Before schooling and religious teachings, I felt a strong connection with the energy of the world around me. I grew up with good, simple people. They were hard-working and kind, compassionate to the plights of others. They didn’t tell me what to do, they showed me. I was a jovial learner and God had a tender touch very early in my life. I grew up with Catholicism from age six to twelve. I learned about religion in a very relatable fashion. God was always portrayed as loving, forgiving – that gentle push or tingle in your gut.
I have always been very private, inward with my spirituality. My life lessons center around the art of listening and owning your choices and circumstances with honest subtlety. I have always quietly studied people’s behavior, respected their emotion. I treat people as myself with a similar responsibility. My empathy developed at a very young age. I can even cite a report card where the teacher said I had a hard time “controlling my emotional switches.” I’ve always had a strong sensitivity to others vibrations. I usefully mastered those switches later in my life when I was ironically diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease of the nervous system that compromises my own flow of information.
My MS began to present itself in my teenage years in strange, transient fits – odd, crippling episodes, things that would torture most. I knew “something” was going on. I knew that it was huge and part of my journey because I didn’t panic – had that calming reassurance when “something” rushed over my body. Golf was one sport I was learning that coincided cosmically with early MS. The fluidity of the body with the swing of the club was a lullaby from the universe. My mind and my body worked as one and at times of numbness or in coordination, my mind championed and compensated for my bodies inadequacies.
I have always felt most connected to the world when out surveying its playground. Today, I had played the proceeding hole badly, my arms numb and weak. I very vividly remember teeing off the short green with my soft pink driver and ball. A surge of resolve tickled my toes – or was it just the numbness? The morning sun was in my eyes. I couldn’t see where the ball had careened. I searched furtively all around the green, in the sand traps, the trees. That same tickle told me to look in the hole. I had made the one and only hole-in-one of my life, at seventeen. This one lesson in channeling those energies proved that I could befriend this “something” I tested and cajoled. With illness, you either exist or have a raging urgency because you hear your own humanity’s second hand tick more loudly.
I don’t waste time or energy on the mindless chatter of a mouthy world. There are lives I will cross, places I will fit and matter. I just have to simply get quiet and listen to what my life requests of me at that moment. I plug into the power supply of others. I haven’t grown large ears from all that listening for naught. I keep those big ears close to the ground, am fine tuned to those very vibrations, despite my own compromised nervous system.
Sunrise has a divinity about it, a calming reassurance of unity. I find that precious, quiet hum of wisdom or confidence in the still space of a fresh day.
It was early morning when I made that hole-in-one. The dew was still fresh, not a soul around me as witness. Validation needs no onlookers – just me and God.