Confession: A Floatation Experience

August 30, 2018

 

 

My heart rate begins to rise, as I approach the oratory. It’s been quite a while, and I know this time won’t be easy, though it never is. Current personal expectations have left a lot to desire lately, and the unchecked boxes in my mind are burning holes through my skull. Life is never without its daggering reminders. I've grown wise to this, but no amount of experience ever softens the blow. The sexton greets me upon my arrival, with a warm smile on his face. His gaze and body language exhibit a welcoming sense of familiarity. I witness another zealot’s calm departure. I want to be at ease, but I can’t stop running laps through my memory. The hard questions fall upon my chest. Am I the person I was when I last set foot in here? How much has my life changed since then? How much have my previous intentions aligned with my actions? These are questions I’ll be forced to confront, and a certain level of fear attaches itself to each predicted answer. As I walk to meet the priest I try to distract myself by focusing on the intricate details around me. I fixate on the shine from the floor, the dim lighting, and the artwork on the walls. This gives me some sense of evasion, though only momentarily. I enter the booth, close the door, and the journey begins. What happens next is 90 intense minutes of self-reflection. This is not your ordinary church, and the priest that’s been awaiting my arrival is but a dormant abstraction of my mind. The confession booth happens to be a small, cavernous tank, sized to house one person. Its base contains 1 foot of water with several hundred pounds of dissolved epsom salts. The anxiety seeps back in as I derobe and breath deeply. After I enter, I am free of my clothing and free to explore my depths. The lines between reality and my innermost thoughts begin to blur. The air and water temperature reside at a comfortable 98.7 degrees fahrenheit, identical with my body’s internal temperature. As the separation between the elements becomes indistinguishable, I begin to float effortlessly. My senses shortly fade; no sight, no sound, no touch. The distractions of normal life dissolve into the glaring chaos of my hyperactive mind. It’s as if someone injected the world’s most powerful stimulant directly into my brain. Angst, frustration, sorrow, happiness, vindication, doubt, confusion, and every emotion under the sun flash before me like an LCD flight itinerary at an airport. I'm frantically scrolling to locate my departing flight. It’s my job to make sense of all this, and choosing a starting point can be likened to choosing a soulmate. Where does one even begin? I’m forced to deeply examine my life. I work through my relationships, responsibilities, goals, actions, accomplishments, and shortcomings. It’s painful and rewarding at the same time, but most importantly: necessary. The full spectrum is examined, and I begin to regain some sense of who I am, what’s most important to me, and how I need to manipulate my existence to maintain these truths. After the chaos quiets, a feeling of serenity falls over me. My mind and body shift into level frequencies, and a deep relaxation ensues. It’s at this point I can truly appreciate my human experience. The stress and hassle of everyday life are someone else's problem on a distant planet. For a brief stint I can truly respect the moment. The music soon cues the end of my visit, and I rise in disbelief at my perception of time. I know I’ll be back, though unsure of when. Every paradigm shift requires its it's own debriefing period. With a new sense of enlightenment I return to the grind, knowing that in due time the mecca will beckon me once again. It's these types of encounters that hold us accountable whether or not we want to be.

 

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