After dropping off my son this morning, I was overcome by emotion. The emotion wasn’t really attached to anything – maybe a general desire and appreciation for community but really, it was just one of many episodes designed to release pent up emotions. This is not an unusual thing for me these days and it’s not an indicator that anything is wrong. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I began a path of healing two years ago to heal myself from a very deep depression that lasted for years. This path has taken all kinds of twists and turns and has become the greatest and most intensive education I could have ever imagined. I’ve learned a great deal about myself and the world and my particular role in the world through a connection that has been unfailingly wise, supportive and loving. Many people make this connection through meditation and I’m sure that each person’s experience of this is as unique as they are. My connection was created through a shamanic process I engaged in two years ago as part of my efforts to cure my depression. Little did I know back then that I would be embarking upon an extraordinary adventure that would lead me through astonishing experiences that continue to this day. I’m not sure what my reaction would have been if I did know this back then. At that time, I would have done just about anything to relieve my suffering but I can say that it would have surprised me to know that I would be involved in anything that was deemed to be spiritual.
I’m sure that I was hoping for a quick fix but any kind of fix would do for me at that time as I was in such pain. I now realize that healing is a life long journey and it’s really a matter of taking a lead role in the direction and quality of my life. One doesn’t have to be depressed to see the benefits of this but being depressed forced me to see it. I think that this is why some people who have recovered from addictions, depression or other serious illnesses find themselves feeling grateful. Like many of them, I know that I would never have embarked on this journey if I hadn’t found myself in such a deep state of despair.
I have used various healing tools on this journey and many of them were prescribed through this connection to a deep intuition or presence. I have been taken through a process of emotional detox that has been quite a long one. I have been guided toward certain media – movies and books – that evoke a specific emotional reaction within me and often teach me a lesson. Mostly these lessons are about experiences I’ve had in my life and how they have affected me. Sometimes through these stories (either a movie or a book) I am introduced to a situation that needs to be addressed or more often an experience I had that needed to be acknowledged for what it was and how it made me feel. I often respond with tears and as I shed the tears there is a sense of release, understanding and peace. Sometimes there is pain but almost always a pain that is being brought up to be released so it’s a relief really – like finding the knot so it can be massaged. In these cases it is a gnawing pain that’s deeply embedded and causes untold problems until it’s brought to the surface to be acknowledged and released.
This process is quite remarkable. It’s obviously been custom designed for me. The movies I’ve been guided to watch are mostly movies I’ve seen before (or at least knew about) and sometimes they are not necessarily ones I want to watch. Just about every time I have this strong intuition toward one of these movies I’m doubtful and think I must be imagining things. Doubt is a constant that I’ve just gotten used to and I don’t even bother anymore to swat it away like a fly as I used to. Now I just allow doubt to run like a necessary computer program doing regular maintenance. Having experienced such extraordinary things through this process so far, I’m motivated to move beyond the doubt enough to watch the movie and every single time I’m amazed at how new and profound the experience is. There’s always something that stands out in the film that didn’t when I watched it before and it resonates so deeply with me that it’s unmistakable what the personal message is. Sometimes I respond emotionally before I fully understand why but the understanding comes as the tears fall. I always feel much better afterwards. It’s not like a regular cry at all (although I suspect that’s healthy too). It’s actually an elevating feeling – like I’ve achieved a different way of being afterwards. Sometimes it’s more pronounced than others but it’s always there and it always changes me for the better.
Sometimes these stories provide me with lessons about humanity. There is the prevalent issue of the senseless conflict in this world. This is something that we’re all aware of on some level but this message reaches a whole new level when this kind of lesson is underway. It’s like waking up to something so ridiculously simple and knowing that we’re failing to see the reality and impact of it. There is another persistent yet unique theme about humanity that becomes clearer and clearer to me each day, which is that humanity itself is an ecosystem. Initially this concept helped me to address my questions and anxiety about so many things that I found to be disturbing in this world. It became apparent to me that although I didn’t agree with every philosophy, system or approach to life, they all have their purpose – even those that may seem dark and destructive. I am often reminded of my depression which I saw no sense in at the time. This idea of humanity as an ecosystem gave me a great sense of peace. It’s a concept that I will expand upon more completely in my writing and in my book but it will also be an idea that I will continue to explore and engage with in responding to the world around me. It helps me respond more peacefully to the world and to expend my energies in a more appropriate and healthy way. This issue of the appropriate expenditure of energy is a lesson in and of itself that is continually reinforced and it’s worth sharing but I’ll leave that for another day when my energy reserves have been sufficiently replenished!