Friday, January 21, 2011

The dark night of the soul turns to light

I apologize for not writing sooner. I couldn't. I suddenly found myself in a deep dark night of the soul where there was no ground to stand on. I was fine with a relationship ending; I was fine with work ending; I was fine with possibly having to move. Then my neighbor's cat, Saki, whom I was very fond of, was hit by a car and died. A neighbor walking his dog found the poor guy dead by the curb, and thought he was my cat. So he knocked on my door to ask me. I knew my cats were safe at home (whew!) but I went out to see if I could identify him. To my horror it was Saki and I called his mom who was on her way home from work to tell her the bad news. We both fell apart and I found myself crying for days.

I knew that I wasn't just crying for poor Saki. I was crying for the death of all things: the death of relationships, the death of careers, the death of.... well, you name it. This threw me into a dark night of the soul where it wasn't clear if this life was worth living. I couldn't use any tools I had to get out of the despair that took over. Actually, I knew that using any tools would just be an avoidance. All I could do was sit with this despair. And pray.

Yesterday as I was passing by a beautiful Catholic church, I saw the open doors and decided to go in and pray. I am neither Catholic nor religious, but this church has a beautiful energy, with its stained glass windows that depict women saints on one side, and men saints on the other. I stopped by my favorite saints: Mary Magdalene, Anna, Archangel Michael, and St. Francis of Assisi. I asked St. Francis, who is the protector of animals, to take care of Saki's soul.

Then I went to the front and stood in front of a life size statue of Jesus Christ. I stopped my mind and meditated while looking at this statue, and the statue started to glow. The glow became a blinding light. I sat down and kept looking at the light show for about 20 minutes (I think. Time stood still.) Wow! I thought to myself. I'm not alone.

I could have sat in front of Jesus' statue for a long time, but finally decided I should go. How can I leave you? I asked Him, in my mind. You can't leave me, was His reply. And I knew that to be true. I left feeling peaceful, knowing that everything was OK, and my day shifted after that. More miracles happened, but I won't go into those yet. I'm still in awe of the unseen support that shows up when you pray in ernest.


gill said...

Thank you for sharing this. At this time of my life, I am desperately seeking hope and needed to read it.

Despina Gurlides said...

I'm glad it helped. I think many of us are going through some deep dark night of the soul. I've heard it said that the gateway to Freedom is guarded by Death and Terror. That's why so few people are free. My experience is that this is true. So hang in there!