Become totally empty.
Let your heart be at peace.
Amidst the rush of worldly comings and goings,
Observe how endings become beginnings.
(From the 16th verse, Tao Te Ching)
This is kind of a departure for me. I have been reading the Tao Te Ching as part of my meditation practice. This part of one verse stuck out to me. This a recurring theme in my life and I trust in yours as well.
The verse asks that we become empty (which I take to mean receptive). It then commends us to allow our hearts to be at peace. This speaks to me of the personal responsibility I have to allow peace in my heart. Jesus gives us peace, and we need to allow it to occur by setting ourselves free or disengaging ourselves from the hustle and bustle of life for a time, taking several deep breaths and just being still. This is so hard for me. I am used to going 90 miles an hour. In this lengthy bout with depresssion-anxiety full speed is probably 10 but it sure feels like 90!I need to allow myself peace..."amidst the rush of worldly comings and goings".
The final phrase says to "observe how endings become beginnings". A lot ended for me when my current mental illness got the best of me about one year ago. I lost peace of mind, I lost my job which with it included several personal long-term professional relationships, a hearty income, and the most fulfilling job I have had in my life. I have lost the respect of some who have seen me suffer with deblitating depression and anxiety. Don't you notice that many who know little of our plight have the BEST advice: "You just gotta get up on that horse again"; "just have faith in God"; "just fake it till you make it" and so on, ad nauseum. Oh I wish that worked for me.
This illness has formed an ending for me. I do not know if I'll ever be the same again. There are emotional ups and downs, physical inadequacy, and lack of mental sharpness. This and the severe self flagellation: "You are one lazy so and so. Get up off your dead butt and get a job. Mind over matter is the key. Just do it. Get back in control of youtself and take your life back.
It has become obvious to me that I will not have my former life back. I can't do the work I have done for the past 30 years. In fact, unless one just gets himself in the zone, stops feeling his feelings and just keeps going and going there is no way to return to my former profession. I have fallen and I can't get up.
I know I am experiencing an ending that will spawn a wonderful beginning when the time is right. Whether I am disabled or full of life one day, there must be a new beginning. The old life is gone. Practically and professionally it has passed away.
In the terms of those who try to encourage me to move on, I can say: My horse is done gone, I have become unable or unwilling to fake anything anymore, and one of the only things I have not lost is my faith. Yes! I have a deep faith in God and mental illness. Did you think this was possible? I didn't used to not so many years ago. But over the years working with the chemically dependent and the mentally ill I have seen faith that is very deep and very sincere as the demons continued to attack and the battle raged on.
Endings become beginnings. It happens all the time. I have faith it will happen for me ... and if appropriate for you!
Typos and all ...God bless you!