Last night I dreamt I walked around the hole.

 Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

~ Portia Nelson ~

Today my heart is full to the brim with gratitude toward my Father in Heaven. Last night I had the most meaningful conversation I have had in two years, despite the fact that I said as little as possible. Lately, and in fact… for a long time now, I have had a crushing weight bearing down on my soul. It manifests itself frequently in days in which I simply can’t seem to cheer up, I feel sad and downtrodden all day long. For a long time I was unaware of it, honestly, I guess I just thought it was normal to feel sad sometimes. It was brought to my attention once in 2009 as I was searching desperately for a way to get back on my feet and move forward in my life. The counselor I happened to find myself in a conversation with at that time pulled it out of me in a way I had never experienced. It’s quite difficult to describe to people who haven’t experienced it, but the best way I can say it is that she listened to my spirit. She didn’t ask me what was wrong, I didn’t have to say a word… she asked me what was wrong. As the conversation progressed she was able to tell me things about my life and my current situation that I knew instantly were true, and simply hadn’t realized before, or had realized but hadn’t paid attention to. I explained to her at one point the days I often had, days in which I would be irritable and sad and entirely unable to locate the source or to pick myself up. She helped me understand quite plainly that what I was feeling was a depression of the spirit. She explained that because of something in the past, I had the equivalent of a thousand pound blanket weighing me down. For obvious reasons, it’s impossible to move forward with a thousand pound blanket over you with no outside aid. Impossible, and so she proceeded to prescribe to me a few ways to lift that blanket, to make it lighter, and to turn it eventually into about a ten pound blanket that I could simply shrug off and move on.

This brings us to last night, a year and a half later and I walked into the home of two of the most beautiful sisters I have ever met, me and my thousand pound blanket. Almost instantly one of them asked me if I was OK. Of course what she was really asking was what was wrong. I proceeded to avoid answering their question at all costs for the next thirty minutes or so, as I slowly began to realize that here I was, still dragging my blanket. Here I was still unable to move forward. For obvious reasons, it wasn’t until I personally realized that there was an issue at all, and then what it was, that we were able to discuss it. I was still not completely willing to share the reasons, I assume it was out of fear or shame, but they just sat with me, listening and asking, and slowly I opened up more and more. Two stories were shared with me throughout this process that really sunk themselves into my mind, and I am forever grateful for these women who are so able and so willing to respond to promptings. The story I’d like to share is the one you read above. I for one will be reading that story over and over again. Chapter 4 was the most profound thing in regard to the source of my depression I think I may ever have heard. “I walk around it.” As I sit here thinking about it though, I believe I have walked around the hole before, but the fact is, no matter how many times I have sidestepped this big hole in the sidewalk, I have always returned again, either because I missed the hole, or because the hole was comfortable, it was easy.

This morning, immediately prior to waking, I experienced a dream in which I walked straight up to my old familiar hole and stared into it. I planned to climb in, but in the end, I realized that I didn’t want to. So, I didn’t. I simply turned and walked away. When I woke up I recognized instantly what I had experienced, but what truly gives me hope, is knowing that it wasn’t a dream. I control the outcomes of those dreams. I control the outcomes of those dreams. The real me, the deep me. I always have. When I woke up, I realized that for the first time, I wanted to walk around the hole, and that I’m ready to find a new street.

“Can you see the difference between who you are and what you’ve done?”

Yes.
I am a son of God.
I know the One who created me, and I know His love. I have felt it, and I have experienced it.

Thank you, both of you, your friendship means more to me than I could ever describe with words.

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