Sitting with the Dark Cloud
Imagine a dark, heavy cloud surrounding you, enveloping you. You try to move away from it but it moves with you. You try to push it away with your hands, but it can’t be pushed.
You start to feel anxious. You may start to feel frustrated, fearful, overwhelmed, or frightened. No matter what you do, you can’t escape it.
You twist and turn to shake it off you, but it won’t leave you. You start taking handfuls of it and fling it, trying to get rid of it. And yet, there it is, still.
This is what a good portion of my life felt like. Though I didn’t see the “cloud” early on, I always felt it. In my attempts to get it off me, I sometimes flung it at other people. It certainly wasn’t my intention to do so, but occasionally it wound up being the result.
I lived with it. I hated it. It depressed me. It angered me. Yet, I didn’t know what to do about it.
One day I decided to tackle it in a different way. I sat with it. I looked at it. I cursed it. But I didn’t push it away. I figured it was trying to tell me something. Or at least, I hoped it was. Something needed to give.
By sitting with it, it took me to the dark recesses of my soul. Some people call this shadow work, but I wasn’t familiar with that terminology 20 years ago.
I turned on a small internal light, at different times and about different issues. I wanted to see this yuck. I was determined to confront it.
In my external stillness, I was engaged with an internal dialogue. I had to confront the truth about the darkness within me.
One of the most wonderful things I experienced was finding out how much yuck was given to me. Yuck I could release because it wasn’t mine to carry. For example, my abusers gave me their shame and guilt to carry. I realized I no longer needed to do that. I dropped it. I let it go. I didn’t need their permission, or anyone else’s permission to let it go. I gave myself the permission. I started to address, release, and heal those areas.
I also realized that I had to take responsibility for my own actions. If I didn’t like the truth I was living, it was my responsibility to change it. For example, I had a lot of issues with my mother. I came to realize that as long as I continued to blame her for things not right in my life, the less responsibility I had to take. As a result, I was actually empowering her and dis-empowering me. That had to stop.
I realized I was the only person responsible for my happiness. I am the only person responsible for my soul.
Sometimes that meant releasing people or places from my life; at least until I was well enough to be around them again, if I chose to.
I learned that instead of fighting the cloud of yuck – twisting, turning, flinging it – I had much more control when I sat with it. As I continued to sit with it, it continued to reveal itself. The more it revealed, the more I released and healed. I was creating a new cycle, a much healthier one. I began to see my own internal light!
Though I’m still not done cleansing, releasing, and healing, I’ve come a long way. I feel so much lighter and more at peace.
I’ve learned that obstacles are beautiful life lessons – even in the midst of pain. I’ve learned there’s a deep beauty in healing.
Sure, I went long periods of time without going inward to the dark recesses. I needed time to pull back, absorb what I learned from a particular healing, and lick my wounds, so to speak. And I would know when it was time to get back to healing. My soul would nudge me. And if I didn’t listen, I’d get the proverbial slap in the face, forcing me to pay attention and get back to work.
Going to these dark recesses can be daunting, scary even. Oh, but the rewards far outweigh the battle I was fighting. I feel lighter, both in weight and in contrast to darkness.
It’s why I help others today on their journey. I know it can be done, and it feels too good to keep it to myself. May love, light, and wellness be with you.