I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m in a dark place, the last thing I want to hear is any suggestion to cheer up. Second to that would be advice on how to stop feeling that way. It strips the validity of your feelings and tells you that you are wrong to be experiencing a shadowy part of life. It can communicate a lack of interest and empathy from the person brushing off your struggle. Let me tell you this: there is never anything wrong with healing the parts of you that are hurting, the parts of you that are feeling. It’s an integral part of your personal evolution, and while sometimes it can create some of the hardest times in your life, it may also be the most important part. I am not going to put a positive spin on this experience today. Instead I might sit next to you in the darkness as a gentle starlight. I look at life like a giant riddle. I like to try to understand every experience and through my own healing I have found a few themes to my own arrival of introspection/healing/darkness. By understanding what brought me to that place, I was able to nurture the parts of me that needed it, and thus emerged a stronger, more beautiful version of myself. I’d like to share those thoughts with you.
Perhaps the most painful for us. Loss of a friend, death of a family member, the disappearance of anything that once held an important place in your reality. The familiarity and comfort is ripped away from you. Sometimes it’s unexpected, other times it’s not. It doesn’t matter because it’s gone. That’s what matters; the void. It’s like a vortex that sucks all of your focus and energy from things that bring you joy and light. To me, there is nothing else to do but allow yourself the time to feel that void. Do not turn your back on it. Allow yourself to honor whatever once stood there. The light it brought. Allow yourself to turn inward to yourself and remind yourself that it’s okay that it was important to you. Allow yourself to be affected by its absence. Take the time to imagine yourself as an infant; hold and nurture yourself as that infant. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Mother yourself. Allow the time necessary to ease the harshness of that void. Understand that everyone’s timing is different, including you. Taking longer to heal is part of who you are.
I’m a fighter by nature, and I fight fiercely for what, and who, I believe in. I have a hard time letting go of what no longer serves me. I have a hard time letting go when I no longer serve another. I love with my entire being, and when something/someone comes to a time to move out of my life I easily become devastated. I can be stubborn to accept that it’s time to move forward. Eventually, I remind myself that friends will step out of my life for personal reasons, their personal reasons. It is not a judgement on me or them, and in order to be a person I am proud of, I have to learn to let them go and honor their desired experience beyond my inclusion.
This has recently happened with a dear friend of mine. I didn’t turn my back on them as I licked the wound it left. Instead, I allowed myself the time to think of them often, wonder what had brought their departure, and prayed that they were well. I had to understand that it was someone else’s turn to feel their light. I knew I had learned what I needed from them and instead of struggling to hang onto the beauty they were taking away from me, I reminded myself to be grateful for all that I’d been given. It wasn’t for me to understand why they left my life, but to accept that our time was over. It was time for me to leave the door unlocked should they ever return and offer them all the love I will always reserve in their place.
Sometimes things end and we cannot get up and walk forward if we don’t learn to accept it. Let yourself look back on the memories and be thankful. Allow all the time you need. Allow it to occupy your mind until you can look again on this person/thing with love and gratitude. Until you can look upon yourself with love despite their absence.
New beginnings are not always easy. You might look back to the comfort you once had where you were. You might not know what you will do next. In the darkness your journey may seem unguided and lost. Your loss in confidence makes you falter and stumble. New experiences may test your boundaries and make you feel uncomfortable. Discomfort can bring its own shadow into an otherwise bright time in your life. Take a breath. Tread a little softer, a little slower on this new ground. Take in your surroundings, allow yourself to become familiar with this new place/life stage/soul evolution. Connect to the ground beneath you for it will always be the ground beneath you. Do not be harsh on yourself for your lack of expertise amongst new things. Allow yourself to stretch beyond the cage you were currently sitting in. Grow outside the box you’d built. You won’t have all the answers at this time, you don’t have to. It’s okay to feel a little afraid of the unknown, it means you are alive! Take it in with eyes wide open. Open your heart to all that you do not yet know. Feel the joy in overcoming hesitation and doubt. Feel the high of being brave and stepping forward no matter how slow you go. Hug yourself for doing what so many of us are too scared to do. Explore the experience of “I don’t know yet.” Change is the only constant thing after all.
If you find yourself looking back to the past every now and then, that’s okay too. You have many happy memories there and it’s okay to miss them, or to call on them when you struggle with your new Now. Let them be a comfort to you while you adjust. Soon you will break the mould you’ve built and burst into your new reality like a butterfly out of its cocoon and the agitation of growing will cease. The sadness of leaving your past will cease. Until then, let yourself hold onto it for it is part of the transition process, it’s part of what will shape you. To feel agitated, afraid, uncertain is okay. Permit yourself to feel all of it.
This is where I’m going to break my promise. I will give you the choice to continue reading beyond this point. This is where I am going to tell you something as a reminder of who you are. That you are not only darkness, that you are not always hurt and healing. I want you to read it when your frame of mind is right for it. I’m sure you’ve heard it before and it’s something I tell myself when I struggle with seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t just read it. Think about it. Feel it. Let it sink into your own personal meaning. And remember:
Your record for getting through bad days is 100%