Darkness can sap our strength
When we’re confronted with dark moments, dark days or nights, suddenly daunting seasons, it’s natural to be blindsided. And it’s easy to fixate. To lose focus. To lose energy and heart.
We can lose the vision of our way forward. We can lose the energy for anything. Our peace of mind, even our beliefs, shattered.
Challenge and the way forward
In times of terrible trial, consider that your shattered focus is the help you need, help that you don’t have to wait for. Because this challenge to your battered heart is in fact the way forward. As one world leader said during a prolonged period of darkness in the 20th Century:
If you’re going through hell, keep going.
— Sir Winston Churchill
This guidance is right on in the fires of pain, grief, fear of the “black hole” of the unknown, and the loss of simple human happiness. Loss of confidence in the next day or week or season, confidence in ourselves, our fellow humans, even confidence in life itself.
Indeed, to counteract darkness, double down on what matters most to you. Despite everything. Stay focused. Or re-focus. Or begin to focus, on your highest priorities. Live your values. What you find most meaningful and beautiful.
Walk. Your. Path.
It’s a discipline. Maybe the ultimate discipline. Maybe challenging enough that you can’t fixate on what would further sap your body, mind, and spirit.
Another great wisdom-keeper said it this way:
Between stimulus and response
there is a space. In that space is our
power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth
and our freedom.
Work at staying in present time, moment by moment, rather than “replaying” anything that drains you. Be as present as possible to Life going on around you. To what may be actively seeking your attention to offer you moments of beauty, solace, energy, even joy. And be active in creating change in ways that speak to you. Ways you can control.
Donate money, time or other resources to organizations that reflect your values. Express yourself in the world in whatever ways feel healthy and life-affirming. And try to generate peace within and around you rather than yet more conflict. Practice compassion, including self-compassion, and real self-care.
Do not let the behavior of another
destroy your inner peace.
— the Dalai Lama
In other words, “put on your oxygen mask”, as one way of counteracting understandable emotional paralysis in the face of darkness. And keep moving forward on your goals in the ways that matter most to you. One foot in front of the other.
Pace yourself in the process, too. There’s time for all things.
Take time to meditate. To rest. And to consciously engage in whatever calms your spirit. Then you’re helping to generate the light that you and others need. Plus, you’re modeling that good work. Consider the power of that.
Take time to reflect on that kind of calm, quiet power. Time to try it on and then take it on, like a gorgeous new garment. A new kind of peace warrior coat of arms.
Because, in truth, you have more power in this inner-to-outer work than you may believe right now. Meanwhile, just practice it anyway. It’s only good. Only win-win.
Do your work. Walk your path. And reach out for the support that you need and deserve. In short, proceed, dear ones. Proceed.