As many people suffering from chronic diseases and trauma, I have ended up suffering also from one of its side effects, isolation. Not from solitude which I am well acquainted with and love, no, with the more devastating state, isolation. This because I don’t have the capacity to totally engage everyday life as a majority does and become part of a team of colleagues or peers; because there are many things I cannot or should not do that restrain me from accepting many family and friend invitations; because it is hard for most people to be surrounded by someone who is in pain most of the time – a pain that has a life of its own for years now – and has not much else to talk about when, from time to time, peak moment of distressing, debilitating and excruciating pain arises.
For me what had been so devastating, among others, about being isolated was that I also came to believe that I was not lovable. Who wants to share a life with a cripple person? Who wants to invest in a relationship that plunge you right into suffering, almost with no escape? The absence of a loving smelling presence, of a caring, soft touch, of a trauma informed kind peers, had bred within me a despise for my body, a distrust in my self worth, a conviction that I was just good at bringing more pain around.
That the sun was shining for the others, but not for me.
To soothe those deep pains, body and soul, I was introduced to chanting mantras and have practiced it for many years now. Without really believing in it at first, but as I kept practicing I founded that there rhythms had the ability to rock me in a state which allowed me to listen to myself, to those parts that were, and still are, difficult to hear because they were so emotionally charged, because they told a story that I didn’t want to own. But mostly because after 108 repetitions, they brought into my system, sometimes a calm that was putting my heart at ease, sometimes a feeling that I was looked upon, sometimes the energy that I needed to keep going on.
Sometimes the tangible awareness that the sun was also shining for me.
And maybe, probably, certainly, this is why the Gayatri mantra has become so precious to me. Because one of its interpretations voices that, as we chant it, we invoke the Supreme Consciousness OM, who, like the sun, illuminates everyone and everything without distinction.
Everyone and everything without distinction! Even me!
∞ ∞ ∞
Here’s Deva Primal version, the version I practice with my oldest granddaughter since she was 2 years old. In fact, most of the time, we danced on it. Now, two years later, she sings or hums it to anyone who wants to hear it.