My Remains

It’s interesting…what happens when you are struggling with thoughts about life, belief, purpose, and the death of all that you know for sure.  In the wake of deep suffering…what remains?

What truly survives the death of what we believe we are?  Are we courageous enough to travel there?

The following is the first installation of a trilogy I wrote in 2013, while I was struggling to come to grips with the tragedies and deaths of over 15 friends and family in a little over a decade.  Truly, nothing was the same – a stranger in a strange land, my world didn’t look the same, my thoughts didn’t feel the same…

These posts describe what happened when, like Alice in a dark version of Wonderland, I threw myself down the rabbit hole.

When I write about becoming a peaceful warrior, this story, presented in three parts, is this warrior’s genesis.

Join me, if you are willing, as we head deep into the Abyss.   I invite you to journey with me and explore all three parts of this story.  Perhaps you will discover what I have learned, having emerged on the other side – the only way beyond fear…is through it.


I look upon that which I believe I have created and I cringe.

How could I have created my suffering?  I certainly would not have chosen to create this.  I see so much misery and hate in the world.  There is no way I would have created THAT.

When I am told that we are all One and Love is all there is, I cringe.

There must be something other than Love that has created suffering and pain and loss and despair.  And it acts through me because what I feel most times is not Love.  Or I must be something other than Love…

Then I am told that what I am feeling isn’t true.  That it is all an illusion.  But I feel this misery and I feel pain and I get diseased…and others do heinous things to one another that I would never create and do not condone.  I see this misery and I feel angry and hateful towards those who I am told are my brothers and sisters.

It is they who should cringe, I think.

I need to create Heaven on Earth, I am told.  I really don’t know how, so I look to others to see how they do it.  They seem to love much better than I.  I guess I could pretend…to act like it until I feel it…but that seems like living a lie.  How can a lie lead me to the Truth?  I don’t understand but I take this option as it seems like the best possible choice.

I begin to say I am in love with everything and love everyone…I do wonderful things and feel good for a year and a day, but deep inside my pain continues.  And I feel myself growing very, very old.

I really try.  My words may say what at times I do not feel, but know I must repeat them.

My mind betrays me.  Is there one thing in which I can trust?

This something “other” can only be one of two things, I surmise…either there is a force at work that can effectively oppose Love (and acts through me and others), or I effectively oppose Love.

The former creates a desperate fear in me and a vulnerability that makes me cry out for help and protection.

With it, I am always afraid, but perhaps I can strike a bargain, considering…

…this thought, although frightening, is infinitely desirable and I valiantly defend myself from accepting the other option…

It incites such deathly fear in me so as to make me plead for my soul, as I would then honestly agree that I am guilty of this enormity.  I would have to admit that I cannot seem to stop myself.  I am a wretched creature in the grips of something bigger than I.

Each and every day I pray for deliverance and for strength…but I feel this force…of my own perhaps willing (but most certainly coerced!!!) wants and what I need to survive…

This force is always knocking at my door, wanting inside.

I feel so tired of the struggle, so weary of the loss of all my loves…that are ripped from my hands with each savage act.  The effort to keep the door closed from the force of this onslaught has taken the last of my energy.

It wants in, so it can make itself comfortable.  It only asks for its comfort, it seems.  Perhaps I should let it come inside?  Perhaps then I could rest, if even for a little while…but it seems like I don’t know how to do even that right, as rest never comes.

I do know one thing…the lock on my door seems to be broken.  I don’t like to look at or through the door often, but there are times when I cannot help myself and see that awful door flapping on its hinges like a tongue-wagging between toothless gums.

And I think, “What would Love think of me?” and I cringe because, to my surprise, “it” was in there all the time.

I am weary of cringing.  I am deathly tired and the cold wind created by the wildly flapping door has chilled me to my bones.

Now that I know it is here, all is quiet.  I lay down on the floor of this still, barren room and wait for the feeling of its hand on me.  I am sure it will happen at any moment.

How will it happen?  When will be “my time?”  Will it hurt?  Where will I go?

“Do your worst,” I think. I don’t care.  It is what it is.

I lay there for what seems an eternity, thinking little…sometimes not thinking at all.

In my mind time goes by…or does it?

I really don’t care.  What do I know?  And I don’t care even more deeply.

Bleak despair takes too much of my already depleted energy.  I cannot maintain the images that have led me to this dark place.  I feel nothing.  It is a sensation of the past…feeling is.  It is a fleeting thought, one of which I have long since tired.

The room, or space, or whatever it is, is dark and barren.  Still. 

And I am here, wherever here is, still.

Motionless, incomplete, uncaring…still.

When will I leave this place?  The question continues to haunt me.

There is nothing left now, no body to love, no pain nor purpose, none to lose and none to gain, no pleasures to maintain, no God to disappoint.  I remain.

Stillness surrounds me…all that remains of my thoughts and dreams, my arguments and convolutions, my loves and my very last breath, is this…

It remains.

“Unless it does not,” I think with my last thought into the stillness.  I get no answer.

The true remains of the day, remain there, still.


Part II, Phoenix Rising, will be coming soon.


Published by Paula D. Tozer

I am a writer, poet and singer/songwriter. I am a Toastmaster, motivational speaker, personal creativity coach, and workshop leader. My most sincere wish is to share my words with others, and that we both benefit from the exchange.

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