Away with the Darkness…All the Signs are Pointing Toward A Brand New Day
Night time in your life is about to end, and a new day is coming. Today, this isn’t a for the masses blog; this is for those of you who are experiencing dark times and are wondering when it will end. For all of you happy people, basking in the glow of spring, love, and joy; finish reading this blog and then share it with a friend who needs it or put it in your pocket for later. Life works in such a way that you will need this one day. I know that I will. In the meantime, keep checking back in.
For those of you who may be struggling with some real issues right now and not knowing where to turn or what to do, this is a message of encouragement. Not the ponies, rainbows and kisses kind of encouragement; but the real—wo/man up, clean up, dress up, show up, fess up, cause you messed up kind of encouragement. For the soft stuff, the ponies, rainbows and kisses, you need to read back a few blogs and find what you need there. Today, we get real and raw about the pain, shame, and blame that we feel when we are on the giving or the receiving end of bad juju. Karma is a mug, and sometimes we have to accept that what goes around, comes around.
Today, I try to live life by the golden rule and try to do unto others what I would want to be done to me. Most days, I do pretty well with that approach, but there still are the rarer days when I miss the mark. In my earlier years, I didn’t value the golden rule as much as I do now, and as such, I left a lot more carnage than I would want to admit. I’ve mellowed with age and while never too terrible a person, I’ve broken a few hearts, said a few hurtful things, told a few lies, and angered a few folks, in my day. For that, I have regrets. Then there were the times when I was on the receiving end, and these actions were visited upon me. Whether the perpetrator or the victim, these instances led me down dark paths that left me depressed, anxious, envious, angry, and self-loathing.
What do you do with all of that? I’ll tell you what you do; you live through it, walk through it, wait for it, pay for it and at the end of IT…you finally let it go and move on to better days, for better days are coming. This, I promise you. How do they come? When you finish grieving; having a tantrum; suffering in silence; or suffering out loud; when you take back your mind, your power, your heart—then you are getting in the position to get better. You aren’t better; you are getting in position to be better. You are in preparation mode because you have made a decision to embrace “harm reduction” and move past what you did to harm others, what you did to harm yourself or what was done by another to harm you.
If what they say about love being a decision is true, then you have decided to love yourself through, and eventually out, of the external and internal chaos that has been imprisoning you these past days, weeks, months and years. You are going to take back control over your mind, and when it tries to stray back to its old ways, you are going to remember that the tail doesn’t wag the dog, you are the dog that will put that tail back in its proper place and do a mental re-set toward positivity and clarity of mind. Sometimes self-talk is healing talk when the message is one of empowerment.
You will make whatever apologies that you need to make to yourself or others to free yourself from the prison of in-forgiveness. Then go ahead and have yourself a letting go experience. Take an action that will end your travels through the valley of the shadow of death and put you on the path to healing. It can be something free, like writing down a “full confession” and lighting it up with a match or you can splurge and take a dollar or two to buy a mylar balloon and write your confession using a sharpie on the back. You are then prepared to step outside with that balloon and have yourself a little release party. Whatever you do, do something, take action, close a door to open a window.
I’ll end on that note, a window. When I was a graduate student, I would sometimes pull all-night study sessions. I would be so immersed in my school work that I wouldn’t realize the time. Inevitably, there would be a sign that I stayed up too late, and that a new day was starting. The sign was always the same. I would be typing on my laptop, doing just what I am doing now, and I would hear a “chirp.” There would be a faint sound and then silence and then another chirp. I would look up and say “oh my God it can’t be that late,” but it was, and I would know because I’d look out of my window and it would be pitch black outside. Darkness and chirping birds were an affirmation of the old saying that it’s always darkest before the dawn. Philosophers and Holy text writers share the wisdom of there being a season in life for everything. In each 24 hour rotation, we learn that the season of the night eventually ends and the dawn of a new day is coming. It’s the same in our lives. Sometimes we stay (up) too late in the darkness. Your season of the night has ended, the birds are alerting you to something that you can neither see nor feel initially, (the dawn of a new day). Even though you can’t see it because it's too dark, purely out of the habit of faith and knowledge, you know that you can trust those birds to warn you, and you can trust the Creator that made those birds, the darkness and the sun which all operate in sync to signal a transition from darkness to light.
Those reminders are gifts for with the promise of a new day, comes the possibility that appears every morning – that there’s something ahead of me, that’s greater than what was behind me and that all I need to do is WAKE UP and transition into what’s next. So go on and sing like a bird, all the signs are pointing to dawn, and the good news is, you have survived the night.