As Within, So Without

"Daydream & Nightmares" 
7" x 10" mixed media on paper
 I was once told by a teacher that "as within, so without" is one of the most powerful teachings in common language, yet is also the most difficult to grasp. 

Essentially, the storm within one's self will be echoed in the external world...and vice versa. The manifestations are one and the same. To the discerning mind, they become focal points with which you are able to liberate the mind from obstruction. I have found variations of this teaching in most aspects of world religious traditions.

So as the world contends with Covid-19, I've found myself in the middle of my own extreme medical crisis. My journey with Lyme Disease has been fairly recorded here. I've spoken of it at great length with people in my everyday life. 

I've turned my formidable journalism skills towards finding answers to save my life. My days are filled with stacks of books and internet research. In between, I focus on coloring exercises and pen & ink drawings until my strength returns enough for painting. 

I am a different woman than I was on August 30. Since then, I've lost 25 lbs. I've largely left social media. My contact with the outside world is restricted to those I speak with when I have the energy. I am contemplative and inquisitive. But at first, I was rather scared.

Who wants to die? 

Do any of us? Hardly. We strive mightily to keep breathing even under impossible circumstances. I'll admit that I've had moments when I've considered just giving in to this illness. After all, the possibility that Lyme or Covid-19 will likely be the end of me is a valid concern. 

Then I realized that it doesn't quite matter in the scheme of things. We live. We die. What we do in between is what matters. So I turned my chaotic thoughts towards the things I've done rather than my ego's continual whine of all I've left to do. I've lived, I can say that. And I did it mostly on my own terms. 

Few of us leave here without unfinished chapters. 

There will come a time in your lives when you have to ask yourself who and what you are living for. I sincerely hope this lightbulb doesn't go off for you seconds away from your final breath. Simply stated, we can't live a lie for other people. We have to live and breathe for ourselves. Until we do, our lives are straight-jackets we can't escape. 

I chose not to suffocate in my life a long time ago. I've made mistakes. I've been wrong. But those are lessons I chose to learn with open eyes and an open heart. No one shoved me into a career. I had no little voice on my shoulder urging me to steal or con my way into happiness. I haven't had to sacrifice a single thing in my life that I didn't fully understand. 

I had choices. I made them.

Looking at the histrionics going on in our world right now, I think all of this chaos stems from either a lack of choices or making incredibly shitty ones none of us want to own. But you can't bullshit Death.

There's no escaping the true cost of our disposable lifestyles and throwaway culture. Superficial, unconscious living isn't the way to go anymore. It's literally killing everything in our world right in front of us. The light of this truth is growing. Shadows are exposed. They're angry, full of accusations and denials. But this also doesn't matter. 

What matters is thisDo you know who you are and why you are here?

If you know these answers, you will meet your fate without regrets. If you don't, you're likely already out here deluded in these currents of societal lunacy. 

Remember: You can't change the world unless you first heal yourself. 

It's taken me a long time to learn this lesson. Giving your all in any endeavor while hating yourself or being egocentric is an oxymoron that makes no sense. This type of existence originates from a place of fear, not enlightened knowledge. 

Besides, Death doesn't care what your reasons are for living inauthentically. It will not grant a five-year extension to get yourself together because you ask for one. Death will merely inform you that you've run out of time. 

So find the reason why you're breathing & unlock the shackles you never knew existed.

Don't wait. Do it now. We don't get to decide when and where we die. Instead, we get to decide our path before that point reaches us. I've chosen to follow a path of light, love & peace. Maybe that isn't your calling. But I guarantee you have one underneath the veneer of who you've been told you must be.

Find that person inside you & live your truth.
Light, Love & Peace on your path.


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