Today has been a challenge. I am in a deep, dark cave. I have been there for a while. But, up until now I have had a view of life from above. The light gave hope that my exit from this night terror was possible. Now, it appears that someone/something is shoveling dirt into the cave. I feel the heaviness of being buried alive. The light becomes dimmer and more distant.
This is the first time I can remember feeling this way. And, even as I think and write these words, I know that things will improve. Simply put, I am in a painful pause. It has more resistance and less acceptance than I would like. But, I will sit in it for a while so that I can learn something. The truth is that I don’t have a choice. Things are happening that are beyond my ability to stop and my proactive interventions are not producing good results.
The facts of my situation are not important. The truth is that everyone goes through trials in life. My challenge is to create meaning from these events. Right now, the price appears to be too costly. What is the price of becoming more authentically yourself? Does authenticity result in an improved self? Can my writing help me to become more authentic? And, if it does, .I thank you for reading this and helping me express myself during this period of my life.
I am reading a book called, Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore. It has been a struggle to complete. It is not an easy read. Yet, it is well worth the effort. Here is a quote from the book that is relevant to me and maybe to you:
“The dark night saves you from being stuck in your small life. It makes you a hero. It grows you into your fate and into being a responsive member of your community. In your mother’s womb you were becoming a person. In your womb-like dark night you are becoming a soul.” Thomas Moore compares the Dark Night with the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. Sometimes, we become so lost in the world of practicality that we must be transported by some mythical being [the whale in Jonah’s case] to a new place of discovery.
The mythical being must transport us because we are too lost to find our way. The journey for Jonah must have been terrifying. He lost all control over his destiny. He travelled across the sea in the dark of night. He was transcended to a distant shore to be reborn from the womb of the whale on the rise of a new day. Is each new day an opportunity to be reborn? Is it possible to have clarity without being lost in the dark? Again, the dichotomy of opposites appears to be the vehicle that drives us to our individual destinations. Jonah travelled in the belly of a whale. But, he began his journey on a boat. My favorite destinations are often difficult to reach. For example, to get to Block Island, I have to drive for over an hour and then take a ferry. It is always worth the trip!
In the modern world our mythical being may be in the form of absence and uncertainty. For example, the absence of a job (loss of identity), the absence of health (loss of performance/accomplishment), the absence of relationship(s)/divorce (lonliness), the absence of a loved one through death, the absence of faith (loss of hope/confidence), the absence of meaning (despair).
My cave is methaphorically Jonah’s whale. I look forward to a new sunrise. I don’t know how long this journey will take. But, as I come to the end of this writing, I know I am willing to sit it out.
Is the dirt that is causing me to feel trapped and hopeless, my lifeline to a new sunrise? I think I will begin packing that dirt below my feet where it will lift me to a new sunrise.