It started with a near panic attack.

I have been working on a personal project as of late. It's something that I have struggled with in the past, in terms of whether or not I've wanted to do it in the first place.  After thinking about it, it's now something that I have committed to see through, and it's fraught with emotional and mental landmines.  It's something that really digs at me, and has brought me relief in some ways, but mainly it brings me tears almost every time. So I have been in a perma-vulnerable state as of late, and like Cape Gannets, I have a whole flock of character defects that have been dive bombing into that state and pecking away at me. 

Comparing myself to others has been causing me the most damage in those fly-by's. I look at all the things that I have been doing, and when I place them against what others have achieved or are achieving now, I wilt. I feel corroded. I wonder why I even bother. I look at social media, I look at where people's attention lies, I look at numbers, I look at qualitative stats. And I tremble. I get resentful. I get angry. And I also realize that once again, I am getting duped, but I still buy into it all.  

Last night I was feeling weak from my back and hip issues.  I was feeling overwhelmed by my fragile mental and emotional state, and when all of those start to combine, I often feel that I am going into an anxiety attack. I know the feeling well, having had many in my drinking days, either brought on by the physical symptoms of withdrawal, or by the crushing mental and emotional strain I had in living the life of an alcoholic in denial.  

So last night I took a bath. Then I needed to get fresh air. I prayed. I then wandered about the house and decided I needed to meditate.  I could feel all my muscles aching, tensing. My mind was adrift and my heart pounding away. So I sat in my basement, lit my incense, and started to cry.  That was all that I could do.  That was my body's response to it all.  Just have an ugly cry. And then when that was done, I meditated.

When I meditate, I am fortunate enough to tap into my Authentic Self, that God-driven state that represents my "best". It's that voice that tells me what is and what isn't. It guides me well, that is, when I decide to heed its advice. Last night, I asked my Authentic Self many questions - panicked questions.

 It told me many things, one of which was to "keep carrying the message, even when you don't want to.  It's the most important thing you can do." I hated that. I didn't want to do it. What's the point? Other people do it better, get more attention and have people really listen to them.

"You make people feel good, that is what you do." Big deal, I replied. The crossing guard at my kids school does that, and so does the guy who owns the ice cream truck. What kind of good is that? 

Whenever my Authentic Self answered, I tried to deflect, parry, and challenge.  But it persisted in a serene and gentle way.

"Why do I have to keep doing this?" I asked.

"Because once you start seeking, you can't stop. It's part of your fabric now."

"But everyone does it better. I just want to be normal."

"You have your path. Listen to the heart within your heart."

"What the hell does that mean? That makes no sense."  I paused. Then I asked "Are you the truth?"

"No - I am the light."

I sat there, more tears running down my face. This was it. As much as I want to take my ball and go home, I am constantly brought back to the whole trudging thing. There is a line in 12-step recovery literature that mentions we "trudge The Road of Happy Destiny". It doesn't say "to" Happy Destiny. It says "of".  That single word shows that it's the journey, not the destination that is most important.  So there is no end zone.  There is no medal waiting for me at the finish line. It just is. So while there is still a part of me that want to recede and concede, I know that it's very difficult for me to go against my Authentic Self.  

So, I guess for now I trudge. I may not enjoy it at times. I may even resent it and have hissy fits over it, but I trudge. I may not trudge the way others do, but I have the Road to travel.  I may not go as quickly and as flashy as others, but I go on.  

Travel well, friends.