Friday, September 7, 2012

Long Nights of Darkness

It seems that this week was particularly appropriate for me to start a blog on finding light among the shadows.  I had one of those nights that happen rarely for me anymore but, that I am very familiar with over my lifetime.  I had received some unwelcome news.  I had expected it to some degree but, had hoped for something else.  I was handling it just fine, or thought I was.   Then it was time to go to sleep.  And sleep would not come.  But the tears did.  And the heartache and the tightness in my chest that makes it so difficult to breathe.  And then the voices came.  The voices of doubt and fear and recrimination and the voice of anger. 
So what do you do when the voices in your head are screaming at you and the pain in your chest won’t go away?  What do you do when sleep won’t come and the tears won’t stop?  That is the moment that you need to know how to look for the light.  The moment when finding beauty in the darkness inside you is most necessary. 
So what did I do to get through the night?  I rose from my bed and lit candles and incense.  I put on music that reflected the heartache that I felt inside and some that was hopeful.  I cuddled with my cat and drank pure cold clean water, and I settled in to wait out the pain.  Not a passive waiting but, an active one.  I made myself breathe deeply and slowly and then I began my recounting.
 I remembered the people in my life that I love.  I remembered my allies that have never abandoned me.  I remembered the beauty and healing that I have been blessed with in the past.  I remembered the beauty that I have inside me.  And I made the choice again to embrace the fact that my heart is not cold or hard or dead.  That heartache is evidence that I am capable of loving deeply, of feeling great joy. And I remembered that this dark night is a gift.  That in these moments compassion is born within me. That understanding someone else’s pain and despair is born of my struggle.  That this is how I midwife my own power and deliver my own magick.
 I called out to my Gods and gave thanks for my life and the great joy and immense beauty I see in the world around me.  I gave thanks for the gift of friendship, with my Gods and with the Fae and with my totems and with the humans in my family, my community and my coven. I wrote answers to the voices.  I wrote a letter to my Gods expressing the shadows and telling them what I long for and what I grieve for.  And when I was done, and the tears were exhausted, I slept.
I share all of this because, while these moments are short lived (one long night not weeks or months) and much farther between in my life now and while I know what to do when faced with them, I have lived through long periods when these moments stretched on eternally seemingly with no hope of relief. It has taken me most of my life to learn how to look for the beauty in the darkness, how to find the light among the shadows but I know how to wait for the dawn now and I know the Dawn will come.  I believe that I am not the only one who experiences these moments and part of my purpose in this life is to help others find the candles.  You will be able to light them, have no fear; the light is there within you.


  1. The light is there within you, indeed. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    It sometimes amazes me that, as a culture, we teach our children first how to look like they're handling the disappointment well, and then how to feel like they're handling it well ... but rarely do families teach children how to actually handle disappointment well, giving it room to speak and space to cry.

    This is such a beautiful post! Thank you!

    1. Thank you Maggie,

      I was concerned about being public about the struggle because I have been taught to feel ashamed about it. I decided that is just the reason to be public. If everyone is too ashamed to admitt to the tears and shadows and voices then we all just go on thinking that we are alone and feeling shame instead of pride and joy in the Dawn.

  2. *big hugs* Whenever you're having nights like this, I'm glad you have practices that you know work for you.

    Personally, I know I respond best to physical comforts, such as hugs and snuggles, that help me relax and draw my attention away from my whirling mind and help ground me.

    1. Hugs to you beautiful girl. It really helps to have my Pwca by my side to feel his warmth and his breathing. Plus, He's really soft. :) He's been VERY attentive. He seams to have a very good sence about when I am in need of touch. His presence is a gift beyond words. As is your friendship.