It‘s not THE shift, because there have been, and probably will be several, but this is one of the major ones.
It was not like a stroke of lightning or being touched my God‘s finger. It was subtle, but distinct. It was like a whisper that I suddenly became aware of. It arrived when I wasn‘t looking, and it didn‘t arrive when I expected it or needed it. It just arrived. It didn‘t happen alongside all the crying and wailing. It didn‘t happen in meditation (at least not this one). It just happened and I didn‘t even notice it until one evening I realized that something had shifted.
It is difficult to explain or describe it, but it’s like an acceptance. It’s like a weight has been lifted, and it’s like an emptiness. Not a sad, hollow emptiness, but a clearing of space. When I look inside, I see an empty, white, clean and kind space. It’s quiet and peaceful and safe. The drama is still going on on the outside, but on the inside, that space is mine and it is there. It‘s a space that is complete and doesn‘t need to be filled, the hollowness is necessary. It‘s where I breathe.
Lao-Tzu writes in the eleventh verse of the Tao Te Ching:
We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the centre hole that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it liveable.
We work with being, but non-being is what we use.
Guys, I have wanted to be able to write this post for so long! I have visualized it, imagined how it would feel to be in a space where I could write it, but it never felt like this. I didn‘t know it would be like this. I visualized rainbows and unicorns, glittery sun and pink clouds, but those things have yet to come. Who knows, maybe that will be the description of the next shift?
What it is, however, is a feeling of unity and of separateness. The separation of body and spirit, but at the same time a union and a unity with all there is. Recognising myself in everyone, in all living things, seeing the divine spark everywhere. Sometimes I watch the goings on around me as if it was a movie. You know, one of those scenes where the protagonist sits still while everything around her is happening at an increased speed. Sometimes I see myself, my hands, my feet, even my image in the mirror and it’s separate from me. It’s not me, but it is still me, I just don’t identify so strongly with it.
It‘s a strange feeling, but very real, and scary and reassuring at the same time.
The first hint that something had changed came last week and it happened while I was cleaning up my balcony after the Summer.
I have a lot of spiders on my balcony, and frankly, in my house. They are small and cute and don‘t really bother me, except when I have to clean up their messes. The spiders I never was such a big fan of, though, were the big, fat ones that move into our houses when Autumn arrives. I was always panicked about them and every Fall I would start looking for them with trepidation. This year was no different, but I noticed that this time around I was looking for them with a certain degree of excitement, almost like I was looking forward to sharing my living space with them (as long as they stay out of my bed, which was not always the case.) They didn‘t show up yet, but when I was cleaning up the balcony, one of them came out, scared and frustrated because I had just destroyed her hiding spot. Sorry! My initial reaction a year ago would have been utter panic, but now my reaction was „THERE you are!! Hi!“ I didn‘t pick her up and show her the way inside, I haven‘t completely lost my marbles, but I let her be and went on to continue cleaning the other side of the balcony, giving her a chance to relocate. I haven‘t seen her since, but it made me suddenly realize the change that was taking place inside of me.
It took me a week to clean up the balcony and up until the very end, it looked like a complete and utter mess and I came to view it as an allegory to my mental and spiritual work. I‘m making a mess, a big mess, but I know what I want it to look like in the end: Clean and uncluttered. My balcony is now clean and uncluttered. It happened on Thursday.
I noticed the shift on Saturday.
I don‘t believe in coincidences. I also believe that the outside can help the inside and vice versa. I believe we are strong enough to persevere and persist through utter chaos, both inside and out, and come out of it better than when we entered it.
The drama is still going on. It‘s still real. There is still an eating disorder present in my life, but I don‘t freak out when I have an episode. I accept that this is where I am at the moment, and I am confident that it will take its leave and vanish when I am ready to let it go. I have realized that the eating disorder is something I hide behind to some extent. It‘s not something I want to do, but it is so at the moment. I need it less and less, though, and I will let it go.