Love Letters in the Dark
For those of you who struggle today.
Be it with your business, your financial situation, or with your relationships. Maybe your whole life feels like it's falling apart. Maybe you've hit the bottom, maybe you are still in free fall. Maybe you aren't there today, but when you find yourself in the dark, today I write for you and to you.
I know it's not popular to be in this particular space - this darkness. This place of not knowing.
It's a scary place for most. I know it can be for me.
When I was a little girl, I was scared of the dark.
My childhood was mired in confusion and darkness and I couldn't bear to have the lights turned off at night. I would lay there, terrified. My heart beating so fast and my breathing shallow.
I would sneak the lights back on as soon as my mom or dad left the room.
In my late 20's when I stepped away from alcohol and began waking up, my experience of the dark - both literal and metaphoric - began to shift.
I had committed to being present, to being awake.
My life was a fucking mess. No, make that a hot mess. Waking up to that felt pretty damn hopeless.
I was in withdrawl from alcohol. I hated my job. I was exhausted and overweight. I was in debt up to my eyeballs. My relationship was ending. I had lost most of my "friends" because they were all drinking buddies.
Talk about dark.
I slept with the lights on every night, if I slept at all.
Where the message came from, I don't know, but it arrived and I clung to it like a life preserver:
"The only way out is through."
I had been meditating for a number of years and so I did the only thing I could do: I sat. I sat and I breathed and it felt like the darkness had no walls and no bottom. It felt so vast. My mind was going crazy with all this sitting and it kept screaming that the dark was going to consume me. I cried and I cried and I breathed some more.
I let myself sink into darkness.
I stopped fighting and I surrendered.
I felt so raw and tender and exposed. It was truth with a capital T.
Years of denial and fuck ups and shitty decisions paraded through my day to day experience.
And still, I sat. The only way out is through. The only way out is through.
One day, I imagined diving into that vast darkness. I got curious about it and lo and behold, I found the bottom of that well of inky black. I cried tears of relief. And I knew that it would never be that bad ever again.
I was no longer quite so afraid of the dark. I realized that my fear of the pain and my fear of the dark had been hurting me far more than that the mess I was actually facing. I knew that I had the strength to change what needed to be changed to have the life I wanted to have. The dark taught me that.
My mother used to say this phrase
When I was in a lot of pain as a teenager, "I wish I could wave a magic wand and take this burden from you."
It used to make me so angry and I didn't know why.
I know now that it's because I felt like she didn't believe in me. That she wanted to somehow fix and mend something that wasn't hers to take - it was mine. Her job was to remind me of my infinite strength, to remind me of my resilience and to encourage me to make courageous choices.
If you are struggling, if you are feeling that overwhelming sense of darkness and doubt and maybe even fear - a desire to get the hell out of this as quickly as possible, I offer you this.
I offer you my love.
I see the pain and the fear that etches your forehead as you traverse this dark time.
And as much as you may want to escape, I would invite you to stay.
Befriend this darkness that has arrived.
Give it space and time to tell you it's secrets.
Let the darkness hold you. Let it unwind you and your ideas of who you are and who you should be.
Take your time.
Great things are born of the dark. The light cannot - does not - exist without the fertile ground of darkness. Soon enough, the dark night will lift and the light will return. It always does.
Take your own hand. Hold your own heart tenderly.
You are magnificent. You have the strength and the courage to face the dark and whatever choices need to be made. You are resilient. You are powerful. So powerful. The dark illuminates those qualities.
I believe in you and the beauty of your future.
May you deeply trust yourself and this journey you are on. May you find that resting in the dark places lights your path. May you know yourself to be the hero of the story in each moment, no matter how dark or how light the conditions.
I believe in you. I honor you.
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