I am blessed with motion sickness. The back seat of cars, small planes, boats on rolling seas – all bring it on. So my cruise pack included Gravol, the Scopolamine patches that stick behind the ear, acupressure wrist bands plus loads of advice.
The pills make me sleepy and leave my brain feeling like the fuzz that accumulates on food left in the fridge too long.
Green apples, soda crackers and Ginger Ale were added to the pieces of the medicinal puzzle that kept me from vomiting when the Captain announced there would be some “motion in the ocean.”
Webmd.com says “You get motion sickness when one part of your balance-sensing system senses that your body is moving, but the other parts don’t.” In short, the senses get out of sync.
At some point during our recent ocean journey – perhaps when we were tied up in a port! – I began to wonder about the similarities between motion sickness and spiritual discernment.
Both arise with the sense that something is not quite right, one perception of reality does not mesh with another.
There are, of course, degrees of motion sickness. One does not have to be heaving over the side to have a sense of its presence. It can be more vague, a headache that is not quite there, a stomach that does not sit “quite right.”
With medication and a bit of effort life can go on, denial can be sustained.
But, on some level, those with motion sickness know something is different and denial only goes so far. Eventually the discord between the normal and the out of sync needs attention.
Although spiritual experiences can crash into consciousness without warning and with overpowering energy many initial signs of a spiritual experience hover in vagueness. We can try and push them out of our awareness in the hope that the dissonance will disappear but often the signs persist.
When in the grips of motion sickness I do not really wrestle with the metaphysical question of which version of reality is most accurate. I do however engage for to pretend otherwise can be life altering.
In the realm of the spirit we also need to engage, understand the messages being sent and respond accordingly. Otherwise life can get yucky! (a technical term).