“The Darkest Hour is
Just Before the Dawn”
If grief is where you are right now, please know that I am holding you in my heart with love and in my soul with prayers. This is a time of desolation, a time of being brought to your knees and all looks dark and hopeless. The pain feels life more than you can possibly bear. You honestly don’t know if you can survive this. You don’t know how you can possibly go on living. You feel so alone, so hopeless, so lost and disoriented. If you have lost someone close, you want to go too. You can’t imagine life without this precious person, whether your parent, your spouse, your sibling, or hardest of all, your child or even worse, your children. This also can include a beloved pet who has been by your side with unconditional love and devoted, comforting companionship and loyalty through some really tough times in your life. Sometimes this might be the longest relationship you’ve had. The devoted, faithful love from our pets gives a glimpse into the pure love from our Creator.
Or perhaps, you have just received a devastating diagnosis of a disease, with a very short time to live. You are looking death in the face in your own life. Or perhaps, you have been injured in an accident, assault, or war that has taken away a limb, forever changing your mobility. Or perhaps the birth of a healthy child, you were so longing for, has brought the shock of some permanent disabilities or a prognosis of a very brief life. Losing a child is one of life’s most heart rendering losses.
Or perhaps you are facing a divorce that is ending your life as you have known it. The possible betrayal that may also have been involved, sears so deeply. Or perhaps, you have miraculously survived a natural disaster that has wiped out your house, all or some of your precious family, the comfort and familiarity of your possessions, your community might be wiped out from fire, floods, tornadoes. Or war has left you homeless, has forced you to flee for your life to a foreign country with nothing. Or you may have been the victim of someone’s abuse of power, either physically, emotionally, mentally–perhaps one time or over a period of years. Cruelty inflicted beyond imagination. Frequently that abuser was abused themselves that it becomes the ongoing generations of”‘victims of victims of victims.” Perhaps you will be the one to have the courage to seek help and healing, to stop that ongoing generational wounding. Or drug wars have destroyed any semblance of safety and you risk your life, or families life fleeing, trying to survive. Or, perhaps, your family has permanently rejected and ostracized you, never to speak again. Or perhaps, you have lost your job or all of your savings–perhaps through scams and being deceived. All security is gone. Basic needs are not there: food, water, shelter. Fear of the future can be paralyzing. With grief, the body shuts down, sleeping and eating are either absent or constant. Thinking and concentrating evaporate. The mind doesn’t work. Decisions are impossible. The body doesn’t work. The heart is broken, and the fear is that it is permanently broken. One cannot imagine ever functioning again, ever going on with life again. It feels impossible. It feels completely overwhelming. Their are either no tears in the shock and numbness, or heart wrenching sobbing from a primitive level you didn’t know was in you. You feel like your tears could fill an ocean.
All is in darkness. You want to retreat and hide from the world. You can’t comprehend how outside life just keeps on keeping on when your life has totally stopped. It feels like an insult that outside life could go on when you feel like you have been shot through with a cannon ball and what remains of your life is quickly bleeding out. You are feeling such unbearable pain, you wonder how you could even be alive and keep breathing. Breathing becomes a major effort. Everything becomes a major effort. There is no energy, no will. It is too hard to get out of bed. You want to pull the covers over your head and stay there forever.
It is so important at this time, to remember to call on your personal Guardian Angels and all the Higher Beings of Light and Love to help you, to comfort you, to be with you and give you strength and guidance. We live in a world of free will and it is a “karmic no-no” to violate free will both here on earth and in the unseen heavenly realms. Out angels and guides are there to help us, to love us through our pain, but they have to wait until we call on them and ask for their help. If you ask, they are eager and ready to come in and be by your side day and night. Remind yourself of the Psalm, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Things can often seem at their worst just before they get better. Hang on. Keep breathing.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite HOPE.” ~ Martin Luther King
Gradually, ever so gradually, some life force energy remains and slowly, ever so slowly, painfully slowly, breathing becomes easier. You shower again. You eat again. You get out of bed and walk again. You are able to open to receive comfort from those you love you and care about you. The gifts of grace of life continuing start to penetrate your consciousness. You make it through 10 minutes, then an hour, then a day, and unbelievably a week. Each day builds on the next. Each meal builds on the next. God’s gift of numbness may start to gradually soften. A kitten, a puppy, a scampering squirrel, a bird at the bird feeder may bring a smile, and you are amazed that it is possible to feel anything but pain and devastation. Beauty of music, art, a sunrise may start to be noticed. The taste of a fresh cup of coffee brings comfort. A hug from a caring friend is soothing, reassuring, loving.
