I have just come to an end of a relationship and it’s been a test of my own connectivity to come out of it healed. I’m reminded of how stresses can trigger old, destructive tendencies and in times of great stress it’s imperative that we watch ourselves vigilantly so that we don’t slide back to a well-trodden but useless path.
Time seems to slow down when we’re in deep emotional pain. Not in a pleasant way, but in a way that seems to just drag on and prolong our pain. I’m reminding myself that this is a good thing – there are simply too many easily-available ways for us to numb our pain, and the temptation to bury pain is the evil which all addictive persons must fight. Pain can only be healed if pain was present in our awareness.
The sense of time slowing down allows us to reflect on our behaviours and the choices we’ve made thus far in life, as any transitional period in our lives is a crossroad where lots of potential growth can take place. The wholesome approach to dealing with pain is to allow the pain to heal and to look towards uncovering the gift beneath it, however hopeless it may seem to be right now.
This may seem like an impossible task, to stay calm and balanced enough to see anything other than madness, when we’re experiencing a great loss. I’m sitting in that dark hole and telling you that it is not all bleak. In the apparent bleakness, I can see specks of light which I can focus on until they grow, expand and dominate the shade of my outlook now. But I’m afraid. I’m afraid of light. So I choose to stay in darkness.
This is an interesting revelation which perhaps many can relate to. If we had a choice of staying in the dark or moving out into the light, what would be our likely choice? Rationally, we would choose to move into the light, but our first instinct is likely to stay in the dark. It is far easier to stay in pain, darkness, imprisonment and fear than to embrace light, freedom, goodness and delight. What that means is, sometimes, making the choices that are good for us takes effort.
Sometimes, the dazzle of light is too much to take in when we’ve been in intense darkness, making us cautious about opening the doors to reveal more light into our existence. But like our eyes taking time to adjust to sudden bright light, the discomfort is temporary. Just as we would open our eyes fully eventually, so too can we open the doors to light shining into our lives fully if we knew that the transition from darkness to brightness yields only temporary discomfort.
I am choosing light. I stay put, not retreating from the promise of light. I inch forward, prying open a few doors just slightly to let in a comfortable amount of light. I see my whole being as the proverbial eye, adjusting to the goodness of life bit by bit from my dark imprisonment of pain. I discover that where the light hits my pain, I cringe in fear, but then that pain heals, freeing me one little bit more. One day soon, I will find that the eye of my entire being opens fully against the light – and I am again filled with laughter, creativity, inspiration.