I was really encouraged this morning when my daily meditation reader fell open to the page on which these words appeared :
Today I will not run away from despair. The dark night of the soul comes before the dawn. I am not here only to feel good and take life easy. Despair in recovery can mean that I am letting go of old ways of coping and trying to learn new ones. I am here to grow and to experience myself as a spiritual being connected on some mysterious level to all of life. If I deny myself my greatest pain, I will keep myself from my deepest joy. There is a divine order to what appears to be chaos. There is method in the madness. There will be lessons and quiet miracles, freedom from inner bondage and calm after turbulence. All that I go through has a purpose, if I choose to look at it that way. I trust that even though I cannot always see it, the universe is unfolding as it should.
I trust there is a place for me.
You may not know it but at the far end of despair is a white clearing where one is almost happy. Jean Anouilh
Yesterday I experienced one of those deep, dark despair filled days in which every part of me felt it was being shaken up or dissolved in an ocean of pain. It was impossible to function until early afternoon, and getting out for a walk with Jasper and a visit to the park took the most supreme effort of will imaginable. On the first part of the walk my gut was in deep spasms and I literally felt like I was going to vomit. Earlier in the day the level of pain and despair I had was so deep and strong I had thoughts of suicide and looking around my house everything just felt wrong. I had the thought of the life I was living as the wrong life, that I would die if I could not leave this place at that moment. But all I could do was hold myself on the knife edge of pain noticing all the sensations and thoughts, naming them one by one. I was overcome with a paralytic fear. God knows what was happening.
Today in therapy Katina, my therapist asked me if I knew what triggered it. I really didn’t have a great idea. I went back to an AA meeting on Sunday and I had a shame attack after sharing, all this critical judgement from within me raining down. Some one I have grown close to seemed to have ignored me. The woman next to me was in major melt down and shared that she, too was in the most profound despair.
It seemed to open up a very dark space in me and I noticed last night that lots of memories of time’s past were flooding my consciousness. I logged on to Facebook to see my ex husband had uploaded a photo of himself and his little daughter along with gorgeous images of rolling hills in the UK (where he now lives) and a field of wheat in stunning tones of green, brown and gold. I felt the deepest stab of knife like pain run through me. And yet at the same time I saw all the reasons why it could never have worked between us. I saw how different our journeys have been. What we shared in the UK 15 years ago seems almost lie a dream to me now but also one of the most special times of my life though I hadn’t really even begun to touch an authentic base of reality within me then and the excavation of my healing was only just beginning.
I know it was a deeply significant time. While there I visited Cornwall the birth place of my ancestors and at this time did not know that was where my ancestors came from. But I felt the deepest resonance there.
On one level I view England as my spiritual home. I feel next year I will return there as the Universe is opening up a door for me. My nephew and his wife are moving there in December and I will be welcome in their new home. I know that in my time back here in Australia I have been feeling like an alien and there is some repair that needs to happen. I want to visit the birth place and death place of my ancestors and walk the lanes of St Austell and visit the cemetery at St Stephen in Brannell where they are buried.
I am aware that on the 1st of September there will be an eclipse smack bang on my natal Pluto in the first house. It felt yesterday like I was dying on some level. I was scared as I am only a few months out of treatment for early stage breast cancer. There is always a concern it may come back if I don’t follow my soul’s desire to go back ‘home’. But I do feel what was occurring yesterday was on a spiritual level, at least a harbinger of change. During eclipses olds ways of being dissolve and we are called to embrace change.
I survived yesterday. Today feels better. And I was so encouraged to have the Universe drop that meditation on me from out of thin air, this morning. The book literally fell open at that page. It makes me feel that all is working out as it should. I just have to trust that the dark night will in time reveal a new dawn and that in digging deep to find the courage to contain deep pain I will be rewarded with a release if I can just hold on in those awful places of darkest despair.