Glimmers of life and maybe even some hope start, just barely, but they do start to come through. The crying might not be constant. You might even have the energy to meet with a friend. Walking in nature can bring restoration to the heart, spirit and soul. Music may lift.
Like the spring after a long, cold, hard, dark winter, life is starting to return. You can breathe again. You can lift your gaze and see and experience life again. You may push yourself to ever so slowly, start to connect with outside life again. Awareness for what is still left, in spite of the devastating, heartbreaking loss, ;you start to feel gratitude for what is still there. You start to see through new eyes and appreciation of the blessings that remain. The gifts of grace that give you strength and hope to take another step, live another day.
No one is spared grief and loss. The longer one lives, the more the losses. As one of my philosophical friends put it so well, in observing others and losses, “shit doesn’t hit the fan evenly”, meaning, in our one short lifetime, life can feel so “unfair” where some are spared losses and others have losses one on top of another. The age old question of “why do bad things happen to good people?” The only way that is comprehensible is through the lens of reincarnation, where in the long run it all balances out. The divine spiritual law of both choices and consequences and balances are at work. But that is impossible to see in just one lifetime. Fortunately all the years of accumulated near death experiences and the memories and sharings of very young children who are still connected to the other side, as well as the rare soul who comes into this world with their memories intact of other lifetimes help to give us soothing and comforting information of the truths of those two laws and life can finally start to make more sense, bringing with it some peace, comfort and acceptance.
As my 101 year old mother states, when I asked her, “what is getting older like?” and her immediate response was, “It’s lonely. All my friends and the family members I grew up with, have died.”
Eventually, if we use this dark night of the soul time, to go inward, to fully feel and process the feelings, we start to gain the wisdom and perspective of the soul. We start to grow in wisdom, with a much bigger understanding of life. We can start to understand the precious gifts of life and we gain more gratitude and stop taking life for granted. We may experience the comfort of dreams where our loved ones visit and give us comforting words. We start to appreciate all the many blessings we still have. We start to live life again, grateful for new beginnings and new opportunities. To our surprise, our hearts may start to open again, trust again, love again. To our total amazement we may start to feel moment of laughter, happiness, joy. We are starting to integrate the loss into our lives where we hold both, the loss and new life, within us together at the same time. The integration of this part of our lives starts to take it’s place and we realize it is not our entire life as we once thought. Life can go on, even with the heartache now a part of our sacred life story. We now can turn that pain into more understanding and compassion for others, especially those who are going through the same kind of loss we are now climbing out of to live another chapter. Our hearts are bigger. Our wisdom and appreciation are greater. We can become the wounded healers for others. We can give hope and inspiration to others, that you, you can and will survive this.
“We bring all love from the brotherhood invisible. No matter how far you travel, wherever you go, whatever you do, the friends of your spirit will be close beside you, and the happiness and joy which you feel in your hearts will be increased by their loving presence…You will lose all sense of loneliness and grief. You will know that where there is love there can be no separation. Affirm: I am one with all humanity.” ~White Eagle
However, grief, crisis, loss are dangerous times as well as opportunities. It is possible to shut down, harden the heart, get bitter and cynical and derail, getting stuck in a dark place for the rest of your life. These are the sad situations, where a person is living but they are dead. They are breathing, but they have permanently chosen to stay stuck in that dark place and refuse to ever engage in life again. These situations are tragic. Perhaps this person has turned to drugs, alcohol, workaholism, gambling, isolation to numb and avoid the pain. They stay permanently, rather than temporarily, stuck in avoidance and numbing, refusing to feel the feelings and do the grief and healing work.
