Between Two Worlds
Roots in the ground
Crown in the sky
Like a tree
In both worlds
Solid and swaying
Earthly and magic
Human and soul
Today, I was reminded of the duality of all experiences. I was reminded of my feet, the way they walk between worlds. That in every moment of stillness, I stand with one foot in both. I am reminded during moments of pain, of sadness, of raw humanity of my deep roots in this earth and all its experiences. And yet, my roots grow upwards into a trunk, a column, a portal of Divine Grace. A constant reminder of my true essence. Of all that existed before this life and all that will exist after. Two feet. Just as I feel anguish, I feel hope. Just as I feel human, I feel soulful. Sometimes one at a time, sometimes both at once. But I accept both fully. I allow myself to experience both, at times, simultaneously. There is a comfort in knowing, even as my foot aches, all I have to do is take a step to the side.
I wrote the above piece in December 2020, in the midst of a relapse. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a year prior, almost exactly to the date. And I’d felt the reminder physically in my body, like the memory had a heartbeat of its own. It had me trapped in that moment, frozen in time, reliving it over and over. Sitting with myself and writing that poem was a way of guiding myself back to faith when the trauma had me so immersed in fear.
My life had taken so many unexpected turns since that initial moment. I had woken up one day for work, a day like any other, with a blurry eye. What I had assumed to be allergies or tiredness continued throughout the day – until I was unable to read my emails at my desk.
I felt the panic rise up into my chest: I couldn’t see properly.
One of my eyes had a film over it and even the largest sign on the street was indecipherable.
What followed that moment now feels like a slideshow leading up to an appointment that changed the course of my life. Optic Neuritis. Click. Steroids. Click. MRI. Click. Lesions on my brain. Click. And finally, those two words: Multiple Sclerosis.
My life suddenly felt split in two. Before and After.
And from that day, it continued. I’d felt my existence split in two, again and again. Physical and Spiritual. Western Medicine and Alternative Medicine. Ego and Soul.
My healing journey forcing me inwards, into each wounded part of myself. Inner Child and Parent. Critical and Compassionate. Strong and Sensitive. Introverted and Extroverted.
Dualities. Dualities. Dualities.
And yet, the pendulum swing that felt the strongest, that was my internal battle, were the two lenses I was viewing myself through.
My life became a pattern of twos. And soon, my own health journey began to mirror a collective health journey as COVID-19 tragically swept through the world - and suddenly a new ‘before and after’ was taking place.
Again and again, I adapted. Layers of my personality shifting, shedding, transforming. Who I was and who I was becoming.
I was moving through changes whilst on a hamster wheel of “healing” “fixing” “curing” unable to surrender. I was still working towards acceptance, struggling to come to terms with this ‘new’ that kept changing.
People would throw words around triggering my shift in lens, unaware of the battle raging within me. Words peppered into sentences: Incurable, permanent, chronic, disability…
And my inner world: Sick. Healthy. Sick. Healthy. Sick. Healthy.
And so, I dove inwards. I dove deep into my own inner world and my own spirituality. I began exploring metaphysical roots, core belief systems, childhood trauma. I took from both worlds – alternative medicine and western medicine – hoping, trying, running on that wheel.
I kept shifting my lens. Before. After. Sick. Healthy. Spirit. Soul.
But that one day, in December 2020, was the first time I took a breath.
I’d written my poem and sitting on the couch, looking out the window, I felt it all. I felt the full weight of my journey, the physical symptoms, the trauma and the absolute exhaustion.
And for the first time in a year, I got off the hamster wheel.
I surrendered. I surrendered to the in between.
And the release that followed came from each past version of myself. I held space for each ‘before’ and I cried. I cried for the girl, who suddenly couldn’t see properly and didn’t know if she would again.I cried for the girl who took herself to emergency, terrified and unsure.I cried for the girl who sat in a chair as a neuro-ophthalmologist showed her scans of her brain with lesions and kept repeating to herself ‘no, that’s not my brain.’Who comforted her crying mum and dad, her sister, her family and partner as they processed the information - the diagnosis - as if it was all okay. As if it wasn't actually real.I cried for the girl who felt the trauma hit the day following, who didn’t leave her bed, and spent the day held by her best friend.I cried for the girl who started an immunotherapy treatment, during Christmas, her favourite time of year and unknowingly, right before a global pandemic that placed her in a risk category.I cried for the girl who had a relapse and was in hospital the same day she left for Hawaii for intravenous steroids, taking a vial with her to drink on arrival.I cried for the girl who reacted to the treatment and spent 5 days in a foreign country, with pain all over her body.I cried for the girl who had to process and navigate a new health challenge, at the same time the world processed one collectively.I cried for every moment before and in between those moments. The ones not mentioned. The ones to come. The ones filled with an incredible amount of love and support.
I cried for the girl whose world completely changed overnight. And I held space for her. I let her feel whatever she needed to feel.
And I released a long breath.
That day, I truly came home after a long journey away. There was no more ‘sick’ – no more ‘healthy’ – just a deep surrender to my own experience, to right now.
No matter which way the pendulum swings, I exist in that space in the middle, in the in between. I experience sickness and I experience health. I experience my humanity and I experience my spirituality. I swing between worlds, between experiences.
My world is different to yours, our own lens unique to our own experiences. They make up the tapestry of who we are, of how we receive our reality. We are always existing in more than one world, flowing and weaving in unity, through each other’s.
Through our collective world, our past worlds, our future worlds.
But I know now, how to exist, in the in between. I know I can always call my energy back to the only world that matters: this one, right now.
In this present moment, with my connection to all that is, I can gratefully open my eyes – and see clearly – a world that is exactly my own.