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.
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
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
to invite me out again
into Life —
a life I’ve not known before,
a life in which I no longer
know who I am,
and so can live each
from inside my Self —
by even my own impositions.
© Judith Barr, 1993. Out of My Dying Fragments
© Judith Barr, 2020