Dancing with Darkness


There once lived a girl who overflowed with optimism, motivation, personal drive and discipline.  This girl ran miles upon miles, did yoga for hours relishing in the strength and the sweat.  She set goals that were big and scary, and she pushed to make them happen even when it felt like logic was telling her to abandon hope.  She had perseverance.

Then one day darkness came uninvited to take up residence with her.  As if some imaginary door had been blown open just long enough for the darkness to unpack it's bags.  This visit was not like the others she'd had with the cold hearted gloom.  No, not like the others at all because this time the darkness didn't leave after a weekend of giving into it's demands.  She couldn't get it to leave with a week of sticking to her workouts which normally ushers the intruder right out.  As the known stranger began to take hold of her heart she began to find it more difficult to step onto her yoga mat for more than child's pose.  In-fact she began to blow off meditation choosing sleep instead, because in meditation she would have to look at the stranger and stare it's message in the face.  Bedtime started coming earlier in the evening.

Can you relate to this girl?  Have you experienced this place?  What Thomas Moore describes as "A Dark Night of the Soul?".  Sometimes they come.  It's a normal part of life and there are many ways to muddle through what it has to teach us.

This girl in our story is beginning to break through by clinging to the old ways that have worked for her.  Coals of her old drive, and motivation still lay burning in her heart, she could feel sparks of them.  They refused to be snubbed out by this uninvited guest.  Inside her there began a silent war between the coals of light and the stranger that wanted her to surrender fully to it's care.

She is trying to hang onto the embers of motivation that she feels strongest in the morning and nurture it with a strong cup of coffee.  Her beloved morning routine, a french press and a side of morning pages allow her to re-awaken the creative juices even if only for a moment.  Each morning she is able to make the flickers of joy and light last a little longer.

In these small familiar ways she is able to push against the darkness and stoke her internal fires once again.  Sometimes this uninvited visitor will come for longer than expected.  As our girl pushes into the darkness she will realize that she's no longer pushing and has started dancing with him.  She has made the darkness her friend.  She has learned how to crawl inside it's pitch black terrifying abyss.  She has crawled into the forrest of darkness and picked it's flowers, climbed it's treacherous mountains, and learned from it.  She is stronger.  Once she befriended him, he gave her the key so that she could leave as she pleased.  As she closed the door behind her she knew he'd be back again maybe through an open window or a crack in the foundation.  Our girl sighed with relief confident that she has the tools to find her way out again.