Dark Nights

15 07 2008

“Your dark night teaches you the truth of the moon. Life is not intended to be only solar, and indeed the cool, blue shadows of the moon have a special beauty. You can live in that beautiful glow, that light shaded by painful experiences and doubts and lack of understanding. Life is often more buoyant there than it is in solar brilliance.”
– from Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore

It is in the dark, on those moments when nothing seems to make sense or that numb our senses, where we finally dig deep in order to bring forth our essence. Everything that lives deep beneath our mind, beneath the walls we plaster over our soul in order to protect the tender areas of our being. We are never safe from the perils life send our way all we can do is face them, if we shy away from them we end up living a meaningless existence. It is in trials and challenges that we begin to live in the manner we are called to live and to stand for our dreams and values. It is the moment when our true colors shine through.

We stand before the mirror and many times don’t recognize the face we see, it is the reality that time and circumstances have changed us not only inside but outside as well. Perhaps we have lost that optimism and good sense of humor in the day to day dealing with circumstances we have been forced to live. Resistance can make up a lot of intolerable moments in our life that we prefer not to live but there is only one way to handle that situation; facing it. It makes take us days, weeks or years but it is ultimately the only way to cross to the other side.

Tell me about your Dark Night experience.

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life

Die Living, Not Dead

26 03 2008

“And death is possibly the most important thing. We are all walking towards death, but we never know when death will touch us and it is our duty, therefore, to look around us, to be grateful for each minute. But we should also be grateful to death, because it makes us think about the importance of each decision we take, or fail to take; it makes us stop doing anything that keeps us stuck in the category of the “living dead” and, instead, urges us to risk everything, to bet everything on those things we always dreamed of doing, because, whether we like it or not, the angel of death is waiting for us.”– Paulo Coelho

What is life supposed to be? Mere existence or a sum of experiences fully lived? I wonder as we somehow get from living each and every moment to navigating on autopilot through life. When did all of this happen and why? Life is not static, it evolves and changes and sometimes those changes are not welcomed or accepted. Familiarity and comfort is regarded with stability but there comes a time when we may not feel that way anymore. I guess our outlook changes the moment we face death. Dying is such a final state even to those of us who believe in resurrection that it makes us dig deep within ourself. In order to rise to eternal life we must experience death, the same goes when we are to experience a necessary transformation in our life, something has to die inside of us in order to be re-born. We know a transformation is necessary because there is a nagging sense of pain and sorrow within we can’t shake off from our soul. The more we resist it the more it hurts.

These periods of our life have been called many things but my favorite so far is Dark Nights of the Soul, Thomas Moore wrote a book with that title and as I read it I identify to all that I’m feeling at this moment. I don’t agree with everything he writes but the core of the matter is there and I can relate. I was studying St. John of the Cross writings months before I came to this stage in my life and in a way I see it as the prelude to a great transformation of mind and spirit in order to connect fully to what God had in mind for my life.

This is a short passage from Dark Nights of the Soul:

Your dark night is preparing you to be yourself. It is reenacting your birth as a person. It is offering you an alternative to absorption in your manipulative culture.

Your dark night is forcing you to consider alternatives. It is taking you out of the active life of submission to alien goals and purposes. It is offering you your own approach to life. You can sit with it and consider who you are and who you want to be. you can be fortified by it to stand strong in your very existence. You can be born again, not into and ideology that needs your surrender, but into yourself, your uniqueness, your God-given reality, the life destined for you.

The question now is if we are going to let our life to evolve and be transformed or if we are going to continue to hide behind our fears and begin to die inside? It takes courage to move on to an unknown path but it is ultimately a matter of life or death of our own spirit.