Our Blissful Here and Now
It is quite remarkable, at least in my mind and considering where this started, that today I find myself to be in a ongoing state of such happiness. It's really a kind of bliss, but not the monotone bliss I had imagined when others spoke that word, but a bliss full of appreciation, anticipation, enthusiasm, love, humor, and a great sense of fun and adventure.
After Irene died in April of 2017, there was just no way to see here from there. What seemed to me to be the essential ingredient to any form of happiness whatsoever - Irene's ongoing, constant and reliable physical presence - was no longer available to me. In my mind at the time, that was something that simply could not be replaced with anything else. In my mind, I was doomed to the despair of grief until - and only if - we were physically reunited.
Somehow, though, I did get here. I have written fairly extensively about what I did along the way. It was an unexpected path that did not include what I thought it had to include. It surprised me with sensations and states of mind and psychology and emotion I didn't even know existed. I still don't have words for those experiences.
Yes, I was fortunate in that Irene was able to give me many, many signs. She validated every time I asked for it. She sort of beat it into my head that yes, it really is her there, in a real place, when I reach out to her mentally / psychologically / emotionally. And yes, I was fortunate in that I could spend so much time doing that with her. I have devoted myself to the practice of finding her in our "shared mental space" and being together there.
Despite the fortunate opportunity of free time, though, I still had to actually do it, and it is not easy to turn your attention away from "this world" and put your trust, faith, emotional and psychological commitment into an inner world. Especially since the outer world has been invalidating that inner world since you were able to talk and understand, telling you that all of that is just your imagination and not real.
I was also fortunate in that I had been meditating since about the age of sixteen, and I am a highly creative and imaginative person. I am also highly anti-authoritarian and so I have always taken what society and culture says with a grain of salt, even about what reality is and how it works and where it comes from. I had already spent years and years doing psychological reprogramming before my wife died. It would seem that i was prepared well for eventually finding my way to where I am now.
However, I didn't know "here" existed, or that it was even a potential place. I didn't know that I could be this happy, this enthusiastic, this grateful, this overjoyed about this situation, when I still do not have access to Irene's physical presence. I don't even know how to explain what "here" is to other people, or how to really describe it - but I can try.
The closest I can come is to compare it to my mental state after Irene and I first spent the evening together alone, which included a lot of talking, holding each other, and kissing. When I went home I was on cloud nine. There was no pain or sorrow. There was just love, anticipation, joy, enthusiasm, a mixture of wonderful sensations. Mere words could not do those emotions and that psychological state justice.
Unbelievably, though, there is even more now, here, because now we know each other and now we know who we are to each other. We have spent many years together. We've been through so much and we made it to here and now with our love for each other intact. We found each other and did not let anything this world threw at us end us, not even death. This makes what we have together so precious it cannot be overstated. This is the love that inspired all those fairy tales and songs and stories.
That is what "here" is like for me. I feel like the luckiest, most blessed man in existence. I have found my true love and it has withstood the test of death. Our shared mental space together is like being able to tap into heaven with a thought, just by directing my attention to her, just like back in that time after we met, only so, so much better. I'm not sure exactly how I got here, but this place is as close to heaven as it gets here.
And the best is still yet to come. That blows my mind.