DARK NIGHT

THE DARK NIGHT

This is a dark night for us …
individually and communally.
Life, as we knew it, has changed.
The world around us, as we knew it, has changed.
We, as we knew ourselves, have changed.

We’d like to believe we will go back to the way we were.
That’s not really possible.
We’d like to know what will become …
of life, the world around us, and of us.
We don’t know.
We can’t know.

Dark Night
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This is the message that complements Judith's blog post on the same topic: https://judithbarr.com/2020/04/14/dark-night/

This is a dark night.
We cannot go around it.
We cannot rise above it.
We need to go through it.
We need to go deep within ourselves,
through the dark, unknown, scary places within ourselves,
if we are to come out the other side of the dark night.

If we quit in the middle …
all that we are running away from will haunt us.
All the thoughts, the feelings, the ways of being in our underground currents
will stagnate within and haunt us …
forever until …
we go back within to meet them, name them, feel them.
Until we go back within to resolve them at last.

This is true in our spiritual journeys.
This is true in our journeys in depth psychotherapy.
And now this is true in our lives in the midst of a pandemic.

There is no shortcut through the dark night.
Although many would like there to be.
Trying to take a shortcut only brings us back to the dark night once more.
Making the full journey brings us out into life –
into the life of who we are –
into life within and without –
in a way we’ve not known before.

DARK NIGHTS PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

We have just passed or are passing through the holy days of two of our many world religions:  Holy Week in Christianity and the Holy Week of Passover in Judaism. We know the stories connected with each of these holidays. So we know the outcomes.  But those who lived through them didn’t know the outcomes ahead of time. They had to go through them to the end.  They lived in and through the dark nights of those times.

We don’t know dark nights from the outside in. We know them from the inside out. This pandemic in our time is calling us to journey with and through the dark night … our individual and our communal dark nights.

It is important to know we each have a choice in relation to the dark night.

Whatever choice we make, it will have an impact on not only singular us, but on all of us here on earth.  We each have a choice. Whatever choice we make will be our part in re-creating our world.  Be filled with care as you participate in co-creating our world anew.

For inspiration, included below is a poem from a dark night that I passed through long ago.

OUT OF MY DYING FRAGMENTS

Out of my dying
fragments
emerge some of
my sweetest and truest songs.

As I lay grieving,
gently holding my broken heart,
rivers of sobs and tears
part of the mending,
shedding my used defenses
as a snake sloughs her skin …
my heart’s desire
calls through the freshly opened
wires
to invite me out again
into Life —

new Life,
a life I’ve not known before,
a life in which I no longer
know who I am,
thank heavens!
and so can live each
moment new
from inside my Self —
undefined, unlabeled
by even my own impositions.

© Judith Barr, 1993. Out of My Dying Fragments

© Judith Barr, 2020

STATE OF THE UNION

She Who Speaks to Congress

She walks into the halls of Congress …
looking straight ahead …
right down the aisle to the podium high above the legislators’ seats.
The same podium at which the President will soon stand.

She stands at the podium …
grounded in herself …
grounded in Truth …
grounded in Love.
She takes the time to look in the eyes
of every single senator and every single congressional representative.

She begins …
Senators, Representatives, leaders of our country …
Wake up!
The state of our union is not good.

State of the Union -- She Who Speaks to Congress
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This is the message that complements Judith's blog post on the same topic: https://judithbarr.com/2020/01/01/state-of-the-union/

No, don’t turn away.
No, don’t shake your head.
Don’t close your eyes and go to sleep again.
Don’t go deaf.
No, don’t go numb.
No, don’t boo me for saying the truth.

There’s lots of real truth to be said and this is the perfect time.
Not only are you all gathered here together, but …
so are all the media hosts gathered, in a sense, watching us.
So also are the citizens of our country.
And in addition, both the leaders and the citizens of countries all over our world.

All waiting for real truth to be spoken.

The state of the union is not good.
We all have played a part.
You, the leaders, right out in the open for everyone to see.

People are acting out.
You, the leaders, are acting out.
Some of you, not just the man at the top,
are acting out the part of the one who flaunts:
I can do whatever I want,
have whatever I want,
get away with anything I want, and not be caught.
I can do it in hiding or even in the light of day, and not be caught.
And if I happen to be caught, I can still get away with it.
Some will admire me.
Some will try to imitate me …
ripping off permission to do what they’ve always wanted to do.
Some will make excuses for me.
Some will be afraid of me.

Yes, and some of those who fear you will run away –
physically, in their minds, from their hearts.
Some will numb themselves – on all levels of their being.
And some will be frozen with fear …
by what you are acting out,
by the scenario that is being acted out.

Some are acting out the part of the one who flaunts.
And … some are acting out the part of the one who:
Tries like hell to catch you;
tries like the devil to stop you.
Tries to gather others to help in the “dangerous” venture.

Some think those of you who get away with anything are the good guys.
Many think those who try like the devil to stop you are the good guys.
Each of you thinks you’re the good guys and the others are the bad guys.
The truth is:  None of you is right!

