Finding Ourselves in the Dark
by: Louise LeBrun
Many times in our lives, it is not our capacity to open our eyes and see outside of us that makes the difference but our ability to close our eyes and see nonetheless….inside…where we live. Far too often, the invitation to turn our gaze inward and move into the depths of our own potential appears to us in the form of loss, sorrow, pain and fear. We are invited to move into uncertainty about our lives, our loves, our choices and the challenges of our own evolution.
Standing alone in the unforgiving darkness that we have frantically avoided for so long, the edges and curves of our soul begin to move and sway and call to us. What we held to be lifeless now takes on a life of its own. Sometimes in these moments, our own terror catches in our throat and try as we may, no sound leaves the living space of the body that houses who we are. As all that is familiar begins to fall away and what looms are shapes and sounds foreign to our habits of body and mind , fear wells up inside of us like molten lava, burning through the belly and filling the body with wave after wave of searing heat. In the intensity of this moment, it is easy for us to forget that Fire is the element of transformation! No Fire – nothing changes.
Sometimes our invitations wear the cloak of illness or injury. Sometimes they dress up as wounds to our bank accounts and attending life styles. And sometimes they wrap themselves in a variety of plots and stories that resemble lost jobs, lost loves and lost hope. But without exception, when they arrive they often loom large and appear insurmountable and without mercy.
As we watch our lives become consumed by these interlopers, protestations by loved ones and experts alike have little if any effect as our challenges move us intently toward the heart of who we are. Blood races through our veins, making us dizzy and putting our world into a spin that pulls us faster and faster into a place we've long determined never to visit. And yet as the sound of our own breathing becomes deafening, we stand alone – perched on the edge of pulling ourselves back into the familiar or surrendering to the unknown and allowing ourselves to become more. Who shall we choose to be?
It is not easy – letting go of our need to have what ' was ' continue to be the way it ' is '. All that we've clung to for so long begins to fade into the background. As we let go, those movements and sounds so foreign to all that we hold as ‘real' and ‘true' and ‘right', begin to increase in intensity and flow. Body, mind and spirit separate and become like the thick ropes of hair loosed from a French braid, resting in the palm of our hand….waiting….for us, once again, to weave them into new expressions and new dimensions that offer new meaning to who we might become.
For some, it takes chaos and upheaval to even hear, let alone pay attention to, the call to our own greatness. Dis-eases of body, mind and spirit lay claim to who we are and carve out new roadmaps through our own evolution. In our darkest hour…..in our deepest moments of despair…..we find hope in the small ray of light that is our ability to trust ourselves; to trust the unspoken innate intelligence that has been there from the start. As others come or go; as symptoms become fading memories, we are left with the evidence of our capacity to become more than we have ever been.
It takes great courage to stand alone and face our demons. It takes great compassion to love and be gentle with ourselves as we do. And it takes humour and the ability to laugh at ourselves to recognize that because we too often refuse to listen to what is already there, it is all part of the dance that is required to lead us back to ourselves.
We are designed to navigate by the stars of our own inner truth. When shadows fall across our lives, we would be wise to remember that shadows are an expression of our relationship with the light. Where and how we stand determines the degree to which those shadows appear and how long they stay.
This article was originally published in Body
Mind Spirit Magazine Edition 19 - September 2004.
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