Tag: dark night of the soul

An Opportunity for Change – Sometimes It Comes When We Least Expect It!

An Opportunity for Change – Sometimes It Comes When We Least Expect It!

Opportunity for Change
Angel statue in the graveyard of Trzic, Slovenia by ~lordradi

Life delivers the opportunity for change and growth, often when we least expect it. Once-in-a-lifetime events are just such opportunities. When the pot is stirred by events such as graduations, weddings, job changes, loss or a move, it is not uncommon to lose one’s perspective.

The weeks leading up to my son’s wedding brought a heavy load of unfinished-business-stress barreling down on me, not to mention the necessity for getting it all together and showing up for the function itself.  I knew I was facing a challenge and an opportunity for change, but much of it lay beneath the veil of my perception.  I was trying to stay cool, centered and in balance, but the tide of change had its way with me. I couldn’t stop it. I just had to go with it.

I wasn’t worrying about anything in particular. It was more like this giant, multicolored cloud over my head. Sometimes the pending celebration felt over the top exciting and at other times I was pretty sure it was going to rain down doom on me.

I’ve had many an opportunity for change since the accident, now six years ago, give or take. I’ve struggled to regain my resilience and equilibrium not only from it but from events of my life before it. I understand now that my ” come apart”  was just as much a result of the life I’d lived up until the accident as it was the accident itself. In fact, I’ve come to see the accident as a gift. It woke me up, even as it sent me reeling into a “dark night of the soul”.  It gave me the gift of opportunity — opportunity for change.

The wrenching impact the accident had on my life, inside and out, forced me to relinquish perspectives and beliefs that had paralyzed me throughout my life. It’s been a hard-fought battle, but when I headed west last September, I realized I had turned the corner.

It’s uncomfortable, at times, being a whole different person. I don’t respond and react to things the way I used to do. The chaos that ran around in my head and interfered with my relationships is gone. I show up, just as I am. That surprises me, but I’m pretty sure that’s the way we are supposed to be! I don’t worry problems to death. I think about them, feel them, let them roll around inside of me and then I either act on them or set them aside. I prefer now to share the wisdom I’ve gained rather than my problems. It just makes more sense.

I was overjoyed when I learned of my son’s engagement. I loved the woman who came into his life and mine and I was so, so happy that he was happy. As the date approached and plans needed to be made, I froze. I couldn’t move forward. I didn’t seem to be able to get myself to make flight reservations, or buy a dress, or do any of the things I thought I would be eager to do. For six weeks leading up to the wedding I wrestled with demons, demons that had no cause to wake up until a family event such as a wedding landed on my doorstep. It was an opportunity for change.

With guidance, support, determination and effort I was able to lay to rest another layer of outdated beliefs, fruitless expectations, and I eventually came out a little more me. It was necessary. It was liberating. It was, painful. I took several more steps to set the record straight for myself, to align my outside with my inside. I said things I needed to say. I did things I needed to do. Of course speaking what is true for oneself does have its consequences. For a year now, people have been dropping away like flies. I am discovering that what I was told I would discover when I dared to let go of unhealthy relationships, was true – – in the empty space my tribe has begun to show up.  Wow, what a difference!

I continue to learn that diving deep is seldom easy; that unwrapping and removing our masks is an ongoing process and challenge, particularly for those of us who are part of the scar clan – the deeply wounded. I’ve also learned that it is always possible to heal from the past, to become more resilient, and find greater inner strength. We may no longer have the same physical capacities we once had as we age, it’s a bit more challenge when stress arrives on our doorstep from a physical standpoint.  We do however, have many other skills and abilities that more than do the job. Our bodies may yell at us and buckle under with physical eruptions when we push our limits.  It may take longer for us to recover from stress, both internal and external. Our inner capacities, however, only increase and expand. We are so much more than we were — beneath the surface.

Perspectives change. We change. Life changes.

Change is the one constant in life.

Life events are an opportunity for change and growth.

We can choose to fight it or we can learn from it. The more often we are able to gird our loins and learn and grow from the process the more often we will be carried on the wings of angels to a richer, more meaningful life.

OTHER POSTS YOU MAY ENJOY

How Long Does It Take for a Wound to Heal

The Masks We Wear

Be Patient Toward All That Is Unresolved In Your Life


LEARN ABOUT EFT (EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE)

Chrystal Honeycutt, ND, RH, AHG has been my go to person for support and guidance as I learn to manage and deal with PTSD, and stress overload. She taught me to use EFT to help re-ground myself during stressful times and process my feelings around change and past trauma. She recently posted this video on her You-Tube Channel. It is a clear introduction to the process and if you’re interested in learning the process and using it I highly recommend you take a few minutes to watch it. After an introduction to the process she exhibits tapping on the subject of change.

On Loneliness

On Loneliness

 

It is … only in the state of complete abandonment and loneliness that we experience the helpful powers of our own natures. ”   Carl Jung;  Modern Man in Search of a Soul

 

Much of my life I spent locked in the cage of a deep and pervasive loneliness. It did not matter that I had friends, family or people around me. I struggled with this abiding isolation, helpless to make it go away. I berated myself for not “doing” the right thing, or “attracting” the right people into my life. Why when I married my best friend and was surrounded by children and friends that loved me was I still assailed by loneliness?

Figure at the Window by Salvador Dalí
Figure at the Window by Salvador Dalí

As I grew older, my parents died, my children left home, my husband and i were living with the consequences of a life time of destructive patterns of interaction, was I found myself in a “dark night of the soul”, as described by St. John of the Cross in his poem and treatise by that name – Dark Night of the Soul (Dover Thrift Editions). I saw nothing but endless isolation ahead, and death. I knew that I had to face my fear of being alone once and for all. I knew that I had to face it alone. That was all I knew, and it was terrifying. I believed there had to be a different answer to the problem than I had heretofore found and I became determined to find it.

Coming through a dark night is never easy, but it is always life and spirit altering. In my dark night I discovered a connection to myself and to my soul that now sustains me in a way nothing else was ever meant to do. I understand that now. One cannot escape loneliness through action or connection to others. One must heal the emptiness inside that separates us from ourselves. Only then can we gain true intimacy with others. It sounds simple, It is not.

Carl Jung discovered this as well. He discovered and articulated our need to discover the “powers of our own natures” and to live from within our own creative powers, using our own rich and magnificent resources. We have far more inside of ourselves and at our disposal than most of us ever imagine; more than most of us can even conceive, particularly when we are locked in the fear, dread and scarcity mentality of our culture. To discover our inner strength, the bubbling fountain of life energy that is ever-present to us, it is necessary to disconnect from anything that pulls us away from it and from that which draws our attention to false solutions and weak excuses. Only then, will we discover the richest part of this life we are now living.

Have you experience a “dark night of the soul”? Have you experienced deep and abiding loneliness? What did you discover there?

Unraveling Ourselves

Backwards Thinking