Thursday, November 12, 2015

Alive in the darkness

When speaking with a friend who is feeling down, confused, hopeless, or flat, we can quickly become convinced that something is wrong which must urgently be corrected. We feel as if we must do something about the error, remove them from their experience and replace it with another, ideally with one that cuts into the groundlessness… for us. It feels as if we must scramble to put them back together, to quickly remind them of all the gifts in their life, and to reassure them that things will be better soon. All the while remaining mistattuned to the surging integration which may be unfolding in front of our very own eyes.

Of course it is natural to want to help a friend who is suffering. But underneath this genuine wish often lurks our own disembodiment and disavowal of the unresolved darkness within, and the impending confrontation with our own unlived lives. If we tune in to this underlying anxiety – with curiosity, with care, and with holding – we may discover a previously abandoned feeling, emotion, or sensation which is longing to make its way into conscious awareness. Stay close.

While it may appear otherwise, this very disturbing material is not a mistake, but is sacred. It is a long lost friend that we very intelligently split off from at some earlier point in our lives, to ensure our own psychic survival and tie to those around us. But, for many of you, a vast, new, creative invitation is appearing out of the unknown: Slow down, remove the burden from your friend to change and take care of your unmetabolized emotional world for you, and recommit to staying embodied to your surging vulnerability, in whatever form it happens to appear. You are in the intelligent, creative, rich terrain of the jewels which are buried in the dark. Stay close.

It is possible the kindest thing you can offer your friend is to sit in the unresolvable complexity and the hopelessness with them, doing whatever you can so that they know you will not abandon them if they do not conform to the cultural fantasy that they be happy, grateful, and full of hope all the time. What they are is vast and contains multitudes. Trust in the unfolding of their embodied experience and dare to no longer pathologize the appearance of the dark, for within it is a light burning with a billion suns. With the entirety of your presence, make it clear to them that they need not ‘get over it,’ ‘transform,’ ‘heal,’ ‘raise their vibration,’ be happy, or ‘awaken’ in order for you to love them as they are.

Love is the totality. It is whole. It is raging and alive in the darkness, shining brightly in ways the mind and the conventional world may never understand. Within the confusion, the sadness, the despair, and the aloneness there is often something very real attempting to break through the dream of partiality and the conditioning of a world gone mad. There is a richness here – something is happening – but what that is may never support the consumeristic spell of consistent feelings of happiness, certainty, and a life without vulnerability.

Here, in the very core of your friend’s experience – which is utterly inseparable from your own – everything is alive, everything is path, and everything is divine. The divine is not only the joy and sweetness, but comes at times as Kali to reorder your world. Let us step out of the trance and into the fire with our precious friend, hold hands with him or her and keep them near. We can then turn toward Kali together, create a sanctuary for her wrathful wisdom-essence to unfold in our hearts, and finally see what she has to say.

Photographer and location unknown