Articles, Blog

One Moment at a Time – Vidyamala Burch

December 18, 2019

To be in a situation where you’ve got
something that you cannot bear and yet you have to bear it, so it’s like a
complete sort of existential crisis where there is no solution of this on
its own level, so something has to break through, so I was there in the middle of
the night in this intensive care ward, very, very, sick people all around me. I’ve
had a treatment during the day which meant I had to sit up for 24 hours.
I hadn’t sat up for months and my pain was unbearable. I mean it really was a
dark night of the soul and I had these two voices in my head and one voice was
saying, “I can’t bear it, I’m gonna go crazy”. It was all about getting through
til the morning when I could lie down down again. So, it’s “I can’t bear it”, “I
can’t get through till the morning” , “I’m gonna go crazy!’ – ” But you can’t!” – “But
you have to!” – “But I can’t!” – “But you will” – “I can’t!” “You will! – “I can’t stand up” – “I’m gonna go
crazy” – “No you’re not”. … and it was getting tighter and tighter and tighter, like,
tremendous distress. And then a third voice came in, and I’ve never known where
this voice came from. And the voice said “You don’t have to get through till the
morning. You just have to live this moment – and this one – and this one – and this one
– and this one…” And my experience changed. It went from being very, very,
tight and contracted and full of anxiety to being more confident. I wouldn’t say I
was confident. That’s putting too big a spin on it, but there was a sense of, “Oh yes, I can.
I can do this – now – now – now – now…” And of course I did get through to the
morning, obviously, but I was profoundly changed. So I always say that that night,
that moment, is the axis upon which my life has turned. I had a life up to that point
and I’ve had another life since that point, trying to make sense of
that moment. What does it really mean to be fully present? Because I saw quite
directly that the future is a dream and the past is a memory, and
the only moment we can really live is now…

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1 Comment

  • Reply Anita Gabrielle April 30, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you so much, Vidyamala.

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