It’s the fur-lined hollow I look for, the soft space between panic and sleep that rocks me gently back to deeper waves of stillness. After all these years, you’d think we’d have this down pat by now. Those moments of sheer bliss, where fear and anxiety don’t exist had me fooled into thinking I’d never see them again, until I do. The stories that say we can rid ourselves of fear, anxiety, ego and doubt forever if we just do this or that, take this or that, become this or that, read this or that, heal this or that…are they true? Maybe for some. Maybe for some for a time. Maybe for others not even close. We are so different, and so many of us have experienced pain in ways that seem un-healable. So we search and search for something that makes it all better, something to help us heal. Perhaps it’s not a thing we have to become to heal. Perhaps what needs to change is perspective, and redefine what healing means.
Death and being with the dying has taught me this. Healing doesn’t always mean fixing. Healing does not always mean all better. Healing means a sanctuary of wholeness within the confines of our human and mortal body, within the confines of all the challenges that have changed us permanently. Healing means knowing how to come back to ourselves, to the essence of who we really are as a soul having a human experience. To come back to the things that authentically love and nurture us, even when we are still broken, even when fear and sadness tells you to run and hide.
It takes courage to do this. It takes resilience and vulnerability. It takes changing the definition of what “okay” looks like. It takes seeking joy and the pleasures of laughter and community, especially when it’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror. Maybe a phone call. Maybe a short visit by a friend. Maybe a terrible movie that gets you out of the house to feel the fresh air again. In this time, when pain and suffering are so readily available, when ego is so ready to pounce and take over our hearts and minds by never feeling enough, we fight back and say “NO” by leaning in to that soft place. That beautiful fur-lined space where we feel totally, utterly and lovingly held by grace and goodness, so that we may, once again, know ourselves.
by Misa Terral