I started seeking truth when I was a child. I loved God and life. I grew up Catholic, and I stopped seeking when I found answers, well, my family found them for me. I lived as a Catholic for 32 years before I began seeking again.
Pain, depression, despair, anxiety, guilt, and shame is what triggered my seeking.
I began seeking by committing myself to a mental hospital for two weeks, I was suicidal and out of control angry. After being stabilized mentally and emotionally, and with a heavy dose of antidepressants, I returned to the hospital where I began an 8 week out-patient program doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy. I had to apply for short term disability to attend.
I began meditating 3–7 hours a day (way too much), I saw a therapist twice a week for two years, I struggled with my life and work, I read every book I could get a hold of, I stopped blaming people for my problems and feelings, I took a long hard look at myself and almost died of self hatred.
In the midst of all this strife, I found myself in Winter Park Colorado, staying at a friend’s ski condo for the week. Alone, I wandered town.
Not knowing what to do with myself, I plopped down in a booth at a pizza joint. I put my head in my hands and cried for a long time. No one noticed, I wasn’t making a scene, people were about their business. I had no answers, only pain.
I wiped my tears from my face, stood up, took a breath, and then another. I had made a decision; the pain I was fighting to get rid of was now welcome to stay. I decided that suffering was optional because healing is possible, and all that pain was only the emotional and mental wounds crying out to me for my loving attention. Once they each got loved, they could not hurt anymore.
The key to spiritual growth is to run towards the pain. How insane is that! But it’s the only thing that worked for me, and the pain is only for a little while. Soon the pain heals, the anxiety quells, the fear subsides.
Once healed, the Love lessons began. The spiritual medicine during this phase is as simple as it is potent; humility. The whole point of healing was to make the heart feel safe enough to open and function again. That’s no easy task, but once the heart opens, what joy, what bliss!
The love lessons are hard, they are relentless to ego, devastating to greed, and fatal to pride. My lessons continue today and everyday. I am not perfect, but my intention to love IS perfect. I see every fault of mine as clear as day. Accepting that is humility. Now there’s more space for love to enter.