So recently I got done with a month of strange stuff that included a journey outside this normal realm of time and place and people and energy. I usually knew if I was inside or inside where the rest of folks typically live, but I didn’t really know how to get back very often. It started when
- I got accidentally exposed to a hallucinogen,
- my dog got mauled by a pitbull,
- I had some work trauma going on, and
- I had a spiritual emergency
All at the same time. I’ve written a bunch of blogs about it and my write some more, but I wanted to summarize, re-evaluate, and put all the stuff in one place for people who are interested in the journey.
The dog was fine – he only ended up with one puncture wound that healed up fine and his neck wasn’t hurt. My stepdaughter with autism who witnessed the attack didn’t much have a way to process the experience, but didn’t show too many ill effects. She’s not super connected with animals like some kids are. The neighbor’s dog didn’t have it’s situation changed much, which angered the neighbors, but was OK with me. I didn’t want to see a dog killed because I made a mistake bringing my dog into her space. The owner said she was interested in learning more about dog training to make her dog safer in public.
The first poem to come from this was my Psalm 91 Spoken Word-icized poem.
And the next poem is A Gift Not to Fear Conflict. Watch for many more. I”m working on writing every day instead of waiting till inspiration seizes me. In the last year I only wrote 8 poems because I was so busy grant writing that inspiration had to reach pretty deep to find me. This year I want to be more accessible. One of the speakers at my church said that “God doesn’t want our ability, but our availability.”
Here’s a list of blog posts related to this month that are starting to accumulate:
I also posted some on my business blog. I worked with my husband’s church’s Intercessory team to learn Christian approaches that are summarized here. I also ended up working with non-denominational people to find a way out. I tried to figure a way to combine the two approaches to make any sense of the situation. The Christians weren’t too happy with the combined approach so the hardest part was actually at the end, when I wanted badly to be part of a Christian spiritual community but I had to work really hard to see if I could find a way to fit myself into their mold.
I wasn’t sure if they had enough tools for me to be able to handle all of my experiences safely. I learned the hard way when I followed some of their directions very clearly and ended up very exposed to danger. But luckily a couple of my friends have referred me to people who have both Shamanic training and Christian training. In the meantime, I found a way that I learned how to have people respect my psychiatric survivor story that is part of the spiritual emergence process.
Also, some of my mental health civil rights friends blogged about this whole thing with some links to research articles on spiritual emergency.
And I need to keep my friend from Pennsylvania’s advice in mind:
There is always deep meaning in spiritual crises. Often, probably many more times than not, we desire the answer to the meaning of the crisis while we are in the crisis. This almost never happens. The Divine One waits for the storm to pass, the horizon to clear a bit and for us to calm down enough to listen in silence. The waiting is sometimes as painful and frustrating as the crisis. Patience is productive when waiting on an answer from the infinite One.
I think the most important part may be the fact that I was able to reach to so many people for help, and so many came through. At one point I said, “Why me? Why are so many people doing so much to reach out and help me through this?”
And people said, “Because it’s what humans do, help each other through challenge.” The trick was just to reach out and ask them and to let them know I was hurting. Because it was an awfully tough month in many places. Just as it was incredibly beautiful and passionate and inspiring and spiritually connected.
The mental health civil rights community is indeed one of the richest communities in the world.
This post is going to remain a sticky post for a while at the top of a new blog category I’m creating, Spiritual Seekings. For more updates to this post, check the ping backs listed below in the comments, or follow this category.