I no longer have any idea what the cultural standard is for a “blog”. I imagine it’s quite varied. My use of this blog has varied considerably over the years, from traditional “sharing of information which may be of interest to the reader” to “therapy” to “travelogue” and “utter negligence”.
I guess this return to the blog-o-sphere most resembles therapy, or at least the documentation of therapy.
I have no illusions of readership beyond those whom I have specifically invited here, but if we’ve never met, please know that I’m sharing this with people I love who have some legitimate interest or even a right to know what’s happening in my interior world. Over the last several months of turmoil, two things have remained consistent: 1) I am loved by God. 2) I am loved by an amazing community of people.
It’s for that community (and my own progress) I will try to share what’s happening.
In late August this year, during a hike on the east slopes of Mt. Helens, I had the closest thing to a “close call” I’ve ever had in over 20 years of solo backpacking. I won’t bore you with the details (they’re really not relevant or fodder for a good storytelling anyway) but suffice it to say that I was suffering from heat exhaustion and was in danger of not safely returning.
The relevant component of this story occurred when I realized that I was in fact, in real trouble. It was an instant, a moment, the “blink of an eye” and I said out loud to myself, “O.K., you’re in trouble.”
A surprising thing occurred almost immediately. There was a response.
Another, internal but only vaguely familiar voice said, “Alright, I’ll get us out of this. But you need to stop ignoring me. You’re always ignoring me, and it gets us into trouble.”
I was not panicked. I was focused. I was somehow not surprised at the presence of this other voice, but sort of intrigued. I recognized a few interesting things about “him”.
- It was a child. Specifically, it was me at about 6 or 7 years old.
- He was not scared. At all. He was kind of matter of fact.
- He was a representative of my physical self. Not my intellect, my emotions, or my spirit, but my temporal, physical self.
- The content of his commentary was at least partially inspired by John Eldredge’s book “Waking the Dead”. There is simply no way for that NOT to be true.
- He was noy angry with me. He was a little hurt. Maybe a little lonely.
He calmly “shared with me” very practical things that I’m convinced made the difference between me getting home safely and not. These were things that did not exist in my regularly accessed database of knowledge. They bloomed in my consciousness like revelation even though they must have existed there before. It seems I was, in fact “ignoring” this voice.
He told me to slow down. There was greater danger from over-exertion than from sun-exposure. He told me to breathe through my nose (reduce evaporation). He told me to limit my water intake (I had lost large amounts of “salt” and at this point taking in too much water does not replace it and can actually exacerbate the issue. I found out later it’s called hyponatremia.)
This was a 7-year-old, calmly guiding a 58-year-old out of danger with super-practical knowledge.
At the conclusion of this episode, I shared these observations with some family and close friends. But I had no idea that this 7-year-old was not going to be ignored any longer. He had found his way to the surface because of a crisis. He was not going back. In fact, he was going to be heard.