As many of you know, my mother is in a state of decline and I am preparing to lose her. I am truly blown away and so grateful for all the support you have been sending our way—stepping up and taking over big Jungshin tasks for me, teaching, and really just being there as amazing friends. After I am through what feels like a fight that never stops–and I used to fight competitively so I know after a three-minute round the body is already taxed–I am looking forward to having a moment to think about and relate this experience to you. The experience of body alive-body dead-mind dead-spirit alive, which I have been observing through the veil of this illusion called life. I’m sure that makes little sense, which is why I am not ready… yet.
The best healing today after visiting mom was laughing with my son, who thought my hair made me look like a bird. He shows his affection by throwing his heavy head (I did not think heads could be so heavy! It must be 60 lbs!) against my arm, repeatedly. A strange form of teenage animal affection.
Each time my mind says, “Get on with it Annika, stop having a pity party…blah blah blah…,” I do a body scan and realize that this process has taken a big, big toll. It literally feels like someone picked my body up, slammed it on the hard concrete over and over, and then started kicking it. For those of us unable to leave our bodies and thus, remain embodied and righteously grounded (as I often talk about in Jungshin), loss is certainly registered in the cellular tissue, running its way up and down the blood through veins, while the black and blue responses to being completely out of control (I tried to fight death and I lost), feel to me like dis-ease. I search my health inventory. “Is my gut infected? Do I have a cold?” Nothing registers.
My body has caught the virus disguised as death. The virus itself is fighting to heal the body and heart. The heart! Another organ and muscle I often discuss in Jungshin. How can this big red muscle/organ hurt so much? How is it possible for an organ to register that type of pain? Of course, I know from my work with Byron Katie, all stress and pain come from a thought. Yet here it is, my own lesson, kicking me in the head with the strength of unforgiving humility: I am not evolved enough, yet, to question my mind, because an organ isn’t ready. It is hard to admit I cannot yet take my own medicine. It must all be about the way of the SWORD. I’m sure this is what elephants cry.
Death, Be Not Proud, by John Donne
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, Poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better then thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.