Ten Thousand Days

March 26, 2024

Photo: Maxime Doré

Day 3404 – Day 3509

I intended to come back and edit this but I have not had the energy to edit. So, a couple of months after writing my rambling first draft, I’m just going to post it, without even a spell check.

Perhaps you will find a little of yourself, in my story.

I was reading my bio on this website and it got me thinking whether this really represents who I am. When do we stop being a thing? If we were a filmmaker for 10 years, do we stop being a filmmaker because we aren’t actually making films anymore?  And, by the same token, when do we start being a thing?  What is the seminal moment when we cross over from being into becoming and arrive at being again?

I have no idea.

I don’t feel like my bio represents me.  But what should I say about myself?  I’ve done a lot of things in my life.  From about the age of 25 to 45, I made it a goal to live life to the fullest and live life as large as I could.  Then I got sick and my world shrank.  Slowly, with these practices, I expanded my horizons again but I feel that I left a lot of those things I “was,” behind me, and my hopes of becoming were shrunk, by circumstance.  I chose a path that really shrank my world, guided and misguided by love and duty.  In the course of duty, I got sick again, several times and my world kept shrinking and shrinking to this tiny pinpoint.

My world is microscopic and I find myself wondering: am I any of those things, if I can’t currently do the things that define those roles?  Who am I, really?

It is the quintessential journey inward to find who we are that really is at the heart of one of my all time favourite books by the Jungian/Buddhist psychotherapist Polly Young-Eisendrath.  I had the pleasure to meet her in New York city in the Buddhist Centre and I told her that her book had changed my life.  Little did I know, in my youth, that the lessons would come back again and again and again throughout my life.  Who is an Olympic skiier who finds themself a paraplegic, following a skiing accident? Who is the painter that goes blind, or the writer who struggles to find words and shape them into a parable that will rise in the consciousness of the reader like a warm ball of sourdough in a proofing bowl?

I have no idea.

But I do know that it is not the ability to ski, or paint or write that makes us who we are.  This simple path of gratitude, joy, oneness and service is a kind of compass to guide us to where we will find that Self.

I said to a friend recently that I am simultaneously developing new ways of knowing – something sort of visionary is happening, particularly in my dreams and meditations.  And yet, when I look at myself, I don’t feel any of the old labels fit me and I don’t have any idea of where I’m going.

I have a strong sense that I have inner work to do before I can be given clear vision of the way forward.  And yet, some pretty powerful experiences have been coming my way.

I am in a post Christmas symptom exacerbation phase of unhealthy and I can tolerate about 6 hours out of bed every day.  So, I spend a lot of time staring at the ceiling, television or turning inward to meditation.

I have happened upon someone that really inspires me.  He appears to epitomize the kind of person I would want to have, as a significant other, in my life.  He is wicked smart, funny, kind, multi-talented, and someone who not only survives but thrives in life.  That’s the way I would like a bio of me would describe me.  Yet, when I encountered him, I became disheartened by how far away I am from who I used to be, and from who I want to be.  That desire is born of Ego, I know.  Walk a spiritual path for a short time and God/The Universe/The Divine Quantum will send experiences to crush the Ego.

But, looking at this man, I decided: I’m not currently the kind of person he would want in his life.  That’s a sad thought.  Or, it can be a motivating thought.  Or it can be wrong.

I’ve had a series of dreams related to him.  Readers will know that my spiritual path is somewhat Jungian and our dreams are parables from our soul, the collective or the Divine.

In the first dream, I really wanted to ask him on a date, but I just didn’t feel that I could.  I realized I had become way too serious.  I examined that for awhile and realized that I have allowed myself to become joyless because it was easier than experiencing joy and having it crushed by certain toxic people in my life.  Joy is a price I’m not willing to pay, any longer.

The next dream about him was pretty elaborate.  It was the first fully developed dream that I can recall since my father died.  That, in and of itself, makes it special.

I was living back in London (in my old life, and where this spiritual path began).  I was coming “home” (here) with only 2 suitcases. I was going to be moving on to somewhere more permanent, once I got here, so I wanted to be carry only 2 suitcases.   In all my dreams, it is always 2 cases that I carry.

I was dressed in a spring dress and was headed to Church (it occurs to me that it was probably for Easter – a sign of resurrection).   I called this man and he was delighted to hear from me.

We continued talking as I headed to a Mega Church before me.  I was looking forward to seeing my parents there (in reality, they are both deceased).

He said to me “You’ve done a lot” (in life) and I said “As have you.  But, I do have regrets….”   I told the man that I had been a missionary but then said that I had misspoke (Had I, though? Maybe there is something in that word) because what I meant to say was “in seminary.”  I had never been a missionary, I said.

A big dog (a German Shephard?) appeared in front of me, being walked by a couple.  I ignored the couple and petted the dog who sniffed me, trying to form a bond with me.

I told the man on the phone that I needed to go and pray.  He told me that I could call him anytime.  I wanted to say “I love you,” but since I’ve never met him, I said that I was “sending love,” instead.

“I love you, too,” he said.

I awoke from that dream with a smile on my face for the first time in a long time.

There is so much to interpret in this dream and what you will read in it, is likely different from what I would.  I won’t unpack it all here, but I offer it to you in case the story offers something of the Universal for you.

On a personal level, I find it refreshing to be loved first, by someone whom I have chosen to love. There was no need to twist myself into anything, to be loved.

And maybe my animus – in the guise of this man – was telling me that it’s okay that I’ve not fulfilled my “potential.”  Maybe I’ve done enough.  Maybe I’m loveable even though I’m not all the things I used to be anymore.  Maybe there is something more important to me than all the things I’ve done and that something is ethereal.

I haven’t had any more dreams about him, really.  But last week, I woke on Monday with him strongly on my mind.  I had a cup of tea and pulled out my clothes for the day and then lay down to meditate.  In my meditation, I saw something that I only want to describe as a lightscape.  I felt that this was a portrait and I had the urge to paint it.

Two days later, a friend had the sent me healing energy, because I am so very unwell.  While he was in his own meditative state, he saw something that he describes as pretty much what I saw.

I think this was an important experience of who I am, who he is, and who you are, really.

I’m grateful for the strands of interconnectedness that seems to be weaving through these experiences and for the catalyst that these two men have provided for me.  I send them love every day, with gratitude.

For what are you most grateful, today?

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