And, when you stand before yourself with nothing left to come between the reality of life as the sound of your heart beating in your chest, and the reflection in the mirror staring back at your soul wrapped in skin, who are you? It’s alright, if you’ve searched for the answer to that question in all the right places, still coming up short of the reason for your existence, it’s alright. It’s alright because the state of mind that is simply being cannot be labelled, breathing is only breathing, and the pursuit of anything is a pursuit of nothing if you cannot come back to yourself without fear of living beyond definition of the things you search for and the person you are. You can make a list, sure, of words that make me seem worthy of love, of life itself, I make lists obsessively; lists that organize, lists that explain, lists that lessen the noise of the mess in my mind, lists of the things I wish I was and think I am. Lists like this:
I am strong, and kind, and compassionate, and always laughing, I am intelligent, and creative, brave, and adventurous, I am…
What am I? Human, perhaps, but if I am something, than I must be that thing also, and even the dictionary knows that to be, is to simply exist, though I’ve spent my life running from the blank wide open space that comes like a wave when I’m left alone with the weight of that single word; exist. For when I do, find myself alone with it, when I search for consciousness in corners of myself I can hardly bring myself to peer into, I’m left with a nothingness that I don’t know how to live with; so I don’t, live with it, with that silence. And to escape it, the hollowness its presence leaves me with, I’ve trained my brain to even subconsciously, set itself on fire and endure the pain of the flames because thought is like that, like fire that never turns to ash, feeding on itself, making smoke out of dreams, until it all becomes too much and thinking becomes a disease, a disorder, undiagnosed because how can we diagnose the human condition as being a danger to humanity itself? How can we diagnose what we cannot see, what we cannot understand? Because if we understand being, than we are not embracing what it implies: an absence of understanding, an absence of the need to know, to imagine, to find, to learn. We can’t, even begin to interpret it, but the first step to embracing the beauty of being, is being conscious of the thoughts we do have, which is difficult, yes, and living with depression I understand the fear of nothingness as what once drove me to attempting suicide. I understand the fear of nothingness as being parallel in your mind to the emptiness you’ve grown tired of seeking relief from in dopamine, and prozac, and the list of prescriptions you continue to fill, knowing that without their promise of emotion, of peace, as a cure for the darkness clinging to your mind and your soul like a cancer you will not survive. But stillness, stillness, is the answer, my cure. Stronger than what you’ve come to accept as your reality, as the bane of your existence, because yes, the pain will return, over and over again, but silence will no longer be a condition, no, it will become your solace, your saviour.
Don’t be afraid of emptiness, don’t be afraid of the present, of this moment, because right now, there is nothing to come and nothing having come before, there is only life. There is only you, and all that you are not defined by, all that being is, wrapped up in who you are.