“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
― William Faulkner
Good morning lovely you!
Even though it is toasty in my home and I am sipping my cup of hot tea, I have goose bumps. And that is because of the William Faulkner quote. Every time I read this quote, I get goose bumps because I can identify with it so so so much.
You have probably heard me say once or twice (or many more times!) that life’s tragic moments often turn into life’s magic moments. That is exactly what happened in my own life.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was scared and I was angry and I was hopeless. I was literally given a death sentence. There was no, “Well maybe this will help,” or “this protocol has been successful for others.” Nope. It was, “You have 6 months to live.” Period.
Needless to say, I got pretty dark pretty fast. And I lived inside of this darkness for a time. I sensed it, experienced it and felt it completely. It was unbelievably painful and I don’t wish those dark days and nights on anyone.
But then something interesting happened. The darkness didn’t overcome me. Not really. I faced it and expected that it would kill me before the cancer did. But it didn’t. I was still ME in that darkness. I was still ALIVE in that darkness. It hadn’t really won the battle as I expected.
Well let me tell you something, losing my hope and facing that impenetrable darkness is what gave me even greater hope and strength to fight the good fight and save my own blessed life.
It was going through the dark that made my light shine brighter than it ever had. That’s why I know that losing faith and hope and getting dark doesn’t have to be a negative thing. It can lead to wonders.
Why Happiness is Overrated
Most of us go through life doing our damnedest to avoid emotional pain at all costs. Everything is about being happy, finding happiness, come on get happy. But the thing is, when we only focus on the “good” or “happy” or “joyful”, we are denying a big chunk of our lives.
Life is everything. It is good and bad, light and dark, hopeful and hopeless. That’s just the nature of things. Duality exists. If it didn’t, nothing would exist. You can’t have light without dark and you can’t have happiness and joy without sadness and grief.
To deny this truth is to deny much of human experience. To not only deny it, but to cower from it. To live in fear that someday the “not-so-nice” part of human experience will fall down on you and crush you with its weight.
This is no way to live. It took almost dying to make me realize this. We are all so afraid that the darkness of life will kill us that we avoid it like the plague. But the darkness can’t kill us. I know. I was smack dab in the middle of my darkness – in the very center. And I am here 30 years later sipping tea and typing this blog post to you.
Feeling happy and good is nice. But there is beauty in every emotion, even pain and sadness. Don’t focus too much on trying to get back to “the good ol’ days” before cancer struck. Don’t waste energy trying to pretend you and your loved ones are happy. It is not real. And if you try to live this lie, then pretty soon you can’t trust yourself. And if you can’t trust yourself, how the hell are you going to get through the journey you are on?
Embrace Every Part of Your Life
In order for you to become whole once again (if you were ever whole to begin with) you need to embrace all parts of you and your life. That is your job right now. In order to get well, there can be no more denial or suppression of darkness. Suppressing dark emotions is one of the biggest things that makes us sick. Even the conservative Centers for Disease Control and other national research institutes will admit that suppressing negative emotions is, in fact, a leading cause of the development of diseases like cancer.
Getting well, in every sense of the word, will require you to embrace the dark right along with the light. You can no longer try to run from it or avoid it. You are face to face with it so surrender to the process.
I can tell you from personal experience, surrendering to the dark will bring the light flooding back in. Becoming weak will make you strong. And losing hope for a time can increase your hope ten-fold.
Wishing you love, light and peace,