As nature has her seasons, so too does our soul. And while no one wants to be unhappy and we prefer not to dwell too long in the more difficult darkness, balance by its very nature means without the dark, we don’t know the light.
I’ve sat in the dark off and on this year and when I can wrench myself out of the ‘feeling’ aspect of the darkness and as I gain some distance, I come to understand the value and the lessons of those times we walk in darkness. I hope that by sharing some of my experience with you will ease your journey and clear your path.
When we feel we’ve lost a part of ourselves, the first reaction is disown the feeling, and fight against it. It can just be too painful to accept the loss of who we are and how we see ourselves.
The loss seems to show up as emotional overwhelm for sadness for the loss of what we once knew, what was familiar. And, it doesn’t matter the ‘quality’ or experience of that which was, any loss or change can throw us off-balance – that might even be something we choose or something that ultimately is good for us and serves us.
I find that anger often accompanies this experience too. We don’t want to change – it’s uncomfortable and it can make us angry and ill at ease. I think these feelings sometimes work to mask the vulnerability we’ll feel if we do express the anger. And, being vulnerable or helpless might be the emotions and experiences we’re most afraid of. Yet, I think we bring change the way we must and we write the script with our higher power – in essence ‘make a deal’ to move our lives forward, and sometimes that just looks messy and feels even worse.
It’s hard to step Out Of the Darkness into the Light, to sit in the quiet, to feel a void or emptiness. Often that manifests as uncertainty and it’s uncomfortable – we want to push it away, leave us alone. We do all kinds of things to fill the void and being busy is right at the top of the list for most of us.
And, we know that busy doesn’t ‘fix’ anything. Sure, we might feel purposeful and get some great things done, but underneath, the feeling doesn’t subside. It’s not something you can run away from, nor should we – tempting as it might be!
Moving Out Of the Darkness into the Light
The best solution is to take an emotional ‘step back’ and acknowledge what you feel. Observe the thoughts and emotions you’re experiencing. Say what you feel out loud – just to yourself. Give it voice, make it real, allow it. Then listen to what the feeling is telling you. What information is there? Where do you feel it physically? If you get still, you will almost always find the place in your body where you feel tense, or feel a holding, a resistance.
Now, reassure yourself – just the way you would a child or anyone else you love. Say out loud “it’s OK to feel this emotion. I give myself permission to feel this, with no judgement”. Now that you’ve acknowledged, accepted and invited that feeling in as ‘guest’ rather than an intruder, say aloud: I accept and release this feeling of _____________ with love and gratitude. If you don’t feel that you mean it, try again. Repeat it until you feel it in your body.
Then add: I am knowing this, accepting this and doing this with ease and grace. And so it is. And so it will be.
Know that you are exactly where you are meant to be. That doesn’t mean you need to stay there, but it might. The move towards acceptance will free you to accept where you are right now with love and tenderness. Oddly enough, that’s often what precipitates the shifting we’re longing for.
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