Thursday, December 21, 2017

Dark Lessons, New Light

Today, is the shortest day of the year. I think of the dark as a place for rest and dreaming, but it can also be the place where we confront or clobbered by the shadow- those aspect of self and life we try to ignore or bury. 

Last week I was confronted by my own denial My insistence that I could do something beyond the physical capacity of a body with a chronic degenerative neurological disease resulted in a precipitous drop in blood pressure and an extended period of tachycardia with a heart rate around two hundred beats per minute.

Yeah. Not fun. And that was before I was informed that the situation that made my apartment uninhabitable would not be corrected for six full days.

I broke down. I knew I couldn’t do what others were telling me had to be done. I knew it was not physically possible.

I was conditioned from an early age to look and sound “fine” even when I am not. To do otherwise risked violence from my mother. My ex-husband once pointed out that I could be lying on the floor in pain, unable to walk to the bedroom, but if someone called and he put the phone in my hand, I would sound just “fine.” It’s my default setting, a survival strategy.

So, in some ways, not sounding fine- and really, it was a full tilt meltdown in the lobby of the building- was a breakthrough. In response, the kind couple who are the supers in my building went into action, offered support, and advocated on my behalf so my apartment would be habitable within one day.

Having seen my denial, the challenge is to accurately see and accept the changing limitations of my body, and still maintain my faith in the goodness of life. Sounds simple, but it’s not always easy when there is pain and immobility. Living in the present moment deepens our lives. But, people’s lives are busy and we are social animals, so we make plans- to meet for lunch, to share Christmas dinner, to take a trip. The truth is I cannot know what I will or will not be able to do tomorrow. This is simply what is.

We all have stuff to work with, and this- the disease, the unpredictability of what I will be able/unable to do, the periods of pain and prostration- this is what I have to work with.

Tomorrow the days start to get a little longer as the light returns. My prayer is to take what I have seen in the darkness with me into the growing light. And I offer that prayer for us all individually and collectively. May our eyes be open to see what is. May our hearts be open so we can hold what is with a fierce love that chooses life fully even as we refuse to look away from that which hard.

Blessings of the Solstice dear friends, Oriah

Deep graitude to Karen Davis for this photo from Open Door Dreaming I love the blaze of light coming over the horizon. May it be so in our inner and outer worlds.


  1. Oriah, I love what you said, "My prayer is to take what I have seen in the darkness with me into the growing light." Thank you:)

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  3. So powerful. As always! Sending love.

  4. This not being able to know what you can do the next day... I recognize it well. And also how it conflicts with all the over organized lives of many around me. And then sometimes someone just gets it and accepts me and my situation just as it is - so welcome

    1. Yes, what a gift it is when others see and accept the limitations over which we have very little immediate control. :-)

  5. ...ah yes, the Universe ever reminding us of our naiveté as we make plans in accordance with what we WISH to occur or what we believe we can will into existence. I so often forget that things change, people change, and I change -every single day.

    I cannot take into account the myriad of possible changes that can occur between now and next Tuesday, let alone next year... In particular our health and abilities (and desires).

    I have had very strong desires even yearning to do a certain thing or meet a special someone only to feel the yearning wane or the desire shift... and no longer hold that plan dear, but like you said, it was the yearning that counted, it was its own reward at the moment.

    Also, I have been taught over and over again through countless surgeries and ACL reconstruction (THREE TIMES on TWO KNEES), that just because my ego thinks i need a blackbelt, the Universe is wiser... and I need to heed my body's message and not brutalize it with abusive tactics to satiate my hungry ego... sigh...
    and lastly - yes- I too am FINE...
    unfortunately my FINE =
    Hope that made you smile.. thank you for your wisdom and raw honesty as always. Wishing you healthy, happy long days... Jennifer Wilkinson

    1. Jennifer- it did indeed make me smile. :-)

  6. Hi Oriah, it's been so quiet here... I do hope it's a good and resourcing quietness. If otherwise, I send you blessings. xxx

    1. Am taking a little break from being on line- will put up a post to let folks know. Thanks for asking. All is well. Oriah