The dark night of the soul is a journey into light, a journey from your darkness into the strength and hidden resources of your soul.
– Caroline Myss
Lately I have been thinking a lot about darkness. It’s not a very good place to be, but it’s my current reality. Melancholy has edged in on my usually bright being through memories that I would rather forget. Perhaps this is a reflection time for me, giving me a chance to revisit some wounded places and apply additional healing balm to them. Perhaps God wants to speak clearer to me in the darkness, at a vulnerable time.
The darkness doesn’t feel good to me, though. Each day, I dread nightfall in fear that its darkness will punctuate the darkness of my spirit. I am recalling dark, long nights when I was in the hospital. I am remembering some of the wounds of my spirit that happened so long ago. I am examining those wounds with a boat load of anxiety.
In this, perhaps God has a purpose. Perhaps I need to more fully develop a spirituality that prevails even in darkness. Perhaps, as Barbara Brown Taylor suggests, I need to learn about walking in the dark. Perhaps I am being called to explore what I might gain by embracing the darkness. Perhaps I need to lean into Taylor’s encouragement to “turn out the lights and embrace the spiritual darkness, for it is in the dark that one can truly see.” (Learning to Walk in the Dark, 2014) Is it not true that the time when we most closely draw near to God is during a dark night of the soul?
Yet I long for brightness to return. I miss the days just a few weeks ago when all felt well in my world. Still, I am making the best of it, knowing that this phase will eventually pass. I am stretching to reach the light and bring it near. I am holding on tightly to God, who represents for me all that is light.
Sometimes, just a thought, a word, a memory can bring a little light and hope into my spirit. I ran across this quote by Rumi just yesterday. It lifts up hope in me.
The wound is the place where the Light enters you.