Walking through the Dark Places

It is our deepest hurts which have the power to help and heal us. What else carries an internal fire big enough to force us forwards? What else has the momentum to wake us up? What else has enough pain to make us long for something better? What else will drive us into the waiting arms of that beautiful, invisible life-force which yearns to help us? What else will teach us to feel the love which has no betrayal; the love which seeks only good? Naturally, most of us feel uncomfortable with intense emotion. We do not know how to deal with fear, sadness, and anger and so we repress them.


Repression is the enemy of healing. Difficult things get repressed in the hope that they will somehow be dealt with, intimidated into nonexistence, and erased from our being. Make no mistake; they are not dealt with, intimidated or erased. They are, in fact, lurking in the dark, gaining momentum.

Although difficult, the healing process is worth every little effort many times over. Our life will improve. Our relationships will thrive, our work will go from strength to strength, and we will have the satisfaction of fulfilling our full potential in life. We will become happy. We can choose to be brave and face those demons lurking in the dark. From the outside, they look way scarier than they really are. When they are squarely faced, they will start to dismantle into the mist of human error which once formed them. That mist will grow less dense and will start to disappear.

Everything that is repressed will take its toll on the body and mind. The energy from repressed memories and the emotions attached to those memories will usually manifest in some type of illness or unpleasant experience. It seeks an escape and pushes to be released. Healing is a permanent release which leaves us better than when we started. The healing process will often happen of its own accord when the conditions are ripe.

Entering a period of change is prime time for healing. We may find that seemingly random and unexplainable emotions start surfacing. We may get angry, afraid or sad for no logical reason. It is not random, unexplainable or illogical. If we follow the emotions, we will find that they are directly related to some past memory or issue which wishes to surface and heal. It may be in the past but the past has formed our present experience of life.

Opening the Door to Our Inner World

Life has cycles. We move into things and we move out of things. Some of the more challenging movements are when relationships end or when we lose someone that we love through death or another way or when something ends that is very important to us like a career. Other events which are much more positive can also be challenging, such as, the formation of a relationship, getting married, buying a house or having a baby. All these types of events in life touch our inner world. They open a door inside us.

When that door gets opened, almost automatically, a certain fear is there waiting. The world that is behind the door is, generally, unknown territory. For some of us, the territory is familiar because we have spent a long time looking at it painfully within ourselves and very precisely within other people. Many, if not most, people have no idea what is behind the door. They are a baby in that territory; crawling around haphazardly, having no concept of the dangers, nor of what to do exactly when they are there. Sometimes, due to life circumstances, the door can be thrown wide open and the person can really find themselves in the dark.

Valleys and Mountains

One day at school, as a child of six or seven, I decided to be most helpful and loving like the saints the teacher had just been telling us about. I told one of my classmates that the reason no one liked her was that she was not very nice to them. To me, it seemed such good and enlightening advice. All she had to do was be nicer and then she would have friends. She, for some reason unfathomable to me, did not seem so impressed with my helpfulness. She said in a dismissive manner, “What are you talking about? Everybody likes me!” They certainly didn’t like her. She then walked off as if there was something wrong with me.

By the time I was a young teenager the desire to find the meaning of life and the answers to human suffering had become much more pressing. Another day, as a thirteen-year-old, I stood in our family kitchen having just overheard a typical family argument and I thought, so clearly that it is still in my memory, that there must be a way for people not to suffer if only I could discover the path to happiness. In that moment, at some level, a life purpose was cemented or, perhaps, it would be more correct to say it surfaced from the predawn of my life.

A decade later, my spiritual teacher, Dr. Thomas Hora, joined me in my journey through that valley of discovery. I was able to explore the terrain and ask questions which helped me make sense of a foreign and somewhat dangerous inner world. It seemed to me I was more begging for answers at the time rather than asking in any polite manner but Dr. Hora was not fazed. I found what I needed to find.

The dark valley became a much clearer and lighter landscape. I learned which way was up the mountain and I could see where the treacherous spots were. We do not have to be afraid of the fear that unavoidably comes up with such adventures. The fear is simply letting us know that something important has arrived for us to look at and work with. It means we will make progress and reap the rewards. It’s a wonderful opportunity. We don’t want to run away from it. We want to embrace it.

Reducing the Potency

Normally, when disturbing emotions come up people will try and talk themselves into a better frame of mind. Sometimes this works but if the pain is strong enough it won’t work. Also, in terms of healing, it doesn’t get us anywhere. If we go a little deeper, let some of the repressed memories come up and then work with them, we will start to make progress. When the memories come up, they will definitely feel unpleasant. However, if we do this in a safe, protected manner, away from other people, when we have enough time to process them, not only will the force of the emotion subside but we will have released much of the energy attached to the memories.

We will find that, to some extent, the need to repress these things has diminished. Sometimes, they completely and genuinely disappear. We can tell if that is the case because they will hold no more potency. We will neither run from the memories or dwell on them, repeating the same scenarios in our mind in the hope that they may tire. There will be an acceptance and peace and we will stop thinking about the issue.

The Wild Beast of Pain

Emotional pain is an unavoidable part of life. There is no more certain reminder that we are not in control of our own life. It leaves us standing stunned and grasping for relief. Strangely, we need not run from it and hide. We can meet the wild beast of pain in its own territory, as inadequately prepared as we may feel. Against our natural instinct, we can choose to go to the pain and into it. Our survival mechanism will tell us that such would be certain emotional death. Surprisingly, it is not.

Along with the demanding for things to not be as they are, we can learn to keep an openness and vulnerability. We don’t have to shut down when pain knocks on our door. Shutting down will not help our problem. It will add to the already accumulated layers of hardened emotion and psychic debris. The flow of life will falter and struggle to travel through us. If we remain soft, we will still hurt but the pain cannot grab onto anything permanently and so it will leave sooner and have less residual after effect.

When things are painful, it helps to not lay the blame. Whatever happened was inevitable at the time. We usually don’t see the whole picture or know the timing of something. Also, we have to take responsibility for our own choices. At every point along the way, at some level, we choose to either be in or out of most situations. We are knowingly there and, if we are no longer there, we are knowingly not there. Whatever was the cause of any breakdown simply becomes the fuel of growth. Things can never be looked at quite the same way. It is that pain which forms us and pushes us across the boundaries of our evolution.

Because of You

There is a deep-seated belief that we get love from other people and if that is not working for us then we will tend to feel that something is wrong with those who should have or should be providing it for us. If we could but see that in the normal egoic mind, there is always a because of you. The trouble is that the “you” that we are blaming got their pain from another “you”. Most people are in an, at least, partially sinking emotional ship. Few are squarely on dry land. The “you” that we are accustomed to blaming is a victim themselves – if not from someone else then from their own thoughts.

Apart from this, a great deal of our because of you is either incorrectly perceived, inaccurately judged, wildly fallacious or simply a product of our own imagination and fear. It’s often because of me, not you. Blaming people who themselves are victims and inaccurately judging situations covers the vast majority of our blaming regime. It would be wise to reassess.

Our most painful pains have the power to destroy us or transform us. If we so choose, we can alter the lyrics of our repeating mental song. We can have a new melody running through our veins.

Because of you, I have learned to follow my own path no matter where it leads.
Because of you, I have learned that living in fear never keeps me safe and that trust comes from within me, not from anyone else.
Because of you, I have found a different way and in finding it, I have found myself. In finding myself I have also found you.

From Love’s Longing

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