"My name is Legion, for we are many"
- Gospel of Mark
Sometimes life itself can be a challenge. Yesterday (Sunday), I was sitting in church and became aware that something was wrong. To my right, on the row of seats in front of me sat a woman I recognised, somebody from my past that to me is the living incarnation of the devil himself.
To protect the identity of this 'person' and not to publicly open up some deep, emotional wounds, I won't go into too much detail : Other than to say that this woman is an intolerant, homophobic, racist, bigot. A pox and poison to all and everything that 'it' touches. It's a problem for me, a serious problem that I will have to come to terms with, if this hideous succubus becomes a regular fixture at my beloved church.
Prior to this 'occurrence' the days have been peaceful, claim and full of joy. We had been invited to a wedding in Sheffield by two friends of my stepdaughter and her husband. These friends are close enough to be called family. All went very well as these two beautiful people were hitched on the bandstand in the city's Western Park, shrouded in the glorious heat and sunshine of late May.
I'm so happy for them, and meeting up with old friends was a boost to my mental wellbeing. For many years I put myself out of reach. Of family members. At the time it was my belief that isolation was the solution for my ongoing depression. Of course people chose the sentence of self imposed exile for a variety of reasons; bullying, grief, the contemplation of suicide etc., and over time I've subscribed to all of those situations and much more.
The first step to my own recovery was to gently open the door onto the world and let the light back in, not as a flood, just a gentle trickle. Little by little the door got wider until the moment came to step into the radiance and feel the warmth of the glow.
There are times now when I want to escape the world, usually into a pile of good books and that's OK. These days however, I keep the door unlocked and slightly ajar, safe in the knowledge that there is always a welcome, waiting for me on the other side.