I’m writing this from the darkness. It’s a deep Winter in my soul as I navigate transition, heart break and the unknown. This is the edge of my experience, I have no idea what is going to be on the other side, or who I will be when Spring comes. It is surely arriving, as I witness the external signs of the seasons shifting; the days become longer, nights shorter and the weather warmer.
The night is still dark.
There many kinds of dark nights…the kinds that come on from a break up, divorce, death, illness, major life transition or trauma. There are also the kinds of dark nights that visit through spiritual crisis, personal development or other kinds of spiritual and psychological work.
They all have something in common. Everything you thought you had a stable grasp on, including yourself, is gone. The way you thought life worked, what love was, who you are or what’s most important. Poof.
And, there you are…standing on the threshold between the past and the future, hanging in a present that feels more like a void than filled with all the usual enlivening, rich experience being in the “present” usually provides.
Instead, it’s dark and murky. Maybe a little scary, too. It’s also pregnant with depth, potential, wisdom, and a certain quality of aliveness that feels more like the drops of life that feed a seed’s energy, preparing it for the Spring…
Dormancy and incubation happening at the same time.
There is much wisdom here. Most of the time, we think of going up and out to find wisdom from “out there” or from “source,” or “guides.” Here, in the darker night, you can climb down into the soul of your own wisdom.
What scares us most about the unknown is what we might have to face in ourselves, what we might have to let go of or who we might become. There is no ground to stand on and we humans love to know that there is ground. There is never ground, we create the illusion of it to avoid this space, this space that lets you know how utterly ALIVE you really are. That the heartbeat of the universe, the constant shifting of life, is pulsing through YOU.
Impermanence isn’t always a “bad” thing. Haven’t you ever been so glad that something is over or that a you don’t act out a toxic pattern anymore? The only thing in life that is constant is change. That means that there will always be Winters and that also means that Spring, Summer and Fall will follow too. And, it will all come around again. It’s a better idea to give up the struggle, the fight against the very nature of life…your very own nature. Your own light.
You have to lose yourself to find yourself again. Have you ever noticed that you don’t ever really feel like you need to “find yourself” unless your feeling lost? Or, that you never really know who you are to begin with? I mean, the essence of who you are…not all the roles, the jobs or the masks you project into the world. Easy to cling to who we think we are based on external circumstances and the people in our lives. This clinging actually make the dark nights darker because you are missing the signs that are trying to show you that you are out of alignment with who you really are.
Alone is not the same as lonely. Lonely is lacking the presence of another. Alone is being with yourself, listening to your life speak to you. Alone is being friends with yourself. Can you befriend yourself in this space? This is the most powerful friendship you will ever have. There is nothing about you that needs to be fixed. Tended to, perhaps. Healed, yes. Loved, most definitely.
Hope and faith are not the same thing. When there is hope, there is fear. Faith is having a deep knowing in something far more profound than what you can be aware of. Develop deep faith in yourself, you made it this far. Take care of yourself. This is the most authentic friendship you will have in your life. Cultivate deep faith in yourself, tend to yourself and your heart like you would a small child. Be gentle that with yourself.
Don’t use personal development as a weapon. Personal growth, self-help, spiritual work…these are meant to foster evolution, connect you more deeply with awareness, consciousness, old wounds and patterns. To guide you to these transformative spaces where you question everything in order to shed layers. There is no measuring stick in this space, there is no way you “should” be or a right way to do it. It’s not the place to compare yourself or judge your “progress” along the path. Most likely, if you are here, you are doing just fine.
Finally, courage. The root of courage, “cor” comes from Latin for heart. Have heart. You aren’t alone. There are always people to guide you. There are always people walking alongside you. There are always people standing in the same gap, wondering what’s next or how to illuminate the path ahead. Have heart. Find your heart. You’ll know what to do.
This is exactly where you will find your LIGHT.
By Dr. Nandi Hetenyi (Find authors profile below)
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