I can’t take much more of this. Or, can I?

Since the end of October, the 27th at 1:00am, my daddy (I’m Texan and that makes him a daddy, not a dad) has been in the hospital. And my family and I have run the gamut of emotions while caring for him and tending to his needs beyond what hospital staff can do or are doing because of overwork and poor communication. Fear, worry, sadness, hope, joy, relief, and anger are all a part of that. And stillness too. At least that’s where this is taking me; to that still quiet place of introspection that has long been the safe harbor in which I moor my tiny ship when seas are rough to make sure I’m navigating in a way that brings the most peace, health, effectiveness and joy. Sometimes seas need more harbors. And sometimes the absence of safety for a time teaches the ability to choose calm and continuation.

And then another harbor comes in time. It was in this last respite, one desperately clung to when I had reached my seeming end of coping with all the demands placed upon me by my heart wanting to care for Daddy, my work requiring my physical presence for income creation, and my social community in which I submerge myself for joy and comfort with friends and family that I found a new thought emerging. A still, small utterance within me . . . whispering a special story just for me; my truth regarding this experience:

Does the feeling “I can’t take much more of this” really define a limit? What does it really mean to feel oneself at the edge of capacity?

I was engulfed by the emotion, the awareness that I was dwelling on the edges of my capacity to continue in reasonable form; eating, drinking, sleeping, bathing, dressing, working, being present with the tragedy that was rising and filling all the spaces between the cells of my existence. It’s scary emotionally because you feel on the brink of collapse. It’s frightening physically because you get in touch with the primal drive toward survival that moves us forward in ways both egocentric and communal. When they are at odds, the psychological stress grows more intense.

So feeling that going on is not an option is an interesting experience when viewed from the back side. Once the stress dissipates – food is eaten along with the luxury of actually tasting it; sweet sleep restores the body and rested the spirit; space returns between the cells to breathe in and breathe out absent of the fight-or-flight response – that moment of knowing, really knowing, that continuing was simply not an option when recalled seems misunderstood.

That moment was not the end of capacity, though it seemed critically necessary to acknowledge it as such at the time. I have gone on, and I will continue. The limit that loomed like an executioner with axe was not truly the edge. It was the limit of capacity to function within the selected criteria (this much food, sleep, work, etc.), but not the limit to function in some way. That was found. And is found in moments of crisis. The “I can’t take much more of this” feeling is signpost marking the entrance to the land beyond the idea of what is necessary for sustaining the self. Beyond that border is continuation in another form. Or death.

I find it interesting how intensely the over-burdened central nervous system indicates that the border is the actual finish line; the end. It amazes me how perfectly attuned we are to our own survival and to how the survival of a communal member affects our own, creating a willingness to go beyond our borders to sustain one another; to walk up to that edge and squeeze just a few more feet or inches into the distance to our own decline.

I think that’s the critical piece. Part of what we call love. And part of that deep river of innate knowledge that in helping one another continue, we continue ourselves. The limits of life are held collectively within the cells and souls of each person.

About Jana Faye Moon

Hi there, My name is Jana Moon. I am a healer by trade, training and nature. This makes me a sensitive to the joy and pain in the people and places I encounter. And I am a writer by formal education. I've been gathering in experiences and have been longing to express my reflections on the page. It's been a long journey from the first budding desires to put words on paper to this attempt to do so. I wonder where it will take me . . . I have a website for my healing arts practice: www.MoonHealingArts.com.
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4 Responses to I can’t take much more of this. Or, can I?

  1. mark says:

    The walk down the path of my Dad’s ( Yankee to the core) demise was a similar experience. Moving toward the stillness of our final breath takes some practice, that is for those walking in light. Many are surprised at that final moment of passage, that decline of the physical realm and the moving on into a spirit realm, I sense this amazing river flowing as well. Sometimes all I hear is a gentle trickle and then there comes a rush as storms brew at distance. One day I will dive with a wholeness of heart into that river of the spirit and move on.
    It is good to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing. It is so wonderful to hear words that reflect on the truth of this life.


    • Thank you, Mark, for reading and commenting. I’m thankful that my words connected with you and your experience. I was feeling very deeply the layers of emotion and understanding that such an experience brings us through – if we are listening with our hearts. Glad to have a place here to express it.


  2. …”to walk up to that edge and squeeze just a few more feet or inches into the distance to our own decline.
    I think that’s the critical piece. Part of what we call love. And part of that deep river of innate knowledge that in helping one another continue, we continue ourselves.”

    It is amazing what the soul and body can endure when love is brought into the picture. Thank you for this lovely piece! Having had my mother pass in 2009, I understand this piece with so much more than just my brain.

    Hope you are well! 🙂


    • Thank you for you comment, Melissa. Finding words to speak the feelings of the heart is indeed the challenge. I’m glad when the heart feels the words more than the brain understands them . . . if the words are of value to someone then my purpose here is fulfilled. Thank you for kindly taking the time to let me know. I am well. I wish the same for you.

      Liked by 1 person

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