I am not stronger than you. I am not living with some magical power special only to me. I am not doing “okay” because I live in a fantasy world. I am not better than anyone else out there trying to make sense out of what is happening in our world right now. I am no less afraid than others who are doing all they can to keep the demons at bay. I feel no less in control or less helpless than many of us are feeling. I feel no less confused and spun around like a top out of control than anyone else.
I am feeling hopeful because I have walked this road before. We are all, as an entire world, in the middle of Cuckoo Luckoo Land, in the most radical experience of collective shock, loss and grieving the world has probably ever witnessed. We are all in the place I described so long ago when I first stepped into the rabbit hole with Russell that dropped me into a dark world. It’s like Alice’s Wonderland only wayyy darker and more confusing. What I wrote 5 years ago of my experience of this place after Russell got sick and died is eerily true of what our world finds itself collectively living in today.
In Cuckoo Luckoo Land, not only are things bizarre and weird, but even the most joyous of events like birthdays and holidays are twined up with pain, confusion, and grief. It is such a bizarro place. What’s up is down. What’s in is over. What’s under is out. What’s out is in between. There are no clear opposites. There is no straight forward path to get from here to there. There is a little of everything in life – light, darkness, pain, joy, hope, despair, love, loss – and you never know which you will find as wander the dark, twisty paths of this place. It’s simply Cuckoo Luckoo!
Walking along through life, in this new reality, we don’t know where the next rabbit hole might be. Just when we think we have a “new normal” figured out, the world spins and down the hole we go again. These are the hidden places that we drop into, often sliding as fast as lightning down into a warren of twisted up paths. The trip down into a hole feels like someone suddenly and without warning has pushed us down a really steep slide greased with oil. It is almost impossible to do anything on this slide but breathe. In this space we can feel like we must be on hallucinogenic drugs, as everything is very, very twisted up and confusing in this space. Following one path that seems to be going forward can lead to a multitude of paths going in every direction.
Am I less afraid and more awake because I am stronger than you? NO. I feel less afraid and feel more awake because this Land is soooo familiar to me. I know that those dark corners just around the bend don’t necessarily hold more things to fear, but might actually hold the answers we just can’t see yet. The whispers in the dark aren’t always the demons of our fear and our nightmares. Some of those whispers in the dark, are the wisdom and warrior parts of ourselves seeking to remind us that we are far stronger than we’ve ever imagined.
I walk this time with confidence because I know, I mean REALLY KNOW, that I can survive walking through this place and even find ways to thrive. I believe I walk with less fear strangling me each day because I was offered the gift of grieving within a community and surrounded with abundant love for so long that my heart felt like it was that love acting as a light to lead my way through the dark paths of Cuckoo Luckoo Land. I have walked this place before and survived what once seemed unimaginable to survive.
Am I afraid? Oh yes, I am. The thoughts of fear about $, getting sick, others getting sick, when will the answers come, how long will this last, etc., etc. niggle at my mind and my heart. When those fears take hold of me I escape to Netflix or scrolling Facebook and Pinterest, or eating too much. But, do I know I can survive my fear? OH HELL YES! I stand in this knowing I am a Warrior for love and hope BECAUSE I have walked in Cuckoo Luckoo Land before and I have come out the other side.
I didn’t survive because I was stronger than anyone else. I survived because I have gathered tools and wisdom along my life journey that could help me navigate through the darkest of paths. I have learned to feel my feelings and focus just on my breath alone until I have the strength to move forward to the next place. I know the power of being willing to give and receive love and help from others along the way. I know how to listen to what feels okay for ME and tap into what is good and tap out of what isn’t without feeling the need to explain why to anyone.
The journey we are on is not a straight forward one. It will twist and turn and flip us all around as we learn to navigate this new reality. We will move through shock and fear and anger and helplessness and joy and determination sadness and hope and loss and defeat and gratitude and grief and love, over and over and over and over again. Slowly but surely we will learn how to survive in this cuckoo luckoo space of time. We will figure out how much we need each other and how strong we really can be. We will walk this road together.
Though radically different circumstances, I have walked this road in Cuckoo Luckoo Land before and I have come out the other side. The path ahead of us maybe a very long, twisty, dark one but I am ready to walk with you every step of the way, sharing my tools with any who want them. I believe in our strength and our resilience and can see the glimmers of light on the other side. I believe we are not alone and that we will one day walk out of this place. I believe because I stand here having survived this place before.