Friday, April 2, 2010

Shadows Dancing

I mentioned earlier this week that I can get pretty uncomfortable with the gray parts of life, but I am also fully aware that that is where all the real learning takes place. I am aware that it is out of our shadowy places that light eventually emerges.

I just happened upon a truly nasty blog that calls itself Christian, in which the author "hints" at the fact that Mother Teresa was not a "real" Christian because she had such a long period of Darkness, that she admitted her doubts, that she struggled with her relationship to God, to the Infinite Divine, to this Life.

Those are exactly the reasons I admire her.

As we enter this day that we seemingly paradoxically call "Good," we might remember that the greatest minds and spirits are those that are unafraid of the dark, even when they are not promised a candle.

Are you willing to look at your own darkness? Are you willing to confront the parts of you that, in little ways every day, dampen your capacity to Love?

Are you willing to dance with your shadows and just trust?


G said...

Of my goodness. I was shocked to read that there are people who would dare to say that Mother Teresa wasn't a "real" Christian. I completely agree with you, her moments of darkness and struggle with her faith are the reasons I am able to identify with her. If she did not have those moments, not only could she have ended up a different woman than the amazing one she was, she would also be so much difficult to identify with at all. She was so selfless and giving that it would be hard to identify with her willingness to give of herself for others. I am so glad that you post about your struggles and difficulties because everyone has those moments. I think our willingness to embrace those moments is the thing that strengthens us and allows us to be who we truly are, struggles and all.

Rowena said...

It's a tough thing to do that, maybe that's why so few people do face their dark side. It's so easy to slide all the way in and get lost, or wallow in it, in a woe is me fashion.

But every once in a while I just accept the dark side, the bad emotions, the ugly feelings, without apology, without trying to make them into something productive, without trying to analyze them, without trying to take it out on someone, without trying to be "good", and I've always found the experience to be exceedingly valuable.

Then I am able to see the light better. It's weird how that happens. Face the dark, and the light grows. Hmm.

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

Darkness defines the light. Would one mean anything without the other?

As for Mother Teresa, her "Christian-ness" and her struggle through the dark night of the soul ~ DUH! Exactly that struggle with darkness embodies her piousness! Perhaps the author of that blog has yet to learn about The Dark Night of the Soul. How unfortunate for that person.

I venture further to say that even Jesus himself experienced this darkness, just before his death on the cross, uttering these words ~ Eli Eli lama sabachthani?.

It's not weird at all, that facing darkness ~ enduring thru it ~ gives one a greater vision of the light. The dawn is borne out of the deepest darkness, isn't it?

And maybe this is a crazy parallel to draw, but ... think of awaking in the dark of night. All the lights, turned off. The longer your foray in the dark, the wider your ocular aperture ~ ie pupil ~ becomes ... and thus, the greater your eye's capacity to take in light.

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
claire said...

I agree pretty much with everything Tinkerbell the Bipolar Faerie wrote :-)

I find that my dark side is often grey-brown-yucchy color -- so much of what I have swept under the rug -- all those weak parts of me, those unpretty traits that disappoint me, shame me, embarrass me...

But there is also a mysterious very black darkness that calls me...

I guess there are possibly as many shades of dark as there are shades of light...



NicoleS. said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your beautiful words and honest thoughts - I've been reading your blog for the past week (and reading some of your past posts) and as I am struggling with finding my own inner "blisschick" and pulling myself away from my personal cliffs, I've found your writing to be consoling, inspirational, and joyful - so blessings to you!

mommymystic said...

I love this also, and I also so agree about Mother Teresa. I found those letters that were released after her death that conveyed her doubts and dark periods very, very moving and powerful. That she did what she did in the world even when she was going through those phases is astonishing and beautiful. I have to admit I also felt sad, as I did feel like maybe the guidance she was getting in the orthodox catholic hierarchy could not really help her in the way she needed to find her joy again. But that's not for me to say, I realize. Her path was her path, and she is an inspiration.

I'm all about 'light coming from our shadows' these days. It's what originally drew me to Tantric Buddhism, which incorporates this alot.

Thanks for this reminder on 'Good' Friday. What could be more appropriate?

StorytellERdoc said...

Hey C

Great post. I just finished a brief biography on Mother Theresa, as well as a synopsis of some of her most famous quotes.

Amazing, to say the least. She was a real person, no doubt...

Have a great holiday weekend, and the same to the little ones and M!


Em said...

This is the result of 30 years of Moral Majority thinking and the dumbing down of America, in my opinion. It is also an attitude that can't be anything but self-hating, because none of us are perfect, none of us are without a shadow side. So I find it a pretty sad commentary.

I have lived through my share of dark nights of the soul and in the aftermath, they leave gifts in their wake the way a high tide does. Walking along the beach afterward, beautiful things have been uncovered or left behind. But they'd never be there at all without the high tide. Dark nights go along with being a thinking individual. I don't see any way around it.

Lisa said...

Great post.

Well said.

And, yes, I'm getting quite well acquainted with my darkness.

Laura Hegfield said...

Beautifully stated Christine. Indeed the shadows are where tremendous growth happens...struggle and release...questions and acceptance...mystery and faith...shadow and light...embracing our wholeness is what makes us human and allows our heart to open compassionately to others.

amy said...

What exactly is a real Christian?

I am thankful for the darkness I have experienced. It has made me more real, more alive, more interested in finding and expressing joy.

Jason, as himself said...

If you don't look at your own darkness, you are being completely fake. Too many "Christians" try to portray that they don't have any part of them that is less than "Christian."

Carolynn said...

Hmmm...interesting. I am, at present, allowing my dark side to co-habitate with me. It's not a state of being I enjoy, however, in an effort to be kind to myself, I am doing my best to be gentle and accepting of ALL my parts. Even the ones I don't like. No hammer, no judgement. This too shall pass and I'll rise again from the darkness to assume my state of beingness that feels most authentic.

I am Love...shining my Light.