Monthly Mantra: June 2020
The worst car accident I’ve ever been involved in happened two years ago, one hundred feet from my front door.
It was a slick, frosty morning, and the woman cruising downhill never saw me. We skated across the intersection together, tires slipping, metal gnashing, airbags popping.
I spent the whole day afterwards in a state of dread and despair. I couldn’t seem to pull myself out from under the weight of it.
David and I had been in the habit of going to a float tank around that time, and we scheduled floats immediately after the accident.
Late that evening, I climbed my perfectly spared body–save for an arm bruise–into the giant tub, and spread out my limbs like a starfish. I replayed the accident over in my head again, and again. I came so close to climbing out, and then something amazing happened: I relaxed into a state of profound perspective.
Floating in the dark, I had the sensation of zooming way out, out past the collision, and the insurance rep, and the police officer, past the rules of traffic, and layout of Seattle neighborhoods, past all societal constructs, out to the expanse of the cosmos, or the inside of my closed eyelids. I was looking down on myself from up there, and from that perspective, I remembered that everything was totally fine.
Perspective is a bigger-picture vantage point. It doesn’t discount the present moment, but places it in the broader context. To keep perspective is to measure situations and feelings rightly. It is the process of checking in with your better knowing.
I needed a float tank after that day. But on an ordinary one, for most people, a couple of deep breaths and a walk outside are all that’s needed to restore perspective, and return you to larger truths:
That you have come whole, untamed, high-grass fields from where you started.
That your struggles are valid, and you are fortunate they are your greatest versions of “struggle.”
That you have always managed to find your way forward. Whether crawling, or crying, or chanting your rallying cry, your track record is one of endurance.
That this isn’t the first time you’ve had to adapt. That you were designed to do that.
That it could always, always be worse.
That you have all you need right now in this moment. That you have enough to share with the people for whom it is worse.
That you are made of the stuff of the cosmos far more than you are of the traffic lights, and that the mortal measures of worth and valor and success that you were raised to be subservient to cannot ever be applied to the incomparable being that resides within you.
That in the grand scheme of things, you are a singular spirit, important by virtue of being here, and, so long as you give love indiscriminately and receive love easily, you are doing just fine.
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