I have been cycling through periods of intense desolation and confusion, and each time this visitor arrives in my life, it brings with it a family of emotions - fear, anger, confusion, stress. I feel stuck and trapped in my own mind, like the visitor has taken control of my inner world, I'm now it's guest.
In such times, I may even consider leaving as a guest. Hand over the guest house to this new arrival and its crew, the is nothing worth staying on for. Let them run amok in this messy and confused state, I will leave this world, or escape in it at the very least by numbing myself in a quiet corner in that inner world, somewhere obscure where nobody finds me.
In such dark times, my family suffers as they live with the new guests who have turned the outer world a living hell for my wife and child. To them, the best I can be is to be a walking zombie, lifeless, beyond hope.
Somehow in each cycle of death or dead man walking, there is a transitory intent by my visitor. It departs, leaving the wreckage behind for me to pick up the pieces. Then a feeling of a war time peace treaty sets in. Things are calm, yet the state feels temporary and slightly uneasy. Still there is time to hope, to ponder on the lesson of this. Of my lifelong struggle of feeling trapped in a cognitive distortion that swallows me up like it is the only real thought. That my situation is beyond hope and I'm resigned for the visitor to return to plunder after I've tidied the rooms, repainted my inner world, and mended my outer life.
All I am certain of is that each time the visitor arrives, I grow more resilient. I learn to count my blessings, I build more tools to stabilize my outer world. For now, this season the visitor heads off to a new destination, and while it was here, I had sought to keep Hope within me, and externally I was more mellow a zombie than the flesh eating blood thirsty hound I would have been in previous times.
With each momentary awareness, I managed to catch a breath, to breathe in Hope, to breathe out my tiredness, to cry out to God my plea to desire learning the wisdom of this shitstorm.
My current lesson is indeed this too shall pass, and my learning should be shared that there is hope in despair, and we live on for our loved ones, we have hope we don't fuck them up by turning into blood hounds each time desolation arrives.
And when the trauma departs, we learn to get comfortable feeling dazed, confused and lost. Comfortable not because the visitor is gone for good, comfortable because of the surety that this episode is one of many in this lifetime, where each new experience brings forth different seasons, different lessons, and we struggle well this life and for the life beyond.
Blessed Advent and merry Christmas to you.