The black sludge.
Sometimes I wonder if I were cut, would blood gush out, or would a slow black sludge, so hot and thick pour out like lava until it covers everything and burns everyone around me.
This sludge has been familiar to me most of my life. It’s my own personal concoction of anger, sadness, guilt, losses, regret, pain, envy, anxiety, depression, and more anger- anger, upon anger upon anger.
But as I prepare to turn the page on another year, I am more aware of the sludge than ever before. Like a case of acid reflux, I often find it churning in my stomach until I can almost taste it as it burns at my throat and threatens to spew out of my mouth, forcing me to choke it back down. Keep pushing it back down. (hiccup!)
But the only way to survive wholly is for it to come out. It must come up and see the light. To spew it all out until there is nothing left- a hollow vessel.
That is the gift of our time here. Breakdowns have a not so funny way of forcing you to see the very thing you’ve been ignoring right in front of your face.
I am going to make the very best use of this gift of time we have here in the states. I am beginning with me. I’ve always been ambitious, a go big or go home kinda person. but over the last few years as the sludge grew in size it began to paralyzed me- making it hard to walk, or breathe so to speak. It threatens at every turn like dark clouds creeping in so my tendencies are to hide from it and from the world. I have been doing a lot of hiding. The clouds and the sludge have kept me locked away in a personal hell. But I am not hiding anymore.
And as I write this early morning, I hear the little padding of feet down the stairs. Here she is! My sweet child, she searches for me, first in the kitchen, but she hears the keys of the computer and finally she sees me. I see security and love in her eyes as they lock with mine. Her little self curls up next to me and snuggles in good. Good morning, mama. The black sludge recoils and I put my computer down for some morning snuggles.
Moments like these are fleeting and so good for my soul. They break down the black sludge little by little, moment by moment, until one day, hopefully, I am once again an empty vessel for the Lord.