Monday, 11 March 2013
Finding Light in Darkness by Susan Cadley
Have you ever been awakened from a deep sleep frightened and shaky from a nightmare? If so, the first thing you probably did was to turn on the light. When the light is turned on, the scary imaginings disappear and we are calmed eventually.
Being in darkness in our waking life can encompass many things including; depression, feeling stuck, lost, experiencing grief, or unending anxiety. When we feel hopeless, faithless, and empty it may seem we cannot even reach for the light, though it is always available to us.
I was recently listening to a radio show called “Speaking of Faith” on NPR about spirituality and recovery. The guest was a Native American from the Lakota tribe in South Dakota, named Basil Braveheart. Basil talked about his alcoholism and the last 30 years being in recovery. What struck me most about what Basil shared was his culture’s belief in embracing darkness, or in his words making it a “relative”, a member of his family by acknowledging it as his greatest teacher. He said that for him, this is when answers appeared and miracles occurred.
If you find yourself in a dark place, next time try to be aware and stop yourself from finding the fast fix. Sit with it a while and allow the message it has for you to appear. You can learn about who you are in this lost place. Your soul may be stopping you in your tracks for a reason. Listen.
The most common fear about acknowledging darkness is that it will never leave but quite the opposite is true. By ignoring it, it has to get louder to get your attention. It may feel as if you’re not moving, however there is greater force at work under the surface, a force that supports you on your path always. Marianne Williamson in her book Everyday Grace reminds us that “There is a light in all of us.” When we forget this, it is time to reach out to a friend, a favorite book, a community, to take your hand and help you see in the dark. When things feel hopeless, others can hold out hope for until you find your inner light again.
The dawn eventually returns.
Susan is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Soul Coach and sole proprietor of Living From Within, LLC. Through counseling, coaching, creative workshops, book studies, and writing, Susan guides you to hear and live the messages of your soul.