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Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Meaning

     Meanings are elusive. They change depending on what dictionary is used, who is interpreting the information and because an outcome of an action is not witnessed or known. In the previous blog, Humans without Borders, I asked locals to gather to welcome a transplant from Seattle. Fourteen humans circled with the intention of making a new friend. When the woman no-showed we sat together anyway. What we didn't entirely know is what this meant individually or globally.

     Every action ripples out on the pond of life. 

Every single one. Even meeting or not meeting someone in a spontaneous gesture of friendship. Take myself for instance. The last few months have been challenging. Not challenging like swearing during fifty push ups. That's just ugly. I've been choosing the kind of ordeal that strips a person down to the bone. 
     In April I got triggered into a PTSD response. I've had them before, but never for longer than a day or two. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs in individuals who have experienced something beyond their ability to handle. My childhood was well beyond my ability to handle. In my forties I learned why I had uncontrollable emotional reactions to stressful situations. With that understanding I carved my life around keeping stress to a minimum, going on to become a massage therapist and practicing meditation. My April triggering happened in an MRI tube. I completely lost my shit. You can read about it in the post, Trusting IS. After a month I realized it would take more than chanting OM's to get me out of the anxiety cyclone. I reluctantly decided to undertake EMDR, a therapy designed to desensitize PTSD. Part of the process involves recovering memories of trauma. Some of these can be known, but not fully processed. While other happenings may not be known, having scurried into a closet before hitting the amygdala portion of the brain. 
     For me, EMDR has been grueling and life altering. All summer I have been in the trenches of treatment. There are many days in a row that I wonder how I can continue. Last week's sessions dropped me into a pit of despair. Breathing felt overwhelming. I wasn't really up for being with people, but I was the only one who knew the woman from Seattle. Hitching up the big girl panties I went. Mingling with friends who want the world to be more welcoming became a surprising balm to my experience. It made me see that possibility always exists for healing, for change, for humanity. Each person seated in the circle gave me a miracle and they didn't even know it. 

   Meanings are elusive because an outcome of an action is not witnessed or known.

When I got back to the office a co-worker had thoughtfully folded the towels I'd left piled in a basket and an hour later an email arrived to let me know a writing deadline had been extended. I breathed. There is grace in actions that are not always witnessed. These gifts fly on a universal current to a life they are needed, lighting up darkness and opening the door of possibility.
     I reconnected with the Seattle lady. When I told her how many people showed up to welcome her, she smiled all the way through the phone line. We're meeting in a few weeks to fill the coffee shop again, with no idea how our actions will ripple across life.

Gratitude to the moon and back to those who send gifts of humanity without requiring a return address.

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