Fighting the dark. Filling the empty spaces. Finding light.
First, fighting the dark. I felt a cloud of darkness pushing in around me. Felt it for days. Heavy, ominous: it started with the light-hearted feeling of having done something helpful and hopeful, but left me feeling pinched for air, as if being suddenly choked by a poisonous gas, empty of all but myself and the darkest of thoughts.
Fighting the dark can be a daily struggle. It requires emotional power, physical power, spiritual power. Requires that we stay on top of this daily battle or the darkness wins.
It cannot win.
And so I walk. Daily, actually “three times daily”. I snowshoe—over the fields and through the trails. And I talk. Talk to my family and friends. Talk to my neighbours. I call, text, write, reach out. I blog, here, in this wide, open space that I call my home. My pursuit of a joyful life.
I have started making talk—making connection, intentional.
And I also read and pray and meditate on things that are true and life-giving. I read good books. I read the Scriptures. I read daily devotionals and seek out stories that breathe life with their very words.
Because I need this.
I really do.
And these are the ways I fight the dark.
But there are still empty spaces, right?
I find I have been searching through social media feeds for something—anything, to fill empty spaces, to fill those in-between moments that I am still. Being still is not something I am used to. Not something I have ever prepared for, at least, quite like this. Suddenly, I am left craving something, yearning for something… more. Something deeper. Yearning for something I did not even know was missing from my life.
But it was.
Peace. Solitude. Rest. Quiet. These have always been there, I just did not have time to see them or appreciate their presence.
Don’t we all look for what is not there, so many times.
And I have been doing this for far too long:
- Looking for fast fixes, quick solutions, busy work.
- Looking for ways to fill up empty spaces.
- Looking for what is there but cannot be seen.
And so, now: I have reminded myself to limit my idleness. Particularly when it comes to social media platforms and online ventures and venues. These, while temporarily satisfying, often leave me feeling empty, cycling back to that fight I am having, referenced above. That fight with the dark and its ever present posse.
Which leads me to finding light. THIS. This is the hopeful part. I save the best for last.
This morning, while sitting across from Husband looking at the dismal rain, bleak scenery from the window: I just decided I was going to check my emotions at the get-go. I could feel self-pity and sorrows waiting for me, ready to devour. And I just said “not today, man”.
Husband made the suggestion that I call a dear friend, which I did. And it set my whole day on a different course. The whole day! Just that one decision led me into some light, casting shadows on the darkness and into wide open spaces.
Believe me: I am no ‘special situation’. This is not gloating or self-gratification. This is real struggle. If you only knew where I was and how far I have come. Where I will be tomorrow, again, if this is not my story, my mantra, my song. This— this movement into light and away from darkness is nothing short of supernatural. It’s a work of Someone far greater than I. It’s the touch of a Father to a beloved Child. It is Love manifest in Light. It is everything.
And yet something so simple. Something I have needed…easy to find oneself sinking.
But, no longer.