“It was a very long year. The worst year of my life, and the best year of my life.“
Fall came early. Wet, cold, red and yellow. Snow already covered mountain tops.
Last year this time, I got dumped. As an outlet, I started this blog – something I always wanted to do but never had confidence to do. During the year, I ran Vancouver Marathon, Whistler Alpine Meadows 55k Ultra Marathon, thru-hiked West Coast Trail, sole-hiked Cathedral Provincial Park and Banff, and I also learned free style swimming. Compared to mental suffering, physical suffering was comforting leniency. I wanted to take myself away from my mind. But it doesn’t matter where you go, you cannot run away from your mind.
Every night, I had to face my mind’s inquisition, peel open the wound again and again, but I had no answer – I didn’t know where to go and what to believe. During those sleepless nights, I found Eckhart Tolle.
I had a few encounters with Eckhart Tolle before my breakup. I read his The Power Of Now but couldn’t finish the first chapter; I listened to his talks on YouTube but found them not engaging. I wasn’t ready for him. I needed more sufferings to be able to understand him.
” Sufferings are necessary until you realize it’s unnecessary.”
— Eckhart Tolle
I had many sufferings since my childhood, both mental and physical. And I adopted the conventional belief that if I became better and successful, I would find love and happiness. By the time I met my ex, my life didn’t unfold as I planned. By outside perspective, I was a loser, but I didn’t care anymore. I realized that “forever striving, never arriving” wasn’t the right way to spend the rest of my life. Life is too short and passing me by quickly. What really matters is to have a family, to truly love and be loved. That realization hit me hard like an epiphany. I thought finally I discovered the true meaning of life – to love and be loved. I wasn’t lost anymore, I was finally coming home. Alas, how wrong I was.
When I was fantasizing being a loving girlfriend, wife and stepmother, life had other plans. Soon my relationship hit rough patches. Besides the conflicts of different backgrounds and beliefs, the cold calculative aspect of the relationship chilled me to my core. He bought himself ten pairs of shoes and game me a pair of socks for my birthday; he tried to sell me a nine dollar Trailbutter. There is a story about a woman who confessed to her rabbi that her mother always forgot about her birthday. The rabbi said, your mother didn’t love you. That was what I was facing – he didn’t truly love me like he loved himself and his son. Now what are you going to do? Cry, kill yourself, or move on? I knew the right answer; every night, I sang “Lord lift me up”, but I couldn’t get myself out of the deep grief.
“The secret of life is to die before you die and find that there is no death. “
— Eckhart Tolle
Being rejected and unloved summarized my entire life. The deep, unbearable pain was beyond a few prayers. Before I always lifted myself out of the abyss by believing there’s salvation in the future – someone will love me, life will be better. But this time the old trick didn’t work anymore. I couldn’t get out of the abyss. I was there to stay – no light and hope, only darkness and fear.
Maybe because the fear and despair was so intense and unbearable, it finally cracked open my nutshell. A trace of light shone in the abyss. Suddenly, The Power of Now started to make sense. I eagerly read his A New Earth and listened to all his speeches again and again. Every time I read his books or listened to him, more light shone in the abyss. I followed his instructions and watched my mind and emotions closely. It was hard in the beginning, but it got easier and easier. And I felt more peaceful.
I didn’t get out of the abyss; I am still where I am – same place, same job, same hobbies. But with more lights shining in, I just realized there was no abyss; my mind created it.
“Life is the dancer and I am the dance.“
— Eckhart Tolle
It was a very long year, a beautiful year, and I am ready to dance.
That’s all what matters.