Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Don't Skip the Dark

I don't know much about a lot of things lately.

Really...it's a tough season.

And writing tough season, means something to me, but maybe it's a nice and neat packaged statement to the reader. Truth be told though, my life is anything but nice, and neat, and packaged right now.
It's not pretty at all.

The bottom falls out at many different intervals in life, in many different ways it seems. It's not at the same time of year, it's likely not the same problem as last time, and it's not always expected...sometimes it's entirely shocking.

I didn't see this go-round coming.
I thought I was doing okay.

I've been making good choices, and I've been practicing gratitude. I've been turning away from negativity and I've been taking chances and risks to move closer to the life I want for myself. It would appear that, on paper, I've been doing...all of the right things.
And if there's anything I'm a sucker for, it's a do-gooder checklist.
A checklist is right up there with Disneyworld and a girls spa day for my perfectionist personality.
Go ahead and tell me there are 10 choices/tasks/responsibilities to fulfill and I can expect a predetermined outcome....and I'm ALL IN.

I'm a rule follower, a list maker, a measurable outcomes gal.
I want to know what I have to do to feel secure in expecting a good life.
The tricky part about being wired this way is that life, in all of its plot twists, pivots and cliffhanger question marks is anything but predictable.

I'm struggling with it.
That's the honest truth.

I am weary and a little ravaged from the last big bungee jump that life kind of pushed me into.
I sort of feel like I had only merely begun the new ascent from that free fall...and yet...the rearrangement has started again.

And I've cried about it.
And I've been really angry about it.
And I've toyed with bitterness, wondering if maybe I skipped that last time and maybe it wasn't to be skipped.
Lots of sleepless hours in the dark nights, lots of physical, emotional and spiritual unrest...

And even in the real and authentic place of hurt, and question, and inescapable why - I am searching for the 5 steps that I can take to GET OUT of this uncomfortable, and bleak, and dark stop on the journey to wherever I'm headed.
I don't want THIS to be part of it.
I want to wrap it up and seal it shut and dispose of it.
Because I see it as inconvenient and an interruption...and I don't want to be weighed down with... being human.
Let me skip it....let me deny it.

Because we don't talk very often about how it's brave to admit the valley's. 
We don't shout about the courage it takes to face the night. 
We don't celebrate stopping. 
We don't cheer on the weary traveler who chooses to...rest.

The problem with rushing through the darkest days is that you also rush through any growth or healing or strength that can be gained from staying in them.
Just as night falls so we can regenerate and rest and be still. And just like any expert will tell you that forgoing sleep in the dark hours is detrimental to our health and well being...
So the dark comes in our lives....urging us to rest and be still. And the Expert urges us to stay there awhile, notice the landscape and the stars...for this place is valid and has worth also.
And skipping it leaves us less, empty, jittery...not quite ready for what's next.

This time I'm going to listen.
I'm not going to shrug it off and push it down.
I'm not going to fool myself into believing that only the sun-filled seasons have value.
I'm going to stop and listen and learn.
I know the sun will rise again...but I'm not going to be so bold to assume that I can rush it to bend to my watch. I'm going to respect it and be thankful for rest, and look at some stars, and be restored...
And then I can be truly thankful when the dawn cracks through the night once again, and I can carry on.