“Was it love? Or was it the idea of being in love?” - Pink Floyd
In the early hours of February 15th, 2010, over the course of about an hour, I experienced what I can only describe as (and what I believe was) a spiritual awakening.
After decades of struggling through prolonged bouts of serious and often suicidal depression, critical over-thinking and immense disharmony and mental dis-ease, I found – much to my amazement – that I was suddenly happy.
It wasn’t just relative; a case of thinking: ‘Oh, this is much nicer than the misery I was in a few hours ago. I will call this feeling ‘happiness’, rather than ‘less-shitness’.”
I was happy; at peace; calm and without dark or negative thought. I moved from abject misery to a state of absolute tranquillity.
The process began when I was talking to my (very patient) friend, Jo, on MSN Messenger. I said to her something like: “I am breaking down.”
Almost immediately, and from a place that wasn’t my mind - because my mind was obsessed and lost in the pain I was experiencing - I wrote: “But I will rebuild much stronger than I have ever been.”
The hair stood up on my arms (sadly, not on my head – the experience didn’t include follicle renewal) and wave after wave of charged enlightenment washed over me.
All of the scouring, thorny, slashing thoughts that I’d allowed to hurt me over all those years suddenly became benign curiosities and I realised that they just didn’t matter any more. They were not who I was. They were only stones on the path that led me to that moment of liberation.
I understood the power of forgiveness – not just to others who I felt had harmed me on my way through life, but, critically, to myself – and that love and forgiveness are the same thing.
I saw that nobody could cause me emotional pain without me giving that pain permission to enter my mind and poison it, which meant those people were never, ever the source of the pain in the first place. It was always me. I was the enemy I’d been fighting against for all that time.
The love and sense of completeness I’d been searching for all my adolescent and then adult years was found, at last, and it wasn’t in the arms of woman or hidden in a box of success… it was right there inside me, and it had been all along.
I have to admit, I did wonder (and it has been suggested since) that perhaps I’d lost the plot entirely at that point; that I was having a ‘bit of a breakdown’ and when I awoke the next morning (or more precisely, later in the day) I’d be back to ‘poor-me’, thinking about trucks and bridges and taut, creaking rope in deep woods.
But I woke up happy.
The emotional clutter I’d thrown off in those early hours hadn’t returned. If anything, I was happier… clearer… more focussed...
The next morning, when I woke up…
I woke up happy!
The day after that…
I woke up happy!
There was no more fear, no sadness, no loss, no sorrowful longing. I could look into what were previously the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind and find nothing but light, joy and… happiness.
Skip forward four or five months and I’m surrounded by bottles, drinking wine by the gallon, sitting on Facebook saying goodbye and fuck off to the world, again. (I’ll get back to that some other time. It’s a blog, not an autobiography. I’m not Stephen Fry.)
Now, in November…
I am happy!
I have had three periods of prolonged happiness in my life, as far as I can recall, and two of them have been this year. This one… just… meow…
Whatever happened to me in February (and I do understand that the majority of people who read this may think I could do with some professional help for even mentioning a mystical nature as its cause), it is maturing now.
The lessons I have learnt over the course of this year have brought about a heightened state of enlightenment and peace, and I am truly, truly happy.
February 15th was simply the planting of the seed.
Now, I’m stretching up into the light, my branches are beginning to reach out, and if I’m a very, very lucky boy… perhaps I’ll attract some little squirrel friends (blog readers) to join me as I grow to my real potential.
It is time to remove the last layers of falseness and begin the unveiling of my true destiny.
This is Lesism.