It feels as though I’ve been in a deep dark pit for years now. In truth, it’s been mere months but months can feel like a lifetime when despair takes the wheel. It can feel suffocatingly inescapable.
I don’t know about you… but I blame myself. I shame myself as if that will instantly snap me out of it. I can hear my mother’s words as I type. Her standard battle cry was, “Snap out of it!” Every day that I haven’t I think I’m doing something wrong.
Shame buries us deeper.
Shame buries us alive.
Shame piles on the layers of regret, fear, hopelessness, despair.
Shame’s segue is depression.
I realize this as I try to pivot into compassion for my most tender self. I talk myself off the ledge almost hourly…
“You will get through what you are going through.”
“This is temporary.”
I’ve worked with brilliant teachers who have reminded me that negative emotion is not something to run & hide from.
All emotions serve us.
The dark are vying for our attention. Much to our national misnomer, we aren’t meant to sweep those. They offer up clues & cues to prompt us to grow.
This is precisely the time to go INNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNto the pain; the fear, the not-enough-ness, the depression, the anxiety.
& ask yourself, “What?… What are you trying to share with me?” This is the question begging to be answered. “What do you want me to know?” & then to listen for the layers of answers. So, I sit with these questions percolating inside my worried mind.
In the middle of the night when the demons have a stranglehold, I pray to God to get me through alive. I don’t see how I can do it on my own. As dawn rises in the east, the monsters vanish as if the light is their kryptonite. I can breathe in & out again.
As I type this, I remember that it is the light which mitigates the shadow. Comes the dawn, comes the truth, comes the freedom, comes the gift.
I am fully aware of the messages that my fears are bringing up:
Am I good enough?
Will I actually do this that is so important to me? So much so that I’d rather not live if I don’t accomplish it. (More on those details in another blog.)
Will I have value?
Will I live my purpose?
Will I live with passion?
Will love find me?
Am I safe?
Am I enough?
Am I enough?
Am I enough?!!
My great teacher & friend, Robert Ohotto, reminds me often, “You are enough because you were born! You are here. There is nothing you need to DO to prove yourself worthy of anything. You are worthy simply by the fact that you were born.”
My God, does that instantly set me free! It brings me to my knees as tears fall. The truth of it lands directly in my heart.
Whatever is haunting you to the point of crippling fear or gripping depression or paralyzing anxiety, go on into it. It may feel like it’s going to kill you but it won’t. It’s akin to a raging hysterical, red-faced two-year-old demanding to be heard. Kicking & screaming until it is validated.
As soon as it is, it is soothed & calms.
What are your soul’s messages to your precious & tender heart? Do you need to debunk some lies you were once told & have bought into? What do you need to do to shift into loving-kindness with yourself? What new stories are percolating nearby ready for you to claim? What action might you need to take on your behalf? What self-care is begging to be tended to? Are there boundaries that need to be set?
We are the screenwriters of our lives. It may be time to rewrite the script.
I was watching a shmaltzy Hallmark Channel movie yesterday (it’s all I can muster of late because all else feels entirely too intense for my heightened sensitivities.)
It featured an angel whose mission was to return holiday magic to a town. As she offered up compassion & support, she understood why each of them had temporarily lost their ways. In holding the space for their broken hearts & seeming shattered dreams she fell in love with each of them. Her empathy & consequent humanity broke her heart wide open.
She realized she wanted to remain with these people. She wanted to hand in her wings & live the human experience. As she argued her case to her angel-mentor who was seemingly not having it, she pleaded, “I want to live a life of love & joy based on every single decision that I make.”
“I want to experience all that this life has to offer as I navigate the vast range of emotions; the good, the bad, the losses, the love. What a blessing, if not a miracle it is to be alive.”
Of course, I sobbed uncontrollably through the commercial break.
Every. single. choice. makes up our lives.
What simple yet profound truth lies in that saccharine sweet monologue.
Each of us gets to choose all that brings more love & more joy. That which obstructs, we need to make changes & a whole host of different choices but it’s always our choice. Only our choice.
Humans are a funny lot. Change freaks us the fuck out. Yet on the other side of change is the possibility of a whole new life, potentially one greater than we ever dreamed.
Make peace with the dark.
It is guiding you home to yourself.
It guides us to growth.
It guides us to change.
It guides us to a life of MORE love & MORE joy.
Here’s to the gifts of the dark…
& to the magic waiting just on the other side.