I am sure you have tried walking around your home in the dark. With arms stretched out, we feel our way around, stumbling into walls, cupboards, feeling for what is familiar to find our way. It is surely had to see where we are going without light. It’s painful to run into things we didn’t know were there, it can be uncomfortable to not know where our next step may lead. It’s easy to lose our way when our eyes can’t see.
The same is true about the dark seasons of our life. Those times when we feel like we are aimlessly wandering around in the dark, and the divine presence of light feels far out of reach. As we wander, we wonder, where is He? Why isn’t He showing up for me here? Why did He allow this to happen? What now?
The reality of our humanity is that none of us are exempt from the pain and brokenness of this place. We all walk through tragedies and trials, seasons of life where God seems more like a distant elusive entity, rather than a close loving Friend.
Maybe like me, you planned out your life, but it didn’t pan out the way you wanted it to.
Maybe the dream you had in mind has not yet become a reality.
Maybe there was a relapse instead of remission.
Maybe there was divorce instead of reconciliation.
Maybe you were healthy but then illness came out of nowhere are you are waiting for healing.
Maybe you want to start a family, and though you’ve been trying for years, your arms are still empty.
Maybe you deeply desire to be married, and though you’ve gone on date after date, you are still single.
Maybe you were enjoying a stable, smooth life, but now you’re sitting in a season of depression that is dark, ugly, terrifying, and debilitating.
I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.Hafiz of Shiraz
Truth is, sometimes the lights go out in life and we feel left alone in the dark with our pain. So how do we find our way back to the light? How do we take the next step forward when we our eyes can’t see? How do we live with the pain?
When something unthinkable happens, the question isn’t Why? The question is Who?
Who are you? That’s the only thing you can really know. Let what is inexplicable be inexplicable. You can’t change what has happened and you can’t control other people. But you can choose to let adversity teach you something about yourself.
If you lose everything, you are still you.
Nothing that happens, no matter how bad, can erase who you are. You are always you, no matter what happens. Experiences may change you, but deep inside there is always that shining seed of self, the blueprint of who you truly are, guaranteeing the possibility of renewal.
Loss allows space for something else to take root in you. You can let it be wisdom, not bitterness.
When everything else has been taken away, you have a choice to mend the pieces that are left or to stay in the shadowlands. When you move in the direction of wholeness, the power of your intention can ignite your own personal revolution.
An open mind and an open heart can turn the key.
It is hard work to generate gratitude and serenity when you are suffering. Luckily, just wanting to be that kind of person can be enough. With your intentions set in the right direction, peace and contentment will find you.
In persevering through my own darkness, I found a self—call it my authentic self, my immortal soul, core being, my heart center and sanctuary—who can survive whatever life throws at me.
My experience has taught me that the human capacity to endure—and to do it with grace, courage, and joy—does not really depend on anything outside of ourselves. Even when life seems impossible, the brilliant light inside yourself is enough to see your way through your own darkest nights.