It is day 4 in our new year. A few days/weeks ago, I did a post that spoke of clusters. Things happening in clusters, actually. That’s holding true for the new year.
In the first three days of 2008, I’ve received a lot of messages from people struggling. And while that’s not uncommon, it is unusual for me to see a pattern or “cluster” with such clarity in so short a period of time. But I have seen this one, and it’s what is on my mind this morning as I sit at my kitchen table.
People under stress are forgetting who they are. They aren’t looking beyond the obvious physical. And anytime that happens, they’re struggling even more because it is the spiritual that strengthens us and keels our emotions so that we stay more balanced. Balance is essential to coping constructively with the physical events going on in our lives.
That set me to pondering, wondering why. Admittedly, my first response was that I wanted a way to ease the suffering. I wanted to help. But how? What could one average woman with limited influence do? And then this came to me…
Things–any thing–that hides in dark corners, whether in the physical or in the corners of our minds or hearts,causes us struggles. We fear the darkness–it obscures our vision–and we fear the thing hiding itself. How will it impact us? Will it hurt? Bring pain and or affliction to us or to those we love? What capabilities is it hiding? And what consequences? What will they be–and how much of them will we have to pay?
The problem and potential problems were easy to see. Grateful for that, I switched to focus on solutions. And the solution was simple and staring right into the whites of my eyes:
Bring that which is hidden in darkness into the light. That way there is nothing hidden. We know exactly what we’re dealing with and its potential and fear and doubt can no longer play hopscotch with empty threats of more.
Dragging out old baggage or that which doesn’t make us feel good about who we are isn’t easy. It’s not comfortable, it’s not soothing and it sure as hell isn’t fun. But it is in our best interests. We can’t deal with it and let go until we do. So the longer we shun taking that look, the longer we remain in a prison of our own making.
We look at the rough stuff and feel forsaken. We forget that there are often other, constructive reasons for our struggles. We forget that as well as experiencing to gain wisdom, we also endure struggles to offer others the opportunity to experience to gain wisdom.
What if we shift perspective. We are struggling with x. X is in the darkness within us. It’s looming and threatening and, from our perspective, dark and dangerous to our well being. We’re fearful but sick and tired of being sick and tired–and scared. So with pounding heart and sweaty palms, we drag X into the light and look at it.
And we see that we can handle it. Not without cost, but in the end, we can handle X. And so we wonder, why then is X there?
We explore and eventually, we discover that sometimes X is there to remind us of who we are. What we believe (and don’t), what we feel is significant and important, and why we do what we do. In remembering, we increase our awareness of these things and define or redefine us, and that propels us into our future, stronger, better prepared, more aware. In short, we remember who we are and our purpose.
We discover that sometimes X is there for reasons outside ourselves. Ones that create a set of circumstances that enable another to gain wisdom or insight or an understanding of something significant that’s eluding them. Something that they need (or need to know) but wouldn’t have the chance to get or to find out if we weren’t enduring X. In short, we’re playing the part of a vehicle. Means and ways. We endure to offer others opportunities to remember who they are and their purpose.
It’s easy to look at life and blame others for everything wrong in your own. It’s easy to rationalize and rewrite history to create a light in which you look better to yourself. It’s easy to play the victim–or to twist actions and events until you sincerely believe that you are the victim.
The problem is that when you do so, no resolution or solution tests and succeeds. At best, it’s fleeting, momentary relief. Why? Because permanent relief requires truth and it’s absent.
The truth always comes to light, and when it does, it’s not always pretty or painless. Sometimes it hurts like hell. But it is always best. Because only when the truth is in the light can demons be forever put to rest.
When they are, then you can see the benefits of dragging X into the light, dealing with it, and then you’re free to press on.
Often we find ourselves in situations where we are victims. But rather than pity, we should look deeper, into the why. What we might see is that we are privileged. Because we have endured, we’ve offered another the opportunity to progress as a human being. In our own unique way, we have aided humanity. That’s generally hard to do but sincerely a privilege.
So whatever X might be in your life, dig down deep and find the courage to pull it out of the darkness and into the light. Free of darkness and shadows, you’ll better see what you’re dealing with (which is seldom as bad as what we think we’re dealing with), and then explore. You might find that opportunity to know yourself–or that you’re serving as a catalyst in creating an opportunity for someone else.
Either way, X is no longer in the dark, looming and threatening. X is in the bald light where you can face it head-on and then put it in the past and behind you. And then with new wisdom added to the old, and new strength bonded with existing strength, you can face full-front and look ahead. The demon is dead–no longer eating your energy and devouring your future–and you’re free to walk on in the warmth of the light.
Ah…, sweet peace.
©2008, Vicki Hinze