Yesterday, I went to have my astrological chart read. I'd never done that before; I mean, I've always known I'm a Gemini, but that was about the extent of it. I still have barely a grasp of what it all means, but the reading itself was fascinating, if only as a way to look at my life in larger terms, as a journey and not a series of events that have nothing to do with one another. This man knew nothing about me, not even what I did for a living, before he started my reading, and all I could do while he talked was to nod 'yes.' Yes to the intimate familiarity with the scary Underworld places, yes to my ability to sit with the scariness, to accept those experiences as helpful and meaningful; yes to me ability to have insight into mine and others' motives and the complexities of the psyche, yes to my ability to sit with others' scary experiences, to make it OK for them to be there; yes to my tendency to get codependent in relationships, yes to my continual need for new experiences, new knowledge; yes to my deep contact with spirituality and with the larger global consciousness that makes itself known in symbols; yes to the sense that I've always had of a staggeringly powerful life force within me that yearns for freedom; yes to the intensity of my pain, to my tendency to sacrifice myself and then get caught in a victim/martyr story; yes to my deep empathy that makes the world difficult to be in, yes to my struggles, yes to me constant yearning for a nest, a place of comfort, a safe harbor in relationship; yes to my need to create, to process, to integrate, and to witness life's coiling mysteries; yes to my constant moving, thinking, and seeking, yes to my feeling misunderstood and separate. There was so much information to process, I still don't know whether I grasp it all yet.
But the next day, today, right now, I was sitting in a meeting at work and all of a sudden I knew I had to get out of there. Blood sugar crash. I felt like I was going to faint. All of a sudden a wave of pain engulfed me, like I was sitting in a pit of fire. I actually felt like there might be steam rising from me. A friend of mine might suggest that maybe it wasn't my pain, but it might as well have been. I sat in the meeting pulling on my hair the way I do when I'm nervous, waiting to see what it would do. I felt faint, I felt constricted. Finally, in the middle of the meeting, I got up and left, raced to my office, ate some fruit, drank some water, then lay on the floor. And as I lay, the sobs came and I cried in deep gasps, like crying for the whole universe of suffering that exists, not only my own. My brain roiled and coiled frantically, like a cat in a bag. It kept telling me: I can't do this. I can't do this. It hurts too much. I need too much, a need that nobody can ever fill. And if I can't be filled, then I won't survive. The pain alone will kill me. I was frantic, desperate. When the tears subsided I got up from the floor and knew I had to write it all down. Out of me.
Now I'm writing with trembling hands, the vestiges of my blood sugar crash, and a deep childlike terror in the pit of my stomach. It's like being on a life raft in the middle of a huge ocean, with no ships in sight and no rescue. I am the only one I can count on, and I can't even count on me.
It sounds so dire. And it is. Is this post a cry for help? Possibly. Though I doubt any help exists. I kept asking myself in the meeting: Are you strong enough to handle this pain? Can you take it? And I kept answering myself: I don't know. I don't know. But here I am, typing. I did survive it. Do you think I'm crazy? Possibly. But maybe I'm really, really sane. Maybe, as the astrological guy suggested, one of my karmic lessons is to trust that the Universe will provide for me, and confronting these intense fears - even in a Friday late morning staff meeting - staring them in the blood-filled eyes, is a way to learn to trust, the way people with phobias have to confront their fears in order to get over them.
I still don't know if I can do this. I suppose eventually we get used to the waves crashing, or we don't, and we let them take us back to the place where we started. But here I am, still doing my work, still making plans with my friends. When things are dark, we let habit take over until we can exert more control over ourselves. I'll sit here and wait for the sun to rise, as it always does.