When The Darkness Descends

"When your world falls apart and you're left with just yourself, you're forced to discover who you are without all the beliefs, expectations, views, & self-image provided by some teacher or system. The calculating mind gives way to the intuitive mind, Knowing without Thinking."

~ Gabrielle Roth

We all experiences periods of profound darkness, of great struggle, doubt, confusion, anxiety and grief. We all find ourselves periodically diving deep and swimming in the muck of life. We lose, we don't get what we believe we need or want, we feel powerless, overwhelmed, frightened and alone. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball we could have never seen coming. Sometimes we choose to remain stuck in the mud. Sometimes we become so comfortable with the misery we pitch a tent, stock pile food and order cable because we are not moving. Sometimes we are faced with a situation, and we know before we begin how it will end. We consider the mess, the pain, the struggle on the other end, and yet we decide to proceed, head held high...until the crashing. When we go under, when we march into a situation we know will end with pain, it is always because our soul requires that experience in order to learn what we are meant to learn. Always. It can be no other way. I would give almost anything if this wasn't true. I hate this about life. I would love it if we could grow purely through joy and serenity. However, I, like you, didn't get a vote.

When the darkness descends who do we become? Who do we want to become? Does pain become such a familiar companion we lose sight of who we might be without it? Does the pain, the chaos and the drama define us? Is hurting silently safer than awareness and action? Has the darkness become so ingrained in our psyche, in our heart and in our soul that we cannot fathom a life lived free from it? Can we imagine who we might be if we laid it down? Would we receive the attention and love we believe we are getting because of our pain?

If we answer "yes" to any of these questions there is fabulous news; we are not alone. We are merely part of the human condition. Welcome to being a spiritual being living a human experience. For many we might consider the task of laying down our pain too great to bear. Fear may keep us paralyzed.

And yet...

There are vast, beautiful, moments of opportunity in every single experience. Moments we can choose to be brave and vulnerable. Moments we can choose courage. Moments we might choose to be free, to begin the process of freeing ourselves from suffering. Moments we might decide we are brave enough to lay our pain down. That same resistance to stepping out of the pain, when turned around, becomes our greatest ally. That fight and rebellion becomes our greatest strength. There is energy in that resistance. I love rebellion. It has served me greatly throughout my life, especially when pushing through the darkness. In years past that rebellion got me into a little, okay a decent, amount of trouble, but even in those moments it served me. It pushed me forward, even if forward in that moment was messy and okay maybe a tiny bit drama filled. Yes. Be rebellious. Rebellion represents a desire to fight, a deep want to push back and through. When we become able to harness that energy, and utilize its powers for the positive, we become unstoppable.

Who do we become when the darkness descends?

Okay, first, we may do a fair amount of cussing and that's totally cool. Cussing and praying of any kind, (whether it's to a deity, or to the universe, or the collective consciousness of humanity), are never, ever, mutually exclusive. In fact, for me, they are almost, okay always, deeply intertwined. Always. And then? We can choose to lean in, breath, left foot, right foot, breath, and know that this too shall pass... if we allow it to. We reach out to those who will remind us that we are in a temporary state of mind. We wait. We treat ourselves with love and compassion, especially when we don't want to. Feelings are never stagnant. They are limited in time and space. They move like the tide, coming in and returning to the sea. Darkness, like lightness, is fleeting in the context of our time on this earth, even when it feels like it may never end. It always passes, even if for a brief moment. Always. That brief moment of relief is a reflection of hope, for if it can leave us for a moment, it can leave us for longer periods of time. We add those brief moments up, we build on them until they gain strength. We embrace the moments of joy, of peace, and of relative sanity. We cherish those moments and store them solidly into our consciousness as a beacon of hope to pull us through the next period of darkness. We remember past experiences of darkness. Did they eventually pass? Did we come out on the other side stronger, kinder, more loving, grateful and more compassionate? Did they strengthen our character? Did they make us, beautifully, who we are?

In the midst of darkness we are boldly faced with ourselves, with the pivotal question of who we choose to be devoid of the opinions or feelings of others. There is a stunning simplicity within darkness, a sharpening of our beliefs and a clarity within our hearts, if only we are willing to see. Light cannot exist without dark. If we never experienced darkness, how could we ever appreciate the brilliant moments of light? The darkness will always pass. The real question is who do we wish to be until that moment arrives?

Peace & Love Always

Xo, Beth

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