It’s certainly not been an easy year. I’m slowly coming out the other side after a long period of emotional hibernation. I had no energy or inclination to put anything ‘out there’ while I was being pulled within to get intimate with my darkness and accept it. I can’t really say I understand it any better; in fact, the one thing I can say I’ve learned without a doubt is that I don’t really understand a thing. Maybe, though, that is the whole point.
My beliefs are being stripped away. All I am left with is the essence of my being, beyond all thoughts and concepts. I have spoken of this many times. I have explored it in depth. But all the so called knowledge has fallen by the wayside as the experience of unknowing knocked me to the ground.
I’m no stranger to myself; I had years of counselling where some extremely difficult memories and their associated emotions came to the fore. I’ve grown massively since then and feel I possess a large degree of self-awareness and understanding. But in the last few years something even deeper has been asked of me. Whilst therapy took me to a place of relative safety, a new awareness of who I was and what I represented, this is now crumbling away.
Where does that leave me? I feel I’m in a place of total emptiness, but it is okay. There is no sense of ‘me’ like there used to me, but at the same time I notice more clearly how my mind and emotions respond to people and situations. I see my depression as it claws into me, desperate to make its voice heard. I still sink into it and disappear for days, months, on end. There try not to hold onto ideas of spirituality other than what I experience in meditation, the silent awareness within and its connection with everything that exists. I experience and continue to experience many strange phenomena, but let them flow through without identification.
I am not able to force anything through a mental position. My mind says I should feel compassion for this or that, for this or that person, for humanity. Instead, I go into my heart, which is the centre of our being. I visualise it opening out to embrace everything including the deepest darkness, enveloping myself in the process.
I don’t really understand anything but I am learning not to fear it. All I can do is notice what my mind is doing, be intimate with my darkness, and remain open to it – as much as is possible on any given day. There may be a dramatic transformation but maybe the transformation is more in the slow gradual letting go of all I thought I knew and understood.