Who’s afraid of non-being? I’m not, I say boldly.
I am not afraid of going home, of relinquishing my self to be absorbed into the Source of my self. But this is what a big part of me is afraid of: I’m afraid of feeling. I’m afraid of compassion. I’m afraid of mercy, and I’m afraid of love.
Pretty gutless, really – but true. The reality is that it’s easier to sit in darkness than it is to face myself in the light; it’s easier to ignore the scars than it is to face the reality of what caused them; it’s less painful to turn away from the Creator of love than it is to acknowledge the vulnerability that comes with being loved, and being known. Because – and I’ve said this before – being loved involves being touched, and allowing love in, and acknowledging just how much it all hurts at times.
And to be honest, it’s simpler to take a beating than it is to face the consequences of ten years’ worth of beatings and abuse.
That’s what’s stopped me from opening myself to the Source of compassion: the fact that in opening myself to compassion, I will face compassion. I will be seared to the bone by compassion, and I will be vulnerable and frightened in that, and that I will start to cry and won’t be able to stop, and I’ll be overwhelmed by the horribleness of everything that happened to me, and deluged by the shame and guilt and grief and fear and anger – engulfed by darkness and swept away (ahem) into non-being.
Not non-being because I’ve been absorbed into my true Being, the Origin of my life and the Ground of my being. But non-being because I’ve been submerged in darkness, losing my self in guilt and grief and the best definition I’ve come across of hell: the absence of God.
I can’t let that stop me, though. I have to trust that this is a fear that won’t be realised. That there is no absence of God, no matter how it feels. That the darkness cannot possibly overcome the light, no matter how determined the forces of darkness are: that darkness and light are one, and that nothing can separate me from oneness with the Creator which is closer to me than my own breath.
It will hurt, and whether I like it or not, it’s a pain I have to go through. I’d like to avoid it and it’s not fair that I have to experience it but I don’t get a choice. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, and it crumbles a lot worse for some other people. Toughen up, princess. Game on.
So I’ll keep trying to meditate, and I’ll keep using the rosary, and I’ll keep being brave enough to open myself to the God of vulnerability in the vulnerability of prayer. Because God is vulnerable in that too. And because in opening myself to God, I’m opening myself to love, and that can only be a good thing.