The mood swings I’m experiencing with grief may be slightly different from the normal mood swings that go along with grief, because on top of grieving I am trying to make a fundamental shift in how I view the world. It’s the only way I can deal with this but it leaves me confused at times, at peace at times and totally despondent a lot of the time.
My belief that we are eternal beings having a physical experience is not all that uncommon. And I’ve had it all my life. Most people would tell you they believe in an afterlife, of some sort, but they don’t give it much thought. We are so caught in in the Matrix as I call it, the Maya, the “world” (as Christians call it) that we most of the time forget who we really are. We think our 70 years (and face it, we all think we are owed at least 70 years) is really it and we live like we’re going to live that long (or forever) and we really don’ think about the rest of it. Shayna’s death has brought my beliefs into sharp focus and has changed my focus because I have to. The shift I’m making isn’t so much in my belief but in how I live it out on a daily basis and how prominent it is in my life. it’s been in the background. It needs to be in the forefront.
I cannot bear the thought of not seeing Shayna for the “rest of my life”. When I think about that, it just crushes me. The best I can do is a day at a time. I ask every day for strength to make it just through today. When I try to go back to the old world view that, this is all there is. When I slip back into thinking the most important thing is being “happy” while I’m here, accumulating stuff, even just enjoying my family, I can’t do it anymore. Even my family will not be the same for the rest of this existence. I know all things on this plane pass, but I was supposed to pass from the family first- making it permanent from my perspective. This has let me know nothing here, nothing is permanent. I have to shift my focus to the bigger picture. I have to look at myself as an eternal being having a temporary experience. I have to look forward to the day when this will all make sense. I have to look at what I need to learn from this so the pain isn’t wasted. I have to try to make sure that whatever the mission is I complete the task as assigned. That is what keeps me going. This must be my focus from here until the end.
The problem is the Matrix is all I know. I was born into the Matrix. I have no memories of life before the Matrix and I am addicted to the flesh. I know myself in the flesh. Shayna was flesh of my flesh. I am having to give up the physical relationship with her in order to form a spiritual relationship with her. That’s so hard given that I am in the flesh and it’s hard for us to give up what we have always known for something we don’t know.
Paul refers to this mindset as the carnal mind. The carnal mind sees the world as all there is. The carnal mind is concerned only with things of the flesh. The carnal mind says “If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.” New Agers calls this the “ego”. The ego is the same things as the carnal mind. Biologists call this left brain thinking. If we can’t rationally understand it, know how it works, dissect, it, reproduce it it can’t be true. All are saying the same thing and our culture has gone overboard accepting this mindset and forcing it on everybody.
There are two Brians now. I alternate back and forth between the mature Brian who sees the big picture, who knows this is all working out for the good, who can be patient, who can delay gratification and the two year old Brian who says I don’t care about the greater good, I don’t want to wait to get the pay off, I don’t care about trying to help others, I just want my Shayna back NOW!
The immature, fleshly, rationalist, carnal, egotist, left brain Brian wins way too often. I have been thoroughly indoctrinated by a rationalistic culture that grew so “smart” it forgot who we are. The age of “enlightenment” enlightened us so much we set aside who we are that being created, conscious beings who were made in love. Instead we have told ourselves we were accidents of an uncaring universe. We are just grains of sand on a beach. We are meaningless. We arise from nothing and we return to nothing. I’m steeped in a culture that says if we can’t measure it or reproduce it, it doesn’t exist. I’m swimming against the tide. I am taking the road less traveled. But, I have to swim against the tide to keep my sanity. There is no other way for me. Maybe my mission is helping a couple of you little fishies turn around and swim with me.