Rebuilding the Zen Palace

Yeah, it’s been a few days, huh?

I’ve been licking my proverbial wounds, and when that happens, I tend to retreat into silence and introspection. Which is sometimes a good thing, and sometimes not.

I’ve been dealing with rejection, a recurring theme – coming to grips with the fact that people that I wanted so desperately to love me, don’t.

The thing is, there are times when I think I’ve come to grips with it, when I’ve found my Zen place and I am okay with the travails that this life has offered me and continues to serve me on a platter.

But I’ve come to realize that that Zen place is not like a house that you build, where you construct it once and it’s there as a permanent fixture. It’s not like that at all.

Rather, it’s something I have to keep working at. There are times when it’s rock-solid, hurricane-proof, and then sometimes something happens and I go to my Zen place, only to find that it’s blown away like dandelion wisps on the wind.

The first time that happened, I was rather shocked. Shocked to find that I was not unshakeable, that the peace I’d found was not still wrapped around me like a comforting blanket but that like just about anything in life, I suppose, a one-time achievement was a good thing but that more work would be required to maintain it.

November, the month of my birth, has always always always been a tough month for me. I seem to spend more time during that month wondering why I was born instead of celebrating. For all my chatter about the whole month being my birthday, I have a secret: it’s just a facade. I’m usually grateful when the month is over, because behind the smiles and the jokes and the laughter is a lot of pain. Why am I here? What the fuck is there really worth celebrating when the ones who should be celebrating with me, aren’t? What is there really worth celebrating about November 24th anyhow? What makes me so special? Not a goddamn thing, apparently. Not a goddamn thing. This year, November was particularly tough, as the theme of rejection resounded over and over and over. Yes, it’s a bitch to realize you’re not as great and wonderful and unique as you thought you were, even to those whom you thought would love you forever. And November serves as a great reminder of that for me. Sometimes I toy with the idea of not celebrating at all. I mean, really…what the hell am I celebrating? That I was born? Somehow, that hasn’t seemed to mean a lot.

Getting through it is…tough. One day at a time is the name of the game and every day I have to deal with it the way that day demands. Sometimes, it’s burying myself in the kids and their schooling. Sometimes it’s losing myself in my own work. Sometimes, I cry on the Tech Guru’s shoulders, while he consoles me in silence, knowing that there is nothing to say or do except wait for the storm to pass. Sometimes, it’s sleep medication, so that I can actually get to sleep. And on the worst of the worst days, it’s a combo of all the above, sometimes with a drink thrown in. I need to get out more, but even that, I know, is just like a band-aid. No matter where I go, and how much I laugh, and how much I drink, eventually, I wind up back here…that place inside my heart that is in pain. It ain’t pretty! But it’s home.


I feel so bad for the families of suicides, who never understand why their presence was not enough of a balm to heal the deep wounds festering inside the one who left. Because I get it. I sit here, with a husband who loves me and kids who are completely totally fucking awesome, and yet…it is not enough to heal me completely. It helps, believe me, it helps, tremendously. Without them, I would have checked out long ago. So it does help to staunch the flow. But I know that ultimately the real work has to come from within me, so that one day, maybe one day before I die, I can overcome the belief that…I am not enough.

That’s going to take work, and that’s what I am coming to realize. I had a breakthrough moment in meditation a few years back and I naively thought I was done, that reaching that state meant my healing was done. I am now understanding that it was just the beginning, because each day brings new challenges, new disappointments, or more often than not, the same disappointments that crop up and over and over again, trying to find new ways to crush my spirit. So I have to keep working on it, learn to let go and find peace.

It’s so hard.

Posted in The Spirit | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Rebuilding the Zen Palace”

  1. Cat Lady says:

    You are not alone, we are –><–
    I thought having a husband and children who love you would make those feelings go away (what I currently don't have). Every day I try to take it one step at a time. Funny how we learn that many people are struggling with these issues when we get older. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Leila says:

    No, Cat Lady, for everything that you HAVE, there is always something else that is…missing. It’s a big lesson in appreciation of what you DO have, I guess, but even that doesn’t HELP. My hubby loves me. My kids are awesome. But there are still gaping holes in my life that they cannot fill. And I either have to fill them myself, somehow, some way, or come to grips with the idea that life WILL have holes, that there IS no such thing as perfect happiness, that there will always be regrets and things missing. My mom is out there somewhere, I know not where, and she chooses not to speak to me. My dad died without us ever having formed a relationship. These things wound me daily and nothing fills those holes, because you only get one mom and dad (usually) and mine are majorly fucked up, and I KNOW this, and yet…I feel like there is something wrong with ME. Hubby and kids are lovely but…don’t think cuz you don’t have them that my life is better. As I said, they are a big reason for my still EXISTING. The question I still grapple with is…why DO I still exist?