“Some nights stay up til dawn, as the moon
sometimes does for the sun...”
Dear Tender Hearted Reader,
I consider myself a world expert on sleeplessness. For almost 60 years, since my dad died in a sudden industrial accident, I haven't been sleeping well. I remember being 7 years old and looking out in the wee hours of the morning longing for my father, lonely, sleepless... I was wondering where he went and why, and if, I ever might see him again. In subsequent years, I have tried every remedy known to man or woman.
I've used over the counter drugs like Tylenol PM. They leave me feeling as if I've been run over by a mack truck in the morning. I sleep more, but it's been the sleep of a dead woman.
I've also tried a variety of anti depressants that have an anxiety reducing impact. They made me less anxious, but much flatter emotionally.
I have experimented with lots of herbal supplements, including herbs from a world renowned acupuncturist in Santa Fe. I still do use these methods as they seem to help some without blowing me out of my inner connectedness. I've also tried a plethora of therapeutic paths.
And, like I said, I don't sleep so well most nights. I often sleep 3-5 hours. When I get a night where I have 7 or 8 hours sleep, I am a new woman. I don't have to use my WILL during the day to get things done. Colors aren't so muted. I have a spring in my step. I can think totally clearly.
A few years ago, I decided to try ACCEPTANCE. I decided to consider the possibility that sleeplessness is a part of my spiritual path. Instead of thinking sleeplessness is a burden, or a shame, or even becoming resigned to it, I started loving myself in the dark of night. This does NOT mean I don't continue to do the things needed so that sleep might be more possible.
I also became aware that most of the deepest and transformative poetry I write, comes from that sleepless place. About a year ago, I was awakened several times because I kept hearing this voice say “get up and write a poem about the cow's rosy udders!” I said “no way, I don't know anything about cow's udders, and went back to sleep. The voice came again followed by another refusal. After 3 calls I got up and wrote this poem:
“Enlightenment” What if I have milked the cow of self- improvement so thoroughly, so completely that the cow’s rosy udders now effortlessly, without my doing, flow with sweet white milk into the ocean of self-realization? (and, the cows are so happy and I am so happy…) Go to the poem.
The middle of the night is also the time I use to further other parts of my spiritual practice. I use meditation, yoga, salt baths & practice the Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping). More of the time, I don't do these things so that they make me go to sleep – I do them as an act of tenderness and acceptance. I often do rounds of self forgiveness. The form I use is from the ancient Hawaiian Shamanistic tradition called Ho o pono pono and it means “I'm sorry, I love you, please forgive me and thank you for calling this to my attention for transformation and healing.”
While I do occasionally pray and even beg to get some sleep, I also see that this prayer has been my attempt at controlling the outcome. More often, I pray to my guides that sleep come naturally or that, if it doesn't, I am able to rest in their holy arms. I pray I might be of service in the dark night, AND I pray for acceptance, irrespective of whether or not I sleep.
I understand and am learning to bring the non-duality perspective deeper into my heart. I see that sleeping and sleeplessness are equally part of God.
Sleeping has value for my body, sleeplessness has value for my soul. It's really up to the Holy Ones, whether or not I sleep. I'm moving towards the concept of Thy Will, not My Will. There are many nights now where I may not be sleeping, but I am content. I'm also way more open to spontaneous naps in the day time.
I'm often excited about the creativity my sleeplessness may inspire!
Even though I might DEMAND 100,000 more times that I get to sleep tonight, I am still being called to consider sleeplessness as a part of God!
In closing, I'd like to say, that not sleeping is an honorable, holy part of life for many of us, if we can love this part of ourselves completely, and if we can stop fighting with sleeplessness – it becomes part of our journey HOME!
Bowing towards you kind reader,