I visited the Dark Place again this weekend. I never know when another visit to this place will happen….it is unpredictable and sometimes sudden in its appearance. It has many faces.
The face this past weekend was the face of self-doubt, self-recrimination, dark thoughts and hopelessness….a place of grief and sadness and pain. It is a familiar place, and one that is never far away. It is a type of home, one that is not comfortable or cozy to go back to, but back to it I must go when the call comes.
The call this time came about relationship issues and loss. Relationships lost, hopes of relationships lost, friends lost, fur babies lost, youth lost, opportunities lost, a huge segment of my life gone already and a questioning of myself and wondering just what I have done with my life and what do I have to show for it….
The voices in this dark place are relentless and loud. Negative, critical, shaming, judgmental, catastrophizing, predicting a bleak future, however long of a future that I may have left at this point.
Looking in the mirror from the Dark Place is painful. The names and judgments and self disgust can be overwhelming.
And yet…..and yet….even in the midst of this version of a personal hell….I am aware of a quiet voice within. This voice waits until the most recent rant is over about whatever the fault of the moment is that the voices choose to focus on. It waits….and then, quietly, says….”You know that is not true.” The Dark is relentless, attacking, storming, engulfing….and yet…the small quiet voice is there, waiting patiently until the quiet interlude comes again. And again, this quiet voice of sanity and balance says…”You have made mistakes…yes, You are human. But you are not a mistake. And you do not deserve this attack on you.”
And on and on it goes….until the Dark becomes tired….Until the voices are fatigued. And the quiet voice is still there…..” You are ok. This shall pass. You are ok. You deserve to live and to love and to be loved. You deserve to be here…..”
That, I believe, is the Voice of God (Universe, Spirit, Higher Power, Presence, Higher Self, Soul) within. The part of us that knows we are doing the best that we can, with errors, and that we are human, and lovable. And forgivable. It reassures me that even during those times of visiting the Dark, that it is always still there…waiting….never leaving…..and that it will speak in its owntime.
I cannot feel that Essence as much when I’m in the battles of the Dark, but I am reassured, that even in those times, I am aware of this other part of me that I have worked on, have struggled to get to know, have delighted to find, have claimed and lost again temporarily, but found again.
We can remember, I think, that we have this other part that is always there, though quieter at times. That quiet voice is more powerful than the rest, as it prevails and never leaves…accepts that there are dark times, but does not accept that this is all that I am.
I hope to remember that about others as well, when they are struggling with their own version of the Dark Place. And I want to remember that about myself. And I invite you to remember that part of yourSelf….that has never abandoned you (even if it has been quiet for long periods of time). And, to, as we continue on this journey of aging and life, to honor that part of us, that quiet voice – to know that there is all the power that we need right there…and it will wait patiently…until we come home to it….until we come home to ourSelves.