While quarantined in my room a few days ago, I kept repeating the lines, “I FEEL STUPID AND CONTAGIOUS!” In my delusion, I was searching for a comforting thought that would distract me from feeling like s*** for just a moment. To my surprise, a memory I hold close to my heart popped into my head.
Like everyone on this planet, I’ve had an array of circumstances happen in my life. I’ve normally been able to overcome most difficult situations because a large part of me is resilient. However, that is only one part of me. Despite my strength, the other part of me has been corrupted and jaded by my experiences. When I try to remember the last time I truly felt innocent; I can only think back to when I was a child. For a while, I avoided thinking about any negative event that occurred in my life. I was the kind of person that repressed emotions, and later reacted in a toxic fashion. I rarely thought twice about the poor decisions I made. More importantly, I didn’t realize I was hurting my soul, until the day I had to face myself.
The day I really looked at myself, I felt guilt and shame. I wanted nothing more than a clean slate! I wanted to be pure again! Of course, I couldn’t have any of those things, but it did make me realize that I had to accept my past and forgive myself in the present. In doing so, I felt that my soul awakened. When my soul kindled, I craved art, nature, knowledge, understanding, humility, righteousness, peace, patience, and trust. I wanted everything and anything that was good! That was a remarkable day. Thereafter, the times I felt insignificant, and stuck in thought, I would seek all of the above to give me clarity. But, my biggest remedy became nature.
Nature has taught me how to be patient. I’ve learned more about my environment by observing it, than I have when speaking or thinking about it. Around the same time, I got into the habit of sitting on my mom’s porch, particularly when I felt that I couldn’t connect or communicate with anyone or anything. My mom’s neighborhood has always been serene --- few people, no buildings, not much noise from traffic (or anyone for that matter). I used to sit on her porch alone, in silence, and observe everything around me. In the memory I had a few days ago, I was outside listening to the birds singing; feeling the breeze caress my skin, and looking at the sky, as the moon began to appear in it. This was the first time I completely opened myself to nature.
I didn’t expect that I would experience euphoria, but that is the only way I can describe it. All of my cluttered thoughts vanished, and an unexplainable energy entered my body. That powerful energy made me feel every, single thing that was beautiful and loving around me, all at once. I was overwhelmed by both calmness and happiness. At the time, the only way I could express what I was experiencing was by crying. In that moment, everything was right in the world. I felt certain I was supposed to be there at that exact moment. I wanted to hold on to that feeling, but it came and went. Once the feeling abandoned me, I felt lost and confused. I longed for its return because nothing before made my soul as satisfied as that moment. That experience was especially significant to me because it allowed me to feel closer to God.
Last year, many unexpected events changed the way I viewed my life (again). I was inspired by love to have courage and faith. I believed I was undergoing a series of tests from God, and I was strong, until I couldn’t be strong anymore. To avoid a long story, let’s just say my life has been a sequence of events that range from really great, to really f****** horrible. There has rarely been a middle ground; and, in that whole mess, I kept going and going. I didn’t realize I was once again abandoning and damaging my soul. I felt her scream, “MONICA, PLEASE STOP!” I should've known better, and I should've listened. The mind, body, and soul are all connected, thus neglecting one, is essentially neglecting all. This is what I was doing, and it turns out that you can reach a level of stress and worry that physically causes your body to shut down. I am a living and breathing example of it.
So, here’s the thing: lately, I have felt defeated. I HATE ADMITTING THAT. I never thought I would use that adjective to describe myself, but there it is.The dryness of my day has consisted of this: Waking up. Shitting. Working. Eating. Working. Shitting. Family. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. Family. Stressing. Worrying. Attempting to socialize with others and find “meaning” (fail-it’s not there). Emptiness. Crying. Praying. Thinking. And, finally, Sleeping. I have sarcastically named this period of my life “Road to Nowhere” …
Also, recently, I have profoundly apologized to my soul. I don’t like this version of myself. I promised her that WE WILL get better. I was seeking insight a few days ago, and was reminded of that memory. I realize God has given me the opportunity to feel something incredible and real. I cannot take that for granted. I might've reminded myself of that tiny existential moment that happened a few years ago, in order to bring myself back to reality. Even if something is bad, that doesn’t mean it can’t be good again. After all, life is about the outlook one has. The bit of control I have over my future, I can fill with goodness. I pray often, so I would like to believe that this is God answering me, and telling me that there are brighter days ahead.