Empath On The Street...(5-25-19)
I recently had a brief experience being homeless. This isn't some 'whoa is me' tale or anything but rather a sharing of an experience that was striking and struck a chord with me in a profound way. I will keep it brief and straightforward...
I won't delve too deeply into torrid details or personal affairs, but I had an altercation with my mother one evening about a week or two ago, leading to me - in a brisk, thoughtless moment, grabbing some bags and rushing out the door to downtown Chicago to escape. I had nowhere to go and no money. My family was concerned and blowing up my phone with texts and calls until I hit "Do Not Disturb". It was now or never - and I wanted to head out into the distance and leave my past behind. But I had no idea how to leave, who to talk to or trust, and no money to sustain myself, as I said.
I ended up staying with a friend of mine I hadn't really seen too often in person... it was a big ask of him, but I gave it a shot as he had offered a place to stay sometime before if I ever needed it... and now I NEEDED it!!! So I ended up at his house. I was super nervous, and having grown to believe I was wholly inconsiderate and rude (something I constantly hear about myself), I was very afraid to ask for too much or impose. I always feel super burdensome around people and it's only ever really reinforced by the harsh words of some people I shall not name. I get it in my head I can't do anything right and I just bother everyone. So in a moment like this - where I was completely vulnerable and scared and needing support from someone else... I was nervous as all hell in my attempt to not push the offer too far. I stayed the night, gratefully accepted food and water. In the morning I headed out to wander Chicago until I could meet with my friend Liz to hang out for the day. I was lucky enough to have a friend to spend time with that particular day.
I have always felt like the energy in Chicago is overwhelming and largely tense and hostile - and now it seemed moreso. Not that anyone is rude or mean, but it's a very heavy and stressful city lacking the warmth I have felt in other areas. Now on the street, the tension and animosity felt insanely overwhelming. I met with Liz and we spent the day making music in the park and having lots of deep weighty conversations about our goals, passions, trials and tribulations, etc. I felt much of what Liz was saying really hit me hard and resonated deeply. The things she shared and felt I also had been feeling and experiencing my own way lately. We are both musicians and creative souls who long for the freedom to express and create freely without oppression. And inevitably we are stuck in the remnants of a society built largely against that. I felt the heaviness of Liz's pain but I wanted to be there. I didn't want her overwhelmed, but I knew that we were resonating on a similar frequency - for more or for less - and we ought to stick together for the time being. I do believe it's sometimes helpful to be around others who are feeling similar pains to me, even if it can keep me in that low frequency state - it's also beneficial at the same time in that nobody is invalidating the others' feelings or experiences and actually it can be quite healing to just be with someone and let these thoughts and feelings stew until we naturally come to an ease.
Liz and I made music, and by nightfall we decided to head up to Wisconsin to hit up the music room in a school Liz has access to. I asked to stop by my house and try to sneak in quickly to grab more of my belongings, hoping I wouldn't run into my Mom but figuring if I were quick it may be okay. Lo and behold when we showed up, she was there and pursued me up the stairs to my room as I frantically tried to shove whatever I could grab into my bag. Before she could call the cops and in the midst of the heightening tension I rushed out the door again, having forgotten most of what I had intended to grab while there. Liz and I carried on to the school in Kenosha anyway.
I hung in the music room - my smartphone dying - until I decided to return to the car to meditate and rest for a moment. Liz gave me the car keys and I exited the building under the assumption the doors would be locked and I'd be unable to head inside once I exited.
I sat in the car and zoned out, and the weight of my situation was really starting to hit me hard. I had no solid idea of where to go - no support to rely on - and a dying idea of who I was. I had no future I could trust. And I was now in Kenosha, locked out of a building, phone dying, no money, and in the middle of a rainstorm. I sort of sunk into an utter blankness - like I was conscious but dead. My ego was basically gasping for air and my soul seemed far away. I was completely out of balance and I knew it. I meditated until Liz came outside to the car and we took off South, back towards Chicago. I reached out to my friend who had lent me the couch at his place as we high-tailed it back to the city. My panic was becoming unbearable. We finally reached the city, but it was far too late for me to call my friend about the place to stay, so Liz dropped me at a 24-hour restaurant. I instead made my way to a 24 hour "DUNKIN DONUTS" and basically vegged out, making apologetic glances at the worker behind the counter. There was another gentleman in there all night asleep at a table. I began to feel very grateful that the worker behind the counter was allowing us to stay there for so long - and I used that time to charge my phone and laptop until sun-up, listening to my Abraham-Hicks speeches, some Victor Oddo, and catching up on some tarot and the like... anything to tap into that spiritual source energy and regain my power. I felt myself draining, however. I knew this couldn't sustain. Upon sun-up and towards 9AM, I headed to the friends' house - who had agreed to allow me in to grab my chargers. While there, I attempted to call several homeless shelters and mental health clinics as well as in-patient facilities before my friend gave me some cash to get myself to Des Plaines to try to check myself into a psychiatric hospital. I made my way - in a rather "half-baked" daze - t0 Des Plaines, first hopping on a bus.
Nervously on this CTA bus, I watched as a rain-soaked woman in tears begged the driver to let her on despite not having money. She said she had been abused and needed to get to a shelter. My eyes widened and I felt myself sink within... like my insides just fell right out and my heart melted. She sat right beside me, bursting into tears. I felt just overwhelmed with fear and pain. I frantically reached into my bag and grabbed my list of shelters and clinics and tried to give them to her, shaking. I really wanted to help her - but she said it was fine. I offered her the ten dollar bill and she wiped her tears and said it was okay, and I should keep it. I felt terrified like a scared dog. I kept telling her I was homeless and I wanted to help her... like my mind and mouth were struggling to even make sense of what I was sensing and experiencing. I wanted to offer her something... But she insisted it was fine. Everyone on the bus was smiling, warm and loving. I felt this great loving energy. Everyone comforted the woman, and smiled at me - one woman telling me I was kind in a rather knowing way. Someone told me "Take care of yourself". I got off the bus at the end and then got on a Metra train to Des Plaines. Luckily, the stars aligned as much that I got there relatively sress-free.
I was eventually admitted into a hospital to be stabilized and taken to a treatment center. This experience really put things into perspective and while I now may be facing a resurgence of grumpiness, drowsiness or low frequency emotions - I have this strong, burning inner knowing that this is in fact EXACTLY where I need to be right now, and that my intuition has lead me to this group home and throught that turmoil to grant me that perspective and in turn bolster a greater sense of gratitude for just how loved and protected I really am - both in my physical reality and also within the spiritual and metaphysical realm. .I am really working to become my best self and now I must be kind and respectful of the fact that I may experience these perceived "setbacks" or "rough patches" in order to re-orient and place myself back onto a track that will actually lead me in the direction I need to travel forward.
Count your blessings and allow yourself to experience and feel without judgment. It is hard but in those moments of clarity and mindful observation I can really begin to see where I place and allow that true peace. Focus on love!