Mar 20 2007

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There comes a time in everyone’s life when we all need to disconnect ourselves from the world around us. Reality as we create it or it is created for us, often becomes too overwhelming for the senses to accept. When this occurs we can become anxiety ridden and irritable or we become apathetic and depressed. When I become overwhelmed, I simply disconnect all emotional circuits and meditate a while on something completely random. It may take a few minutes or even a few hours before the object or thought captures my attention. I’ve known some people who find it therapeutic to stare into a glass crystal. I often stare at a blank piece of paper, until some thought flow begins to come . It arrives from an unknown place within me and carries me into another world. At the end of the message I become exhausted as though I arrived back into my own mind or consciousness after a long absence. It may have only been a few minutes, but the disconnect is complete, the message is readable, and the moment of anguish has passed. Sometimes I will stare at the sky from my study window if something captures my attention, and I will observe it for a while.

A close friend of mine recently suffered a major stroke. He is paralyzed on his right side. He was barely conscious when I visited him. I had great difficulty looking at my friend in that way. I kept visualizing him the way he was several days earlier; when I last saw him healthy. Seeing him in such a bad state, hooked up to a respirator, was too much for my mind to accept. I had to excuse myself to the other people in the room and leave. I had to disconnect or grief would have completely overtaken me. I quickly walked out of ICU towards the elevators as I passed several other broken bodies laying unconscious in their beds. I briefly closed my eyes to avoid the sight.

As I entered the elevator I held the door opened for a young nurse, who looked compassionately at me. She knew I was holding back my tears and cast her gaze downward, until we arrived on the ground floor. As I got off the elevator I breathed in heavily, as if I had been unconsciously holding my breath for several minutes. I walked quickly to the main entrance and walked out into the cold air. I had to stop thinking about what I had seen. I stared at the buildings surrounding me, and watched the cars and people passing in front of me. I stood there awkwardly until the vision of my friend left my mind.

I began to walk as if I were half awake. I walked for more than a block around the hospital before I gained enough composure to go back to the waiting room. I returned to ICU to say goodbye to my friend. I wasn’t sure if it would be the last time I would see him alive. As of today he’s hanging on and his vital signs are stable.

The disconnect is still working. I have been able to write this about my friend without shedding a tear. I have been able to describe my emotion objectively. I can not know if what I am writing is worthy of anyone reading it,but it might be. The emotion of grief is universal, but the way it is expressed is uniquely individual. No one should blame anyone for the way they react to sorrow. I would rather retain self control, but that isn’t always possible. I would rather write about it instead of cry or get drunk, or go into a prolonged depression. Things happen, and the reason for their happening is The Law of Cause and Effect. Much of what happens good or bad in our lives is caused by the way we react to situations we are confronted with. We attract what we desire. The effects of our decisions become the results of our lives. What we most desire is what we attract. Everything that we think or do is who we are, and what we will become. That is a frightening thought for many, but it is a source of great hope and happiness for those who understand it.

L.A. Steel

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