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Comfort in faith


Calla
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I went and walked around the grounds of Westminster Abbey today. I'm not a practising religious person or anything but I felt the need to go there....or anywhere spiritual really. It felt comforting to me to be near such a place. It was strange really seeing as I don't have a strong faith. But I thought it was interesting that it helped me.

I definitely think there is something to be said about the help faith can bring someone. Just thought I'd mention that :)

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Calla

I connect with that so strongly.

I think Scott Peck describes those feelings so aptly for me when he refers to "moments of grace".

I have no particular religion, in fact I am fond of describing myself as a "spiritual wanderer" but there are moments (all to brief) when life is filled with so much meaning that just for a moment it transcends all the pain and drudgery such that time almost seems to stand still. (Would that we could bottle the feeling!!)

I recently went through more trauma than anyone should have to endure and in the process, I tried to commit suicide by slashing my wrists and overdosing - I literally did not want to endure any further psychic pain. In simple terms I tried to self annihilate. In the early weeks of my recovery, I went for a walk in the mountain on my own - for much of the walk I did not really take in anything. I was stuck in my head, lost in my own pain and the little I did see was blurred by my tears.

Towards the end of the walk (I am a keen birdwatcher), I came across a beautiful Rock Kestrel perched on the railing. Rock Kestrels are by no means unique but they are magnificent large birds if one is lucky enough to get sufficiently close to watch. What struck me immediately is that he did not fly away but allowed me to walk up to within a metre of him - I literally held my breath. It was almost as if he was extending his trust to me by allowing me to get so close, I was spellbound. In that moment I forgot all my troubles and found myself actually thanking (out loud - I am so glad nobody was around to witness it - might have thought me a bit loopy) the bird! It was almost as if the pain I had gone through had somehow broken me open and in watching the bird up close, my raw wounds exposed, I found thanks and awe in beholding something so beautiful and so trusting. Just for a moment I was seeing in technicolour and the "still point to the turning world" was to be found within.

As if that weren't enough, the Kestrel followed me on my path down the mountain, flying from post to post. When I got home, I was in raptures about my experience - needless to say everybody looked at me very blankly!!!

But something about that moment has lingered on for me and in so many ways it seems to have heralded a new found strength and courage to prevail. Whenever I find myself floundering in the pits of despair I think about that moment. I dont believe in epiphanies or signs but I guess I sometimes do wonder! Moments of grace?

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Hi Calla,

I used to be able to find that place you have described. I am not religious and have totally lost my sense of just quite surrender to the place I am at like the park and just be able to close the world out and think and listen to the birds or watch and listen to the ocean waves at the beach.

I have the typical front covered porch with the rocking chairs overlooking 6 quite acres of woods. No cars, no noise, well except for my kids :(

But interestingly, I have lost that ability to just sit there with a cup of tea, rock in the chair and just "relax" physically or mentally.

So I am chalking it up to me being ill and maybe somewhere I will find that ability again.

You are very lucky to have been able to experience what you felt today :)

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  • 1 month later...

I don't like Scott Peck after he said in one of his books that ppl with severe mental illnesses (he was referring to schizophrenia) and/or their parents are to blame for these illnesses. Haven't been able to stomach Peck since then. He belongs in the 13th century.

I have not-so-severe but everlasting, chronic problems I've tried to deal with for years--decades. I am seeing a good therapist but it's too little, too late. I wish I could totally self-annihilate....past the point I was ever conceived. And this is how I feel ALL the time. Nothing helps, I've tried everything.

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Hi John

I used to think the same way. But, that is who I am or was?? Perfect, no but I did have alot of expectations of managing my house and family and add a higher functioning autistic child in there, that is when I really had to organize our life more around him and his needs, And I did it... That was my job... and relaxing just came as I needed it and now that I NEED to do it, I cant seem to find my way. Is it maybe I feel I havent earned it because i dont do what I used to do? Odd thought for me but wondering too where this is coming from...

:D

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Hi Calla,

I used to be able to find that place you have described. I am not religious and have totally lost my sense of just quite surrender to the place I am at like the park and just be able to close the world out and think and listen to the birds or watch and listen to the ocean waves at the beach.

I have the typical front covered porch with the rocking chairs overlooking 6 quite acres of woods. No cars, no noise, well except for my kids :(

But interestingly, I have lost that ability to just sit there with a cup of tea, rock in the chair and just "relax" physically or mentally.

So I am chalking it up to me being ill and maybe somewhere I will find that ability again.

You are very lucky to have been able to experience what you felt today :(

Hi Linda!

I hope you don't mind my asking, but what is your illness? How long have you been suffering? Thanks.

--- Rapha

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Hi Rapha

I have bipolar and PTSD

I was diagnosed about 4 and a half yrs ago after what seems to be many significant triggers before the diagnosis. But I think I had a milder more functioning form of depression/bipolar all my life since a teenager.

:o

Thanks, Linda. I don't have any great words of wisdom. I have been under a lot of stress — most of it self-induced — for many years, and as I age I think it is getting even harder to let go and trust. I may even have a bit of STSD (Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder), but I've just recently read about it so no official diagnosis. Anyway, I'm with you on this journey.

Have you tried meditation and/or prayer? They've helped me the past several months.

--- Rapha

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would love to meditate but it is so hard to do, when the brain, heart, soul is in turmoil. I remember a time when I used to meditate I was so close to God, he was ablt to comfort me just in the relaxing and thinking of him. I have lost that ability, and I know what Calla means when she says that it hits her when she walks by a cathederal or church, I wonder if it is a reminder of the peace we have once felt.

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