gratitude for this image of persephone by Patricia Ariel http://art.patricia-ariel.com/persephone-2
When we are plunged into the underworld of our lives, whether through unexpected illness, death, trauma, relationship crisis or just a conscious intent to integrate suppressed emotion, it helps if we can be open to feeling whatever is present without condition. To be truly awake in the midst of dark emotions, we need to find the courage to open to these feelings without an agenda for them to transform into something more pleasant.
However, it’s also essential to listen carefully for the moment we move beyond being open to what is, and start to indulge our negativity, because when we do, when we collapse into the attraction to our pain, then we start generating a kind of darkness feeding frenzy in which we attract more misfortune to ourselves, and send out ripples of it in all directions.
It can be challenging indeed learning to navigate this – there’s a reason why myths are full of people getting lost in the underworld, seduced by illusion, stories of heroes vigilant to leave a good trail to follow back up to the light.
A while back, I was traveling through some very afraid, young, and desolate places in my inner world that had been activated by a life transition. I had no idea if these feelings would stay painfully with me for another day or a year. They had a potency that gripped me to the core throughout my days. Then, after six weeks of staying present and breathing my way through, I received a clear and urgent direction from my intuition.
“Luke”, I heard, “it's been good that you've been willing to be fully with the darkness, feeling it without condition or requirement that it change. This has allowed the integration of feeling that you didn't have the capacity to be present with in the body when the original loss occurred. And now, now it's time to swim for the light, as if your very life depended on it, as if you were underwater, out of oxygen, and needing to breathe."
And so I did, with all of my strength, and in an instant, I was lifted right out of my turmoil back into the clarity and peace of our natural state. Over the next months, I was directed to ground in the healing by focusing on vitality within and without, with a resolute and wholehearted attention.
Here then is the dance, from light we open to the dark. Being conscious awareness within the dark we bring it all back to the light.
Luke Anderson's writing