None of you is right!
You are all caught …
caught up in a maze …
a vicious cycle in which you’re acting out
yet again
the same scenario played in your families
when you were children long ago.

In your life as a child there was
a version of what’s going on today.
There was someone who thought they could get away with anything;
perhaps someone who ran away,
someone who numbed themselves,
and someone who was frozen with fear.
There was also someone who tried like the devil to stop the one
who thought they could get away with anything.

What did he or she think they could get away with?
There were limitless possibilities.
Among them ….
drinking, drugging, gambling;
cheating, stealing;
yelling, beating, sexually abusing;
lying, manipulating, brainwashing, gaslighting,
grabbing all the power.

What did he or she think they could get away with?
In essence, passing on in your family
the trauma they experienced growing up in theirs …
all in an attempt to defend themselves against the pain
of their trauma.

But if you pass on your trauma without doing the inner work to heal it …
you not only pass it on to your family,
you also pass it on to your society and to the world society.

And what about all the spouses, family members, and children
who didn’t believe they could ever stop you, the “flaunter”?
Without doing their inner healing work …
they pass down the trauma of their hopelessness to their families and their society.

And …. what about all the family members, particularly the children,
who believed and hanged onto the hope that they could one day stop you
from all that you’ve been trying to get away with?
Attempting to stop you only in the outer world …
failing to do their own inner healing work …
they, too, pass down their trauma to generations of families to come
and generations of society to come.

You are the leaders of our country –
and mirrors of leaders in countries all over the world –
and mirrors of citizens in countries all over the world!
Get a grip!
Whatever “role” you are playing in this societal scenario
is merely a re-creation of the scenario of your childhood
(and generations before).

Whatever you do in the outer world to
keep flaunting,
keep running in hopelessness,
keep trying like the devil to stop this …
will only escalate it further if …
you don’t heal it on the inside,
if you don’t heal it from the inside out.

You are the leaders!
Get a grip!
I can see through your act, your ploy, your defenses.
I can see through your big, adult bodies …
to the little children within you who are driving this mess,
escalating it from whatever your “role” in the re-enactment.

There is a television commercial for Haribo gummy bears.*
In it, the brilliant creators of the commercial have members of
a board of directors eating the gummy bears and talking like children.
This is what I see and hear when I witness you, our leaders,
creating havoc in our government, our country, and our world.

Just like children cannot see that their parents are
re-enacting what happened to them when they were children …
unless we can see our own part in the trauma that is being
re-created and repeated amongst us today,
and unless we do our own work to heal it within ourselves,
we won’t be able to see and hear you, our leaders,
acting like the children you are inside.

You are the leaders.
Get a grip!
For once, act like leaders!
For once, be truly good role models!
Don’t tell me you are telling the truth …
while refusing to do the healing deep within that would bring real truth.
Don’t tell me you love your country …
while refusing to heal the experience of trauma and
your defenses against the trauma,
all of which close your heart to love.

Yes, you went through trauma.
We all have in one way or another.
Yes, I have compassion for your trauma.
Yes, I would gladly help you heal from your trauma.
But I still hold you accountable for the trauma you continue to create …
in an attempt to hold your past trauma at bay.

You are the leaders.
For once, for the sake of us all, act like leaders!
Look for and find the original childhood role you are acting out in this destructive scenario.
Get help healing the trauma experienced by the child you were long ago.
Get help healing the trauma that still lives within you,
and that you experience over and over beneath your awareness.
Get the help to do real inner healing so that you stop creating trauma in our world in order to not feel the trauma from your past.

Until you do this, senators and congresspeople …
you are not my leaders!
you are not my role models!
And honestly, you are not really our leaders or role models.
Neither are the citizens who are following your lead.

We need leaders and citizens, who will do their inner healing
so they have the capacity and potential
to truly help stop destructive, escalating, trauma.

We need leaders and citizens, who will do inner healing to the root –
not just seek quick fixes,
not just put on band aids so they will feel better or function.
We need leaders and citizens who will commit themselves to healing to the core and follow through on that commitment …
so the trauma perpetuated and driven by the children in adult bodies
will slow down, de-escalate, transform, and eventually end.

We need leaders and citizens who hear those traumatized children within
not only acting out destructive traumas,
not only creating trauma by defending against past trauma,
but also crying out for help to heal.
You may think this is depressing.
You may want to dismiss it and turn away.
You may want to discredit it.

The truth is …
this understanding and the possibility that follows
brings hope –
real hope.
In reality, without this, there is no real hope.

She stops speaking.
She looks every single member of Congress in the eye
and steps down from the podium.
She walks down the aisle and back out into the world,
knowing she has just been
the presence
of grounded, real love
and
of grounded, rarified truth.
Knowing what she has just given to the world is true hope.

 

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAnwmmPFYgU
Also see
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=963SVFKw1Tw

© Judith Barr, 2020.