may never come. I must face the fact that I've been in pain for nearly a decade now, fighting it every inch of the way--seeking out every resource, every treatment, every doctor I thought might help--and while I've improved in some ways, the suffering on certain days can be as bad as it ever was.

I see now I'm not living an integrated life. While I've been able to accept the darkness in my soul and in my history for the most part, I haven't been able to accept the dark truth that life can be grossly unfair, and when our bodies fail, it can be terrifying...and enraging.

But there's another truth here, which is that no matter what shape we're in, physically or mentally, we deserve to be loved, and we particularly deserve to love ourselves just as we are.

I thought that I'd accepted all this, but the other night it was an a-ha moment indeed to see how I've just been waiting to come alive again. And waiting. And waiting.

The wait is over.

1 comment:

Joey B said...

Mar - read this book by Joel Osteen, and he reiterated something I read before. Every once in awhile, just pray and say thanks for every good or positive thing you have, even mundane things. Your cat, your apartment, your favorite blanket, your talents, etc. but no asking for anything. The list could go on and on, and the point of this exercise is obviously there are alot of things we take for granted that would totally suck without them, and it does change the track of your thoughts if one is in a down mood and feeling overwhelmed by the negatives. Not a cure all, but it does help.