I was scrolling through the wasteland of social media the other day and stopped at a dear soul who typed this:

“I’m becoming too cynical for my own good.”

Can you identify? I know I could. What will you do to take care of yourself?

A couple of months ago, I hit a wall with life and noise and what-ifs and why-bothers myself. Of all the things that could go wrong with my body, blindness is my greatest fear. I can’t sleep in dark rooms. Whenever I’ve been in positions too dark to see my hand in front of my face, I’ve had instantaneous, uncontrollable panic attacks. At Zenko-ji, I couldn’t find the Key to Paradise, because it meant walking through a suffocating tunnel of blackness for more than five seconds.

On top of every maddening thing in the world, I’ve watched helpless as my movie reel crumpled and burned, leaving a void of inky black. Every day, I stare into a laughing maw, a perpetual reminder of how close I am to no color, no sunshine, no form.

I am under attack from without and within. No wonder I was beyond cynical.

I may yet share a few things that have helped me cope, but I’m nursing a sliced-open toe and need to wrap up. (I ran into something forgotten on the floor. Bruises. Blood. Daily occurrences. Big times.)

When we’re left with nothing we recognize within ourselves, we remember who we used to be. I once liked to work with my hands. These days, I type for hours. But in Japan, my hurting soul led my fingers to a book on origami.

I picked it up and started folding. Methodical. Precise. Crease one. Breathe two.

Why do we forget the quiet, patient ease that comes from a simple fold? Or deny ourselves the space to check out of this silly hamster wheel to love ourselves and feed our souls?

What are you doing to take care of yourself these days?

Maybe you need a good book to read and an excuse to escape the world right now.

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