I've struggled with recurrent depression, generalized anxiety, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress most of my adult life. As a result, I often find myself with depleted emotional reserves from which to draw when new challenges, crises, or painful anniversaries come along. Depression's waves usually take their sweet time to erode the sand from around my feet, but this week it moved in so fast, it suddenly left me with little ground on which to stand.
The hopelessness and despair were tsunami-like. I thought I was washed away for yet another long count, but as I was lying under four covers in a dark room on a sunny day with my head under a pillow and a fan whirring to drown out the sounds of life and the tormenting voice in my head, I heard another inner voice. It had the piping tones of a youngster of about eight, boy or girl, I do not know, chirping over and over, "Take heart! Take heart! Take heart! Take heart!" It was like birdsong. Not a plea or directive but an urgent exhortation. Whichever little neuron came up with that, I am thankful to it because, incredibly, it has helped. The dark waters are ebbing, the ground begins to reassemble beneath my feet.
"I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting." (from "East Coker," Four Quartets, T. S. Eliot, 1943)
Gather up your heart in the present moment of waiting. If the gift of sudden clarity and resolve will be bestowed, it happens there.
What are you noticing in the present moment?
for Mindful Monday
© May 4, 2015, post: Donna Pierce
Photo Credit: "Chickadee," Rodney Campbell, 2014.