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  • Writer's pictureMarc-Henri Sandoz

Call to the Real (reconceiving trauma, part 5)

impermanence et crainte face à la réalité

Some months ago, before to discover I had a bone cancer and to face my amputation, I was living in what I know now as an illusion. I was taking most of my quietness and security for granted. I was enjoying my daily routine, making some plans, imagining my future as a long quiet road. All of this was normal and due, as it seemed to me.

What a mistake!

Trauma came like an earthquake to reveal the frailty of this illusion. I discovered that my life was like a smoke in the wind, could finish in an instant and by surprise, could turn upside down in no time. No security. No permanence. No guarantee. Death, change and surprise always present as possibilities, in every moment.

And this was Reality. It was not something new: what was happening to me was just opening my eyes. I was discovering impermanence on a "guts" level, not intellectually like an interesting and spiritual concept. And what I was discovering was already true and present one year ago, ten years ago, and during all my life. I was just not perceiving it, or not willing to face it.

And with that discovery unfolded an unexpected feeling: a still deeper terror in face of reality. A terror completely hidden in the core of my being, that I was trying to hide and repress with all my strength and during all my life. Yes, of course, I was afraid of cancer, amputation and death, but it was just the revelation and the echo of that much deeper fear: my ever present terror to realize my inability to have any control over Reality, my strong refusal to face it and my desperate and pathetic attempt to build at least the illusion that I was the master of my own life.

To my surprise, this realization didn't come with despair, and the terror didn't destroy me. It opened a new perspective, and I discovered in that terror a fuel, the strongest energy. A desire to live and a life force like I had never felt before, bringing with it inner healing, clarity of vision, hope, trust and peace.

I had the chance to hear the call to the Real, and it has been a call to truly living, to get rid of at least some of the illusions, numbness, self delusions, intoxications, that were depriving me of the taste of life in the present moment. It has been an awakening. One that I need to cultivate, to explore, to come back regularly to.

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