By: Tara Blue
So there I was.
On the other side of the country.
On a veteran’s solo fasting journey lasting four days and nights.
On a vast, open plateau in eastern Washington.
I was away from my kids on our spring break, with a group of complete strangers and a nearly dead cell phone. To make matters even more challenging, I was squatting with all the strength my legs had in them to take a number two above a hollow pit in a rocky ravine.
When I finished doing my business, I reached forward, grabbed some rocks in front of me, then dropped the rocks carefully into my make-shift porta-potty so they would strategically land and cover my number two.
As I attempted to step forward, I happened to shift my weight to the exact place I had borrowed the rocks from and lost my footing. The path in front of me had now become unstable, causing me to lose my balance. I almost tumbled down the stony ridge.
That was too close.
As I took a few deep breaths and calmed my heart, I heard “the voice”.
“DON’T BORROW FROM TOMORROW TO COVER UP
Now, I’ve always been the hard-headed type. Sometimes I must be slapped in the face with truth before I’ll accept it. And on that day, April 25th, 2019, the truth hit me so hard I almost took a deathly tumble.
Sometimes, “the voice” sends us a message but we are not ready to receive it. The voice has been there all along, but we weren’t ready to listen.
There are many names for “the voice”. Some call it “conscience”, “great spirit”, “soul”, or “God”. It speaks inside all of us; we must open our minds to hear it and listen.
Thank you to the non-profit organization Veteran Rites for providing this alternative mental health therapy program. It gives veterans the opportunity to experience one of the single most important skills of life: the ability to listen to, recognize, and apply instruction from “the voice”.
If you are a veteran who is struggling with mental health and would like information about treatment resources, feel free to contact the following organizations:
Veteran Crisis Line
Dial 988 then press 1
National Center for PTSD