When a marriage is in balance, it’s like a beautiful dance. Each action leads into the next and the couple lives in harmony. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes there’s avoidance.
Wednesday I had a revelation. I was reading comments on several blogs trying to find what people are truly struggling with. What happened when I stumbled upon an article about depression was not a coincidence.
Since I started this blog I’ve been searching for something that would help me deal with the loss of my daughter. I have desperately tried to avoid being depressed, so much so that the effort to avoid depression has actually done just what I sat out to avoid.
Avoidance has taken many forms over the past few months, here are just a few:
- I’ve written articles talking about all the things one can do to look forward and search for the lightness instead of being stuck in the shade.
- I’ve listened to podcasts with tips and tricks on how to stay mentally focused and pursue your dreams.
- I’ve talked to people who were going through rough times about how the current moment is only temporary, and you can affect how the future will unfold.
All of these things were an effort to focus my energy on something positive so that I wouldn’t be bogged down with all the negativity swimming around in the wrinkly mass between my ears.
But it wasn’t working.
There were times, like after a blog post that I might have slipped a little personal truth into, or a conversation where I felt as if I’d helped someone conquer their day, I would feel better – for a few moments, maybe hours. But the next day I’d be back to square one, trying to build a wall between me and the looming inevitable cloud of depression.
It was like a vicious circle. Work to avoid the inevitable, experience the inevitable long enough to know it’s there, push it away, experience it again. An endless and exhausting journey.
Thanksgiving was especially rough. This is the second holiday season I’m not with her; the last was because I was gone away to war – this one is because she just isn’t here.
But Wednesday something happened. As I was doing research for an article I stumbled on a quote. It goes like this:
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” -Paulo Coelho
If you aren’t aware of who Paulo Coelho is, he wrote a book called The Alchemist – 10th Anniversary Edition in the 90s. If you haven’t heard of or read the book, you should.
This quote was odd to me because it was so indicative of this crazy dance I was performing.
When Layla passed away I knew that writing would be an outlet of healing for me, but I didn’t expect it to heal me in this way. Two days removed from finding this quote I bring you this article.
An article that has changed me.
Not because of what I wrote but because of what I discovered while preparing to write it.
I have been trying to serve you in the form of relating my experiences to plausible solutions. Maybe I’ve helped, but now that I understand this dance of avoidance I’ve been doing, I see that I have been taking the wrong approach in my personal battle. So there is a good chance I’ve missed the mark, at least, part of the time.
But I am making a commitment from this day forward: I will not dance the dance of avoidance anymore.
It’s not helping me.
Therefore I can’t help you to the fullest.
Today is a new day, a new weekend, and I refuse to live in fear of the suffering, because without experiencing the suffering, all I’m doing is dancing around it, waiting for it come crashing in and cripple me.
Today I will begin the search for my heart’s dream and if there is suffering along the way, I will tackle it head on, because the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
Photo: Flickr/Lennart Takanen