When most people meet me these days, in our events or even socially, they see someone who is bright, active, grounded and (hopefully) full of love. Many are quite shocked to know how dramatic my transformation has been, and how I haven’t been like this always but have wrestled with many demons and overcome a lot to get to this point.
But it is very true. And not a day goes by I don’t give thanks for the grace that allowed me to catch a glimpse of the light far away down the tunnel, and held me as I took a hundred thousand steps through the darkness to find it.
A hundred thousand steps, one at a time, sometimes falling, stumbling, and failing. Going backwards, defeated and lost. And then getting up, dusting myself down, and carrying on. Pulled by some unseen hand, not knowing what I was really aiming for, but knowing I could not stay where I was or who I was. There was an inner me calling to be freed, and I served that one.
Through addiction, through dysfunctional relating, through ten years of illness, through negativity and fear, through the wounds of childhood carried unconsciously like great sacks of sorrow into each intimate experience.
Through catharsis, body work, ceremony, prayer, through endless therapy, meditation, self inquiry, fasting, detoxification, through exercise, through hopelessness and acceptance of death, through meeting the deepest existential hole at the center of everything, on and on. Oh I have been in the darkness. I never stopped seeking what was true for me, what was deeper, what was real and honest. I never stopped until I arrived at love’s open door.
And then I walked in.
And when I walked in through that door, the door disappeared, the past disappeared, separation disappeared and everything that had been so hard, so divided, so troubled, became just one thing, one immense and beautiful dance of agony and ecstasy, of the appearance of duality and the illusion of the dream. There was this remarkable sense of arriving home, where I had always been, but had been so lost in pain and imagination I had not realized it.
And that did not mean that suddenly there was nothing more to do. No. There was the ongoing living of this remarkable awareness, in humility and truth. The darkness is still there, no longer as the dominant force it was, but as a whisper of a fragrance of a ghost. It comes sometimes, when I am at my most vulnerable or stressed, and it taps me on the shoulder and says,’ Remember me, I am your reminder to stay humble and open, to stay here as love’s tenderness.’
I stay with gratitude to the grace that allowed me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank you for reading. It is possible, with grit and grace, to walk through the darkness and into the light. It’s not a spiritual journey, it’s a necessary human one. And everyone can do it.
2 thoughts on “I Returned From the Darkness – It Wasn’t a Spiritual Journey, It Was a Human One”
Thank you for sharing. I recognize “whisper of a fragrance of a ghost” (though I never put it so poetically). Next encounter, I will thank it for the reminder before I turn away from it.
Thanks and move on 😉