I’ve noticed lately that I wake-up in the mornings feeling pretty low. I’m usually at least a little angry and a little down. But I try to list off things to be grateful for and I meditate and maybe watch a little Netflix (or write… though not as much as I should) and then I’m usually okay.
But that got me thinking about sleep and how it’s sometimes a refuge for people who are really experiencing heartache. I know it is for me.
I remember right after the kids and I left my ex and our home, I would look forward to climbing into bed and closing my eyes and drifting away from reality. Oh how I loved the escape sleep provided. And oh how I hated waking-up and feeling the blanket of reality (my wife was gone, my marriage was gone, my life was gone) slide over me.
There’s such comfort in sleep. It’s why depressed people sometimes sleep most of the time. But when we wake-up from sleep, it really hurts.
In one of my books or short stories I wrote that waking with heartache is like swimming up through a sea of ignorance and bursting out into the cold air of reality.
I always believed that sleep provided comfort because it had no knowledge of the heartache that stained every second of the real world. But now I’m not so sure.
What if sleep isn’t ignorant? What if it’s actually omniscient?
What if it’s not something small and apart from everything else.
What if it’s huge and a part of everything?
What if sleep isn’t about darkness?
What if it’s about true light?
Here’s what’s interesting:
I’ve gotten pretty good at meditating, especially when I start with the Wim Hof breathing method.
First, I go through 2 rounds of breathing and then I let myself settle back into myself. That’s really the only way I can explain it. I just relax back into my mind.
And the feeling I get is just like that great feeling we sometimes get right before we nod off into deep sleep. It’s exactly like the feeling I got when I attended a hypnotherapy session. Meditating feels a lot like being hypnotized.
I believe during meditation (at least parts of it)I’m experiencing Theta waves, which are the same brainwaves as when we sleep (along with Delta waves).
So, here’s what’s cool:
When I’m in this state I feel good. I feel complete. At peace. And connected to something larger than myself.
So, since this is very similar to sleep, maybe sleep isn’t about forgetting and disconnecting. Maybe it’s about remembering and being a part of everything.
Prayer can certainly be seen as connecting with God. It can also connect people together from all around the world. Yet prayer is also very private and singular. Prayers like the Rosary – or any repetitive prayers – can also be very similar to meditation.
In my view, the more I meditate, the more I see meditation as a prayer. And I see prayer as a type of meditation. It’s all looking inward to connect to something greater than ourselves.
And maybe that’s sleep too. Maybe sleep is spiritual.
It makes sense, right?
It restores us both physically and mentally. Maybe we just don’t realize it can also restore us spiritually. In fact, thinking of it now, there have been times when I do wake-up feeling spiritually stronger.
Maybe sleep feels so good to the sad, the heartbroken, the downtrodden, and the lost, because it actually connects us to God or the higher power or the universe or the source or whatever anyone wants to call it. (And maybe that’s why insomnia sets in when we’re feeling overly anxious and lost. We’re unable to connect spiritually. Maybe?)
And maybe sleep connects everyone to each other and also connects us to that which is all-knowing and all-seeing and forever existing.
Maybe that’s why it’s such a comfort.
Yes, I do love that thought. But I have to ponder it a little while longer before it becomes a belief.
And now I’m happily off to bed…