Some things had happened and they were not pretty. A young girl had overdosed. Family life had been a drag. Some friends were sick. Others didn’t call. She felt judged and criticized. Success was slow to come. US politics and world affairs were troubling. After knowing of alignment with the forces of fate… … resistance raised its ugly head again. She began to obsess over a variety of fictitious existential and global dangers, the ugly things people do, and the suffering of victims. Meanwhile, movement, joy, laughter, and fun slipped through her fingers. The ensuing depression became physically painful. Waking up every morning with her heart beating hard, her neck stiff and aching, it became harder to go for a walk or a swim. She began to fear and dislike her work (that she once loved), becoming increasingly immobilized with avoidance and procrastination. She sank into withdrawal and Isolation. The cat was her little angel during all this time. Sitting with her, looking her lovingly in the eye, pushing her down with his little paw to relax, but it was like a drop in the bucket… In sobriety she was silently dying of alcoholism. No one knew, and world affairs did NOT improve as a consequence of her mental torture… One thousand nuisances had consolidated into a toxic mass in her soul. The suffering that wasn’t hers had become her own. In her own mind she had become all tortured creatures (not a good thing, any way you look at it). A silent scream was choking her - with frantic desires to be safe and perfect, a successful professional, kind to all. It did not work out that way. She had to become a tad more humble and let go of such demands. When an old friend came to town, she poured her heart out (unexpectedly so). She finally spoke about her misguided compassion with unknown abuse victims, fantasies that had been flooding her in a general and utterly useless way. Hours passed and she did feel better for a moment (the friend didn’t… ). Sorry about that, she apologized and realized what was happening… that she was oozing pain indiscriminately and inconsiderately. She was to identify and own her anguish, realizing that upsetting thoughts had to be identified and examined. She had to open herself to life as is (rather than what she thought it ought to be). The descent into the hell of fears and fantasized dangers would remain accessible at all times… but she began to understand her life force within the current moment. No one would help her against her wish… as long as when the doors of her own prison remained locked from the inside. Resistance to life had grown all around her like giant underwater kelp, pulling her down, incapacitating her. Slowed down almost to a halt, just before she would drown in her own bondage (which masqued as compassion with all mankind) her life force kicked in just a tiny little bit, telling her to begin with physical exercises at home to relieve the tension and stiffness that had set in. Within a few days she went for a swim and a walk. Not really believing in it, and although she was beyond experiencing pleasure or even relief, she did it anyway. She began to read (just a little bit) and meditate again and so she got some little breaks now and again from the toxic soup of her own alcoholic head and its apocalyptic theme. One day she woke up with the thought of writing a daily journal – rather than stressing over chores and duties. Her fear subsided in direct proportion to her participation in movement and spiritual practice. It dawned on her… slacking on daily mental hygiene tools, she had been returning to a dreamy state and unknowingly…. she had been sliding into an old and familiar nightmare. Just like that. She had to remember that mental self-torture is futile, just a nasty form of self-abuse, surrender it to the forces that be, recommit to take good care of herself, let it be what it is – all of that. There is no love without self-love. She knows now to give herself permission for daily happiness. Only when she can look at the world with a smile for being alive on this day… will she see life as worth living.