It’s dark outside.
We’ve passed the Winter solstice and even though it’s still hard to tell, the nights are getting shorter and the days are getting longer. Even if for a few minutes more each day, we are welcoming the sun back into our lives.
This is a good reminder for me (and hopefully for you too) that darkness doesn’t last forever.
I am many things these days – a high achiever, a business owner, a mother…and unfortunately, a young widow.
The Lesson is Calling to You
What I’ve been discovering and taking to heart over the last few months is that there is ALWAYS a lesson that we’re being called to learn. But if you’re anything like me, you’ve been conditioned for the external achievements. You know, those achievements that other people can see, like the awards, the big dollar signs, the success. And I’ll be honest. I LOVE achievement and success!
There’s no gold star, no award, no first place finisher ribbon for widowhood. In fact, from where I’m standing there’s no finishing at all…
When you’re dealing with grief, what I’ve learned firsthand is that you’re really not in control and there’s nothing you can do to get through it faster or excel at “overcoming” it.
I’ve been reading “The Dark Night of the Soul” by Thomas Moore. As I read through the pages, I’m struck with the idea that this dark night is not just a place of grief and sorrow. It’s a place of transformation. You’re shedding an old version of yourself and becoming someone new. It’s dark and it’s lonely. You are alone and left to figure it out and sit with it in the darkness.
Transformation in the Belly of the Whale
Do you know the story from the Bible of Jonah who was swallowed by the whale? Like Jonah in the belly of the whale, you’re alone in this place of darkness. There’s no checklist to distract you. No laundry to fold to take your mind off of grief. No PTA meetings to attend or organize. You’re alone with your grief and your thoughts and no one else is coming to save you.
You’re going to get mad and yell at the darkness, “I don’t want to be here! I want this to be over!”
Well, yeah, girl. We all do. But you’re not in control right now. Right now, you sit and you wait. And it’s hard.
But here’s the good part. While you’re sitting here in your dark struggle, the whale is still swimming in the oceans’ currents. The whale is taking us where we are meant to be on our path.
When the whale comes up for air, it’s not in the same place. And you’re not the same person.
So just do your time and know that you’re actually in the middle of a transformation, even if you’re not actively doing and achieving. When you are finally released, you are ready for what’s next. The waiting and silent struggling (or maybe not so silent…) has been preparation for the transformed version of you.
My friends, please remember that even when you’re struggling, suffering, and stuck, you are still being carried along on your journey by something greater than you.