A seeker inside spiritual fusion

I’ve written before about how this has become an increasingly spiritual journey for DH and me. That part of things seems to get deeper and deeper. I’m surprised—I think if someone would have told me, years ago, what was going to happen to us I would have predicted that the experience would leave me cynical and atheistic. But it hasn’t. Instead, some sort of “spiritual fusion” is going on that is difficult for me to put into words…

We went to the Haitian restaurant again last night, and looking around at the fusion of spiritual iconography on the walls, I thought: That’s me right now. Angels, Buddhas, crosses, namaste symbols. Elements of different religions and practices, and bits of science, such as string theory, are speaking to me right now. Mindfulness. Universal energy. God.

I was raised without religion, but the woods were a kind of “church” where I had a lot of spiritual experiences as a kid and young adult. One semester in college, I took the classes entitled “The English Bible,” “Greek Myth,” “Stories and the Pursuit of Meaning,” and “Jewish American Women Authors,” and I became like an amateur Joseph Campbell for months, finding rhymes and echoes in the various spiritual stories of vastly different and geographically distant cultures. “You’re a seeker,” my English Bible professor said to me that semester, and the word has always stuck, felt right. Seeker.

When I’m not in great pain, I am able to feel like a seeker on an adventure. I can think of this experience of not being able to have a child as an opportunity to seek and perhaps find the divine within me. And of course love can’t happen without fear, the adventure and opportunity can’t happen without the pain.

I’m craving a turning point. My enlightened thoughts and feelings are fleeting. I want the light switched on and for it to stay on forever. I’m hungry for an epiphany that lasts—but there’s no such thing. And something tells me that like all things worth having in life, finding true peace takes a lot of work.

What I can’t seem to get straight is this: Desire and non-attachment. So many teachings, eastern and western, put forth that the path to not-suffering is non-attachment. Not trying to control everything to suit your self-imposed “needs.” But at the same time, there are messages about not giving up, going toward your dreams, manifesting the life you want. Fertility treatments—they’re the ultimate state of attachment! As would be following the path of adoption. Attachment to the belief that you need a family, attachment to the desire to nurture a child. That attachment feels right. But I can’t square it with what I know to be true about how to free the self from suffering.

Whatever is going on, if I’m a seeker, I’ve definitely found something. How to articulate it is another matter. All I can think to say for sure is that I’ve come to a point at which I have been utterly humbled. I used to feel invincible. I used to think that I could achieve whatever I wanted, however I wanted to. The humility I feel at learning that this is not so will stay with me forever, and that’s a good thing, ultimately. Because it leaves me open to what is larger than me and helps me accept the mysteriousness of existence. Have you ever stopped and thought about how strange it is to just be? I think of it more and more. A few years ago, I never would have said this with conviction, but I can say it now: We are spiritual beings having human experiences, because it is by being human that we can come to know the mystery and unity of what is.

Thanks, Poconos Mountains. I think you’re helping me untangle these knots a little bit.

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8 Comments

  1. I’m not at all spiritual anymore, but in college I had a fling with buddhism :). I still really appreciate a lot of the practices, especially non-attachment. The way I think of it (in my practical rather than spiritual way) is not that you can’t work for things, like doing fertility treatments, but to try to be at peace with whatever the outcome will be. Easier said than done of course :).

    Reply
    • Oh, we ended up talking to someone at the Haitian restaurant about just that—that it’s okay to want things, but the level of strain, yearning, stress, obsession that goes into that wanting needs to be looked at as well as attachment to the outcome of that desire, yes. It’s so helpful to me to think of it like that.
      A fling with Buddhism. (: Yeah, DH and I took the Buddhist Refuge Vows and I often feel like I am slacker Buddhist because I can’t even remember half of them—I think I might type them out in a post to refresh my memory.

      Reply
  2. I’ve had my own post about faith knocking around in my head for the past week or two, mostly because I took my MIL’s bait and read the Long Island medium’s book. I’m happy you’re finding some peace and meaning in the search. Wish I could say the same for myself.

    Reply
    • I’ll be looking forward to reading that post, if you end up writing it. Peace is fleeting, but the meaning does seem to stick around….at least until the next loss…

      Reply
  3. Wow, I can totally relate to this post. You always capture things I am feeling but you articulate them so much more eloquently than I ever could. I am also humbled- big time. The desire/non-attachment piece- wow! I keep trying to remain cool and collected, with a what ever will be will be attitude but with a lining check tomorrow and a hopeful egg thaw next Monday, I’m falling apart…

    Reply
    • Oh man I hold your hand during the fall-apart phase–it’s just impossible to keep totally calm and cool when all of that is going on!! I am just about to write a post about that, how different the gearing-up phase is from the treatment-phase, and from the post-loss phase. We need a new phase! The baby phase! See? Talk about attachment to outcome. I sometimes feel like I am fooling myself when I think I am feeling unattached, peaceful, ready to accept whatever happens. Anyway. I am very glad this spoke to you. Humbled–yes. There is a kind of peace in that humbled feeling, isn’t there…

      Reply
  4. Wow such an eloquent post lovely. You put into words so much of what has been going through my mind as well. I guess when we hit the depths as we have and have been humbled in the way we have you start to look at things in a new light. Thank you for explaining it so beautifully. Love xxx

    Reply
    • You’re most welcome, as always. I didn’t feel very articulate when writing this post, but apparently it came out well—I’ve noticed that when I feel like I am stumbling through the writing but writing from the heart, even I don’t feel like I’ve quite articulated it, people hear it. I’m thinking of you every day, hope hope hoping for you and the lil life in there… XO

      Reply

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