Loss, Hope & Impermanence

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I lost hope. Hope for something grand, beautiful, and meaningful. When I have become lost, I lose hope, and I am unable to feel love and connection. I become  disconnected from everyone and everything around me.  When my hope is gone the only thing that seems to grow brilliantly is the pain before me in the dark chasm of my wounded soul. From this place of despair and woundedness, I allowed myself to reside. These are the moments when I search deeply within; to find something – anything to hold onto. I grasp for faith, a glimmer of love, or  that small lasting measure of what is good. Battling in this darkness draws me ever deeper,  into the locked space within my soul.

There is no ray of light into this chasm, and it feels as if in these moments, that nothing can save me. This darkness brings coldness, loneliness and despair. But somewhere within this deep empty space I know that there is great wisdom, and it is found in this dark stillness. In this moment I allow myself to look into the pain and despair, I choose to venture further down- deeper into the chasm.  I give myself room to breathe, to be still,  and to sit within the darkness; willing the peace and comfort to show itself. In this darkness my demons and dragons are unleashed; revealing my biggest fears.  Failure and loss in all of its form consumes me, and I allow that essence in; to overtake me. I feel it, sense it. churn it, move it around and through me. It is cold, dark, heavy. I allow its presence to become fully alive so that I may understand its offering, its wisdom. I do so knowing that my only way  forward is through this darkness; and so I accept and surrender this path, this moment.

Loss has found me in so many ways in my life, and I have become a champion at moving through it. This time it feels different; deeper, primal, as if the core of my existence as a conscious being of light is being extinguished. The loss of life’s purpose manifest seems to hurt  more deeply than all the other losses. Contemplating this deep and ancient wound, the darkness within my soul feels heavy and burdened, unable to comprehend.  After being deep within this darkness for a time that feels unbearable, a  Buddhist  lesson comes to mind and heart; reminding me of the power held within change and suffering.

The lesson of  impermanence, teaching and reminding me that nothing remains the same. From moment to moment everything changes; leaving each consecutive moment something different, something transformed. The wisdom comes through; Thich Nhat Hahn’s lecture of impermanence reminds me that impermanence makes everything possible. He stated:

“When we bathe in the river today that we bathed in yesterday, is it the same river? Heraclitus said that we couldn’t step into the same river twice. He was right. The water in the river today is completely different from the water we bathed in yesterday. Yet it is the same river. When Confucius was standing on the bank of a river watching it flow by he said, “Oh, it flows like that day and night, never ending.  The insight of impermanence helps us to go beyond all concepts. It helps us to go beyond same and different, and coming and going. It helps us to see that the river is not the same river but is also not different either”.

Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us that life itself is possible through impermanence; that the corn of stalk cannot become so without the grain of corn being impermanent. That a woman cannot become a woman, and children and grandchildren would not manifest, without impermanence.

Our difficulty in our suffering is that we forget this lesson; that everything is impermanent.  At some point in our lives we will lose things; we will lose our possessions, our friends, our family; our dreams, and maybe even our purpose.  But we are reminded that without an awakened understanding of impermanence, it is not possible to be happy.  “Emptiness does not mean non-being and does not mean being either. It transcends all concepts. If you touch deeply the nature of impermanence, no self and inter-being, you touch the ultimate dimension, the nature of nirvana. Our freedom, peace and joy in the present moment is the most important thing we have” (Thich Nhat Hahn).

Within my chasm of darkness, I am reminded again, that moment to moment everything transforms. While I may not see the distant view of the beauty of my own transformation; I am reminded to welcome, honour, and love each moment within this journey of my life. For I am not the same as I was the moment before.

Within the deep chasm of my soul, a ray of light glimmers again.

In A Mood

Depression is rampant in our country; at least 1 out of every 20 people are depressed; about 340 million people.  This is a world wide epidemic, and many more have periods of anxiety, stress, and just feeling blue. Depression is caused by complex chemical imbalances within the neurotransmitters of the brain, along with many other factors in brain regulation, stress and life events.   Unfortunately, most people have turned to medications- “popping pills” as the form of treatment. Some believe that “depression” is a manufactured disease entity by the pharmaceutical industry in order to sell more medications.

Having feelings of sadness, anxiety, or being “in a mood” can be quite normal; and in fact is described as situational. This is common and often follows triggers in our lives such as changes in our home, work, and relationships. However, our conditioned response of taking a pill to fix every problem, has led us down a dangerous pathway.  Although it may be difficult in that moment when you are experiencing situational depression, there are many simple things that you can do to improve your mental and emotional state  instead of taking pills. Exercise, music, laughter, and playing with your children and/or animals all can safely bring neuro-chemicals back into balance and improve regulation of chemicals within the brain;, thereby improving mood.

If you experience situational depression, try to “get your groove on” and have a little fun, dance, play, laugh. Certainly, if you experience continued or significant depression you should seek medical attention.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.