We die daily.
This is what I told a student in the summer continuing education class I teach on Process Theology as Spiritual Liberation.
She asked, “What about life after death?” And my first response, without much thought came in these three words:
“We die daily.”
“And,” I continued, “we rise again.”
It’s a core principle of what I study, teach and experience: change involves loss.
Things always change. We change. We grow. We evolve. We have new experiences. So do those around us. We aren’t who we were ten years ago, a year ago, yesterday. We are new people. And who we were, is gone. There is loss. Most loss is negligible – shedding skin cells, the hair that’s caught in the comb when we do our hair, a past breath …
We die daily.
I’ve long experienced depression as loss. Depression is losing when I want to win. I lose myself. I lose my mind. I lose the things I want to do. I lose to paralysis, to moving slowing, and to feeling my mind turn into sludge. It’s not the normal loss that comes with change. It’s worse. It hurts more. The losses are bigger. I feel each one, and I want back what disappeared.
And then I remembered:
We die daily. We all lose.
So I’m going to write about that for awhile. I stopped writing and blogging and coming to you all with my vulnerable self because the losses of the last few years of my life have cracked me wide open. I was afraid that if I wrote, I would bleed all over the page. I thought that if I wrote, I would be a blubbering mass of achy senseless words. And because I don’t think I’m unique in my pain. I know other people – and have statistics on many more – who have lost what I’m losing. I come to them over coffee or in the dark of night or in long phone conversations and ask them: My God, how did you survive? How have you made it to the other side?
They tell me. They give me practical day by day advice on how to literally put one foot in front of the other. And I have co-journeyers too. Friends who haven’t made it out yet – they hold me down and let me hold them down. We cry together. We hold each other up. We rage aloud. We hug each other’s babies. We honor what we have lost.
We die daily. And we rise again.
So I’m owning it publicly. Week by week, I’ll write about what I’m losing. How much it sucks. Why I don’t want to lose it. How I’d sell everything but my soul to get it back.
And how, in the middle of it, I choose life. Every day. Rising again.