I decided to ditch Ek’s reading list on the ‘present moment’ and pursue something a little more ‘here and now’. My suffering attitude – it had to go before I could even face my own shadow – so I ditched it in favor of perspective, anew. I dived straight to the heart of what it meant to be human by defining life, in and of us all.
Heading north on my compass I hacked through all excuses and accepted that it was my birthright to evolve.
At check-point with the dictionary I got down to practical matters with this key to life that would set me free. I learned that to evolve meant to further develop, to bring out something implicit or potential, or to gradually arise as a natural consequence, it explained. Words like progress, advance, mature, grow, expand, alter, change, transform, adapt, metamorphose and transmogrify had a friendlier ring-tone than my old slogan, to suffer.
Inherent in me and you, is this always-happening-occurrence no matter how hard we try to fight its existence. Evolution. But no psychiatrist ever reminded me that we were dealing with my evolution; that perhaps my depression was an evolutionary black-out on my path.
I took one step away from the suffering and took one step towards evolving, by making a conscious choice that my road map was destined for Metamorphose. I took the limelight off the painful parts, the ugly fits and starts, the time I fell apart. I reclaimed my status as a child of evolution; a child within the darkness of depression and suicidal starkness, doing her best to get a grip of life itself.
I clutched onto this simple epiphany as a helping hand in the pull of quicksand and watched my perspectives about ‘mental illness’ fade away. During all this time of tackling diagnoses and following treatment by the book, I had forgotten this fundamental truth of my existence: that whatever I did to improve my mental health could either stifle or support my evolution.
There were choices I could make about how I managed my highs and lows that in reality, were all stages of my evolution. That thing, happening to everyone, and I was no exception, was my evolution patched with points I’d rather forget. The understanding and acceptance of my evolution having dark depressions, seemed a much more realistic way to understand my challenging life.
Evolution pointed to possibilities of transformation around the corner! It promised melancholy was a phase just like joy. Evolution meant that suicide could be a turning point and enacting self-harm was an obstacle, self-created, and both were moments the world said were shameful and sick. From the open vistas of my dictionary in the vast definitions of evolution, I saw my ‘mental illness’ as less of a truth and more like a label. A way of packaging my evolution through the lens of scientific experimentation that was only useful until I had decided to take new evolutionary steps.
Indeed, my path was hairy and my impulse to harm was scary but still, this was all part of my growing pains. It was not until I reached acceptance that my evolution wasn’t easy, then flowered a degree of self-love I had not yet granted my self-despair.
I continued to watch friends skip by radiantly, evolving with a spring in their step, dodging life’s curve balls with a sense of grace and ease, however, in truth I walked the same path of evolution. I too, a little member of the human race, deserved to give myself a break for the inner battles one can face, admit my suffering, take a step and move forward.
Befriending all of me, my suicidality, my soul’s atrophy, with Ek waiting on the fringe of Now, was the marker of change I needed to redirect my course of suffering and enough to rest safely on the shores of a better Now.
I chose to evolve, plain and simple, from my past stories into the present moment, that had within it the seed to grow and grow and grow. And Ek’s bestseller, The Power of Now, seemed more palatable and less overwhelming, as were the parts of me I had held secret and starved of love.
To be continued.