My friend who’s been so profoundly depressed called this noon. His voice, which has sounded drugged and apathetic for weeks, was strong and lively.
“Whoa,” I said. “You sound so different. What’s happening???”
“Strangest thing,” he said. “Yesterday I was lying there on the couch, where I’ve spent much of the past few weeks, feeling totally wretched. My thoughts were so negative and anxiety-provoking that I had to try shutting them out. So I decided to see how many 19th century British writers’ names I could recall.”
“Interesting technique,” I said. “Kind of like counting sheep.”
“Well, here’s where it gets really weird,” he said. “I suddenly said to myself, ‘I’m done with this.’ The words just came up out of nowhere. I sat up, looked around, and saw some papers that needed to be dealt with, so I got up and just started taking care of things. The anxiety and fear had disappeared. Like in five seconds! I’ve felt totally fine since then.”
First, let me say I am beyond thrilled that he had this moment of enlightenment, when he just ran out of his Sad Story and popped into the present time. Into the Now, unburdened. I have long hoped and prayed for him to hit bottom hard enough that he’d have this sort of breakthrough.
Wouldn’t it be great if this clarity sticks around long enough to give his stinking thinking a good long vacation? Now he can get better acquainted with his true self. Eckhart Tolle says it is sometimes easier for folks with the densest pain-bodies to break free because they have nowhere else to go.
At the least my friend will know that this place of calm is there, and will be able to access it more readily in time to come.