I’ve been here before. This place…I am no stranger here. Sometimes I am dragged here against my will. Sometimes, I come take a look at the view to gain a little perspective. I’ve navigated this terrain, but that doesn’t make it any more comfortable to be here. This place is one of deep heavy emotions and darkness. It’s a place I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. But it is also a place where amazing healing and growth can happen. The ground is full of sharp rocks that hurt with every step…but the soil is fertile and full of nutrients. To see and feel this space, brings me to tears. It brings tears of extreme fear. I’ve been here before. I climbed the barren hillsides and slogged through the swampy marshes. I was alone, or so I thought.

Now I’m back. Through timing that knows greater purpose than I do, I found myself here this morning. I’ve seen signs on my most recent path…you know, the ones that tell you how far away your destination is. I disregarded them because, surely, I knew better than to go there. This morning I arrived. My morning meditation with the dogs met me with a welcome party with the theme “Accept Help”. That’s the moment I knew. I knew “it was back”. Then it got interesting.

You see, my spiritual practice has led me to an incredible connection to nature. The earth, the sun and moon, the trees and plants, stones and animals…they, and many more, are amazing guides if we allow ourselves to hear their messages.

Each morning I meditate. Each morning I take a moment to greet my guides and connect with them. Each morning, I take the time to connect with my dogs. And each morning, a message comes, often times from Callie. She is one of my teachers. The one who reminds me to open my heart. She is pure heart. When I stretch and open my chest, she often rams her chest right up against mine. I always laugh. I am always reminded that opening my heart center brings us closer in a way that gives me great sense of privilege. All of my dogs have been, and are, teachers. They are part of my connection to the natural world. They walk with me on a path that is filled with guidance from the world around us. I don’t consider myself a dog trainer. I can’t limit our connection to dog training (but that’s a different blog post). So, when they have information to share with me, I take it quite seriously. After all, they are essentially translators of the natural world. I’m blessed that they understand me and can help communicate those things I may not be directly perceiving.

I write down the morning meditation messages, even when they don’t make sense to me. This morning’s message, I assumed, was to accept the help at a doctor’s appointment I have this afternoon. I will do that, but there was more. And this is how it unfolded.

I wept after that meditation. A little. Then I gathered myself up and headed downstairs. Periodically, while having coffee and breakfast, I cried. No reason. I just cried. I don’t want to be here again. I don’t want to be in this place again. Accept Help MUST mean I am to tell my doctor that the depression is back. I will do so, of course, but that wasn’t it. I cried again. Right about then, two of my dogs saddled up to me and literally positioned my face between them. Face buried in fur, I recognized the significance of them doing so. These two boys set aside their differences, faces in close proximity (touching!) to comfort me. I cried some more. I filled my pockets with treats (as any good “trainer” should) and we headed outside to walk, release some energy, and listen to what the world had to say.

I walked, zoning out mostly, but with thoughts spinning in my mind. I wrote this blog post in my head while walking. I listened for information and guidance from the trees, animals, earth, elements. It was quiet today, except my thoughts, some swarms of bugs that were bugging me and sirens. Yes sirens. The fire truck passed by first. I always pause when I hear sirens and send good energy to the situation they are headed to. Then came the water rescue team. While I was swirling in my thoughts and emotions there was a water emergency happening. My immediate urge was to tell myself “it could be worse”. That just doesn’t sound like right relationship with existence in this world. So, I stopped and sent Reiki to that situation. Then gave myself permission to honor how I feel. No comparison to how much worse it could be. Just different.

Then I had clarity. Clarity on what Accept Help meant. You see, this place I arrived at today…in the past, I’d have called it depression. Not this time. Depression, this time, she is a guide. Not a place. She is a guide to help me navigate a very dark and unforgiving place. She will show me where the fertile soil is and help me see where I can learn, grow, nourish, and rebuild. I don’t know how long she plans to visit, nor how long we will walk together in this void that feels like the aftermath of a forest fire. I do know that I am not here alone. I know others have been here. I see their footprints. My heart aches for them because I’m right here with them. Most of the time you can’t see anyone else in this place with you. It’s like we all have invisibility cloaks on. Today, I’ll take that cloak off. I’ll walk beside anyone else in this place…if you like.

I am exactly where I need to be…

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