I laid in bed this morning, nursing my hangover, regretting my decision to have margaritas and craft beer. After I crawled to the medicine cabinet to suffocate my headache with a popular NSAID pain reliever, I surfed Facebook, where I came across this article. I read about a woman, one who was dying of endometrial cancer, one who decided she would compose her own obituary prior to her death. Little did I know how profoundly her words would affect me.
“I believe we are each of us connected to every person and everything on this Earth, that we are in fact one divine organism having an infinite spiritual existence. Of course, we may not always comprehend that,” Jane Lotter said so eloquently, with a wisdom and peace that can only come so naturally prior to death.
|Jane Lotter, courtesy of Huffington Post|
An outburst of emotion welled up within me and burst through my eyes and throat. It followed me, and my piercing hangover, into the shower, out my front door, as I entered my car, and along the vast expanse of the crowded expressway, next to hundreds of others, headed towards their menial jobs, completely unaware of the out-of-body experience that was occurring in the little yellow car nearby.
Her words gave me comfort and a step towards clarity, while simultaneously punching me abruptly in the stomach with the finality of our existence. Perhaps part of the stereotypical “crisis” is trying to find an answer for existence–to find a purpose. Perhaps it’s just me being dramatic. But I don’t comprehend it, like she said, so apparently I’m going to cry about it a lot today.
I’m crying because I’ve felt so lost for long. I feel like I’ve been looking for something–for an answer to existence. And I’m realizing that the answers I want can and will never be quantified or explained, regardless of how badly I want them.
I’m crying because she’s right. We are all connected; we are all part of a system. Just as our bodies are complex systems, consuming resources and shedding excess cells, one day, this divine organism, the world, will shed us–its dead tissue. And similarly enough, one day the Earth will dissipate into the expanse of the universe, as unnoticeably as the dead skin that falls from a scratched arm.
I’m crying because the time I claimed I wasted wasn’t actually–it was merely used, for even when we don’t feel like we’re learning and growing, we are. Even when we feel like something is a waste, it is simply another experience or another connection that builds the inner fibers of our emotional selves.
I’m crying because our existence is so minute and final, and I do not yet know the purpose of my existence.
I’m crying because I’m finding myself in others. I’m falling slowly, or rather quickly, into them, allowing them to become a part of me, like I never did before.
I’m crying because our best shot at anything is time. It is all we have, this relative construct, whose recognition has the ability to allow us time for appreciation, but whose recognition also has the ability to instill fear and shame within us.
I’m crying because I still have time–time which I want to appreciate, but forget about simultaneously, so that I can achieve a present mindset, one which allows me to soak in the divinity in which I live, one that allows me to empathize with this divine being of which we are all a part, so I can feel its pulse and my place in that rhythm.
But mostly, I’m crying because the God I thought might have existed is not a provider of eternal life. Divinity can’t be found outside of Earth, in a place invisible and far away, in a place called heaven. Divinity can be found within ourselves, within this organism we call Earth; it can be found within each other.
And I can find my own divinity in others. But I can only find it while I’m here.