Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be
suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it. Spinoza
As I read Man’s Search for Meaning, this quote stuck out. Frankl was actually quoting Spinoza, but that isn’t really important. It is the words of this quote that had me thinking. It is true that much suffering is caused by emotion, and our reaction to it. But does it, in fact, cease, if we make it clear? One could say that he is saying, to find meaning in it. I would think that would make suffering decrease. If there was some meaning in it, it would be easier to bear. I have thought much about this over the past day. Why this? How do I make this experience meaningful? To me it is just an endless loop. Traveling from the deepest lows where I feel as if someone if pulling my emotional skin back and repeatedly touching the raw spots left undefended. It lasts for hours like this. I no more can form a sentence, than collect my thoughts. It is a desolate wasteland, nothing of any interest, nothing of any meaning. Just deep grey, and quiet. There is nothing but the pain of that expanse. Even the phone can ring, and I cannot pull myself out of it. There is no hunger, or thirst. There is only the monotony of nothingness. Everything is blunted in an effort to lessen the suffering. I find myself still, in hopes of a shift. If only I can be still enough, maybe it will relax its grip on my mind. Maybe it will allow me some peace. If only for a little bit. There is no conscious effort to move out of that place, for fear of somehow making it worse. If I look at it too carefully it will become greater. So, you see, it becomes a catch 22. If there is reprieve in finding meaning, I cannot find meaning because I am paralyzed by the suffering. I cannot stop and look around, examine the emotions. No, I can hardly breathe when it gets that bad. Then, as quickly as it drops its leaden hell on me, it disappears. Not for long, but I have time to regroup. I have time to struggle back to my feet and try to make sense of it all, like I am now. In those moments I write. About what is in my head. The dark thoughts that cloud my vision, when I am in that stillness. When I am begging to be let go. It really is about control. I don’t feel I have any. I cannot seem to create the shift, it happens on its own. Though I know I can create more suffering. I can worsen the situation. If I can worsen it, why then can’t I better it? Does it only work one way? Is this an avenue that only goes south? I try little ways to improve the moments. Though they don’t seem to make a dent. They do not lessen the panic I feel at the descent. I don’t know if the stillness is self preservation. Is it a way to survive the worst moments? or is it a sadistic form of punishment? Is it only increasing my suffering by leaving me still in the proximity if such fear, and sorrow? I do not know. I’m not sure why my mind does the things it does. I would do anything to understand it. I agree the key is to find meaning. To look at my life, thru clear eyes, not those marred with dark filters, and to find a reason to keep going. I was questioning my life before this. Is that what triggered the response? Was it my final push toward honestly saying I DO NOT WANT THIS that brought me to this crossroads. Was it my openly admitting my relationship was a disaster? questioning its ability to weather this storm? Was that the trigger? The realization that my life was on a course without me. Sailing a course only at the mercy of the winds, no input from the captain. In accepting how powerless I had made myself, did I drive one more nail in my coffin. In my angry response to that reality, did I shift the momentum. Did I turn that anger back on myself? The despair and pain I am feeling a product of my mind now angry and lost. Furious at my own ineptitude? I am only searching for an answer. It would be just as simple to say it is the leaves drifting to earth as the sunlight diminishes and the days grow shorter. The chilly bite in the evening air trumpeting falls arrival. Is it the siren’s call to my tortured mind? Is that the root of this suffering? I don’t think it is simple, or straightforward. Though I will continue to search for meaning, and clarity in these moments of silence in between.