It took me a while to recognize the dark pit I had found myself in. Convinced that I was alone in my suffering, influenced by the toxic and abusive affects of my environment. I had begun to doubt God’s existence, a first for me. I began to unravel slowly. I felt trapped, alone, lacking worth and value… lacking connection… all encompassed by the cold embrace of apathy and resentment.
I felt anger. I felt grief. I felt alone.
I began to believe that this cold, isolated darkness what all that was left for me, that THIS was the harsh reality of my existence. The painful thoughts and emotions that coursed through my body day and night had successfully detained me as their prisoner. I sat in this cold, lonely prison for almost a year, my heart aching daily, and my essence unraveling like tattered yarn. One day, from behind my bars of emotional trauma, I heard a voice… one that was soft, kind and welcoming; a voice without judgment. It said, “join me…”
This was an invitation, the one I needed, to feel connected and escape the dark isolation of my mind, a buoy to grab ahold of when I had been drowning in sorrow for so long.
It was only when I turned toward this voice that I realized the darkness I had surrounded myself with was not my only reality. When I looked behind me, to turn toward the voice of connection, I was awestruck to see that there was no darkness, there was light and it was shining in my direction… it had been there the entire time. It had not left me… it had never left me. I had walked away from the light and therefore found myself in darkness. I had convinced myself that was all there was and all I deserved, but I was so wrong. I am light and I am love and what I deserve is to be surrounded by the same. I found myself overcome with gratitude; I was no longer a prisoner to my mind and heart. Although I still wrestled with thoughts and feelings of anger, grief, and despair I was able to recognize that “I am not my thoughts” they come and go and not all of them need to be believed. I also learned that “I am not my emotions” they come and they go, the experience is temporary. My body learned how to reinterpret the emotional trauma attached to my thoughts and over time the cold shadows of resentment and pain became warm affirmations of my strength and inherent worth.
The light and love I needed had always been there. It had not left me… it had never left me. It was, and still is, my responsibility to honor my existence by turning towards it rather than isolating in shame and despair. There will always be the option to sit alone in the dark, if one chooses… it was then that I decided I would always turn towards the light. If I had a choice then I would choose connection over isolation, light over darkness, love over apathy. My year in darkness was filled with pain that I will never forget; but that same pain showed me what I was capable of overcoming and rising anew. Beneath the pain of being human, I am a soul. I am light and I am love. My soul has value; a lesson that only a deconstruction of my Self could have taught me.