"Fear is a natural reaction of moving closer to the truth" Pema Chodron
Have you ever watched somebody face as you tell them you're depressed? The crinkling in the brow, the slight glaze in their eyes as they subconsciously detach from the pain you are expressing. Even the nostrils begin to flare little as their breath quickens. All these subtle movements are a result of fear. We are afraid of our darkness. We shift uncomfortably when fear creeps into our peripherals, as if agitated by an itch we can't quite get to. Negative emotions are usually met with denial or suppression, but if we just sat in stillness with them letting them come to full fruition we would be amazed at the healing that would follow.
I sat at my kitchen bench oneday, my favourite spot in the house. It has the nice contrast of the cold marble beneath my arms and the warm sun filtering through the window heating my cheeks, turning them a dusty pink. My son all milky white sits at my feet which dangle off the breakfast stool. He's making his own magnificent orchestra with the pots and pans. My daughter lays sleeplily on the couch twirling a lock of her copper hair. I have everything to be greatful for, yet in the pit of my stomach there is a heaviness. When I start to become aware of it my heart is signaled to beat faster as I become afraid of this feeling. But, for whatever reason, that day I plucked up the courage to close my eyes and drop into that churning sorrow in the pit of my stomach. As I did this I felt as though I was falling off a high cliff into a deep dark crevice. As I fell into the engulfing darkeness the full realization of my pain began to take over. It was no longer islolated to my stomach, it soared through my body quaking with its power. Just when I thought I couldn't feel anymore grief I felt myself softly land at the bottom of the crevice. No longer did I feel isolated but instead a part of the darkness and the earth that surrounded me. It was if my bones were making themselves home in the rock and sediment. I was whole yet everywhere. It was a feeling of absoloute expansion. Then a memory came and I was a little girl again, seven years old, seated on my fathers couch afraid, tearful and angry. My brother and I had been subject to deep emotional abuse from another family member, only one of the many times. I remember hearing my dad come home from work and running into his arms, briefly taking in his comforting smell of sandalwood, house paint and cigarettes, then heaving into sobs trying to tell him through gasping breaths what had happened. My young self with her soul shattered was seeking comfort and justice. A justice that never came. So, I was going to see it right instead. I saw myself now as a mother and an adult take the 7 year old me into my arms and I cradled her and let her weep into my chest. I stroked her golden hair and kissed her soft rosy cheeks. I told her I was going to fight for her and she didnt have to be afraid anymore. I looked into her wet blue eyes and whispered that she didn't have to hold onto this pain any longer and I was going to take over now. I pressed my forehead against my young self and breathed unconditional love into her. I then held her even closer to me and with a very stern and powerful voice I told those who had betrayed my younger self exactly what I thought of them and that they no longer had the power to hurt us. They were deeply sorry and I saw their own pain and trauma in their lives. It was no excuse, but I had an understanding. I then took this younger me to a beautiful room with all of her favouite things and tucked her into a feathery soft bed where she could now peacefully rest. It was then I noticed that the grief and pain I had been holding onto was gone. I felt serene and empowered.
When I opened my eyes I took a deep breath in and wiped my tear stained face. I looked over at my children playing happily together on the couch, blissfully unaware of mummy's little trip to the depth of her soul. I felt like a better mother. A piece of me had been mended and so now I could love more fully. I embraced my darkness and it has brought me an immense amount of peace and reconciliation within myself. When I feel something tap tap tapping from my insides I no longer fear it, I invite it in and ask to feel all of it because it has been in my darkness that I have found my most brightest and most luminous light.