For the past few months, I have been going through intense awareness cycles. I call them cycles because I experience Aha! moments, followed by a sense of euphoria or dread, then self-doubt and sometimes self-loathing (depending on the area of awareness). At the end, eventual clarity and lightness evolve out of the process. This has been happening on and on for the last six months or so. I'm not sure if these are accumulative layers of awareness, or cause-and-effect sequences where one awareness leads to another. There are times when it feels like a wall has collapsed on me, and I am climbing out from under the debris one brick at a time. With each element I uncover, I can see the light more clearly and I can breathe more calmly.
Yet, there are times when the awareness is painful, necessary but painful nonetheless. This happens with those aspects of myself from which I have been hiding so masterfully. For years I had been living in denial, holding on to false hope that I or my circumstances will change on their own. Although, deep inside I knew that change would not occur. This awareness is the hardest for me. It is followed by bouts of cleansing tears and soulful reflections, but also agony. For some reasons, these onsets always happen on a Thursday. There was no specific pattern to why Thursdays would be days of self-reckoning, yet during this avalanche of awareness my worst days fell on a Thursday, with the cloud of melancholy hanging over me through out the weekend.
This Thursday, as I was getting ready for Taraweh prayers, I started to recall all the amazing experiences I have lived so far. I remembered lost loved ones and I was thankful for the joyful memories I had of them. Then I browsed my mental catalogue of serene life moments. I cried, as I did with every other Thursday before, yet these were tears of gratitude and remembrance that lifted my spirit. My tear stained cheeks plumed as I smiled at my good fortune. At that moment I was aware that if I never experience another happy moment in the years to come, I'll still die happy, for the experiences, memories, friendships, and family I have accumulated in these past forty years are enough to sustain me for lifetimes over. My smile broadened as I realized that this tearful evening has broken the cycle of chagrin. Yet, it too happened on a Thursday.