I enjoyed watching Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday yesterday. (Yesterday wasn’t Sunday; I watched online at http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Full-Episode-Barbara-Brown-Taylor-Video.) She observes that people in the spiritual/religious realms encourage us to stay in “the light”, whereas she advocates embracing our experiences of “the dark” as being rich for learning.
(I also appreciated that she eschewed giving a simplistic or reductionist 1-2-3 approach; I find those one-approach-fits-all formulas to be lacking.)
The question I pose (to myself, or to you) is who do you think made the darkness anyway?
For me, the answer is the G-d made (and makes) everything. Everything. Good and bad, light and dark, sublime and ridiculous. I don’t expect to fully understand why Hashem has done so; as He said, “My Ways our not your ways; My Thoughts are not your thoughts.” But I do search for lessons and meaning in the difficult times. I usually find profound love behind the difficulties. And when I can’t find it, I trust it’s there nonetheless.
I’m preparing for another round of intense therapy in the months ahead. I’ve contacted an old therapist (who helped me untangle difficult issues in the past) and we’re scheduling some dates for some new work. This entails going through old painful experiences, many of which I pushed to the far recesses of my mind and memory. Exploring them brings up powerful unpleasant emotions and fears, unmet needs and terrifying ordeals. I can’t say I’m exactly looking forward to that.
But in the process, I reclaim vital life energy, I heal, and I emerge more whole, more humble, and more able to be present for others. It feels like the best way forward.
May you find the strength to linger a little longer in the difficult spaces of your life to see what you can learn there, and may you find unexpected grace and healing in the process.