Others, however, may make the decision, as an act of will, determination and resiliency to have that phase be temporary and have the courage to do the inner work of healing, transforming this time of devastation and loss into an opportunity to grow. They begin the long, hard challenge of feeling the feelings, doing the “one step forward, two steps back, one step forward” of grief work, doing the steps of healing and coming through and out on the other side, back into life a stronger, more resilient, wiser person, now ready to give and help others, with a new depth they did not have before. Life is never the same, but life CAN BE GOOD AGAIN.This person can now carry that message of hope and inspiration to others, meanwhile giving their own life more depth, fullness and richness, of gratitude and awareness of the blessings that are all around us, if we have eyes to see. Our soul has grown, which is what life is about and why we are each here. You now are aware of spiritual truths you were blind to before. ~Caterina
“Remember every morning as you wake and every evening as you go to rest that you are held within the love of your heavenly Father-Mother, and you will be uplifted and relieved of all tension. Affirm: I am enfolded in God’s love.” ~White Eagle
DIRECTIONS FOR USING THE ABOVE TOOLS
Recommendation before starting:
It is very helpful to have a journal to write in, as you do these steps of assessment and reflection.
First Step: Look first the 4×4 Life Human Journey Map through the row and lens of grief. Grief means loss. The range of grief can be from disappointment to severe, life stopping, agonizing, “wondering if you can possibly keep going” grief. On a scale of 1–10, how would you rate your grief at this time? (1= mild and 10= very severe). Make a note of this in your journal.
Next look at your grieving through the lenses of the 4 squares in this row: 1. physical 2.emotional 3. mental 4. spiritual. Which one of these squares is your strength right now that you can draw from? Which square right now is your weakest area, your most challenging? How can you get help in this area? What do you need to do, ask for, seek out that can bring comfort and strength? What about the other 2 areas? Can those areas help in your strongest or weakest areas?
Second Step: Look at Maslow’s pyramid. Identify which area the loss is in. What is/are your specific loss or losses at this time? What are your current needs that are not being met? This could be in one area or several areas.
Third Step: Now, reflect on each of the four areas and think about them from the perspective of first your ego and then your soul. What messages do you get for yourself when you look through these two lenses, ego or soul, in each of these 4 areas? What is helping you? What is hurting you? Any thoughts, insights? If so, jot them down in your journal.
We, as complex human beings have the challenge of having both a human body and a divine soul within us. Those two parts are humorously referred to as the “devil on one shoulder” and “the angel on the other shoulder”. We need our ego to survive in a physical body with day to day life successfully. Yet, out of balance, the ego can take over and be the absolute “worst of human nature”. The soul part of us can be “the best of human nature”. Yet, again, if out of balance, a person couldn’t function with daily life. Our goal is to be aware of both and learn to balance and integrate the gifts of both parts. This is easy to say-write, but a huge challenge to learn to apply and live.
Fourth Step: Click on the Tool, the “Personessence Chart” by Jose Stevens posted here to go to the full page and explanation booklet of this chart. There is a LOT packed into this chart. Each of us has has a leading quality in each row. Do you sense what yours might be in each row? (If this chart really interests you, I would recommend reading Jose’s books that go into more detail.) This chart may help you identify examples of ego qualities (bottom of each block) and soul qualities (top of each block). Our lifetime challenge is to learn to move from the ego level to the soul level on each of these characteristics. The two places give entirely different perspectives. Jot down thoughts, aha’s, questions in your journal.
Fifth Step: Click on the Map of Consciousness Tool for the full size. Look up your primary feelings and see if you can identify which primary row you are currently dealing with. What impact are the vibrations of those feelings having for you? Do you want to change any of them? This may give you some ideas of goals you might decide to set, to be able to grow and change to behaviors, feelings, thoughts, ideals that could feel much better for you and help you on your path to healing, wholeness and empowerment.
Sixth Step: Click the link to the Medicine Wheel Page. Look these over and see if they help you put these parts together into a bigger picture, into a whole. It helps to step back and see the bigger picture, the bigger perspective. Solutions can start to pop in from our intuitive guide within us.
Bonus Tool: Go to bonus tools and check out my note with the Serenity Prayer. Decide which column what you are working on belongs in: cannot change or can change. If cannot, then pray for acceptance and serenity. If can change, the pray for courage to make the changes you need to make.
Seventh Step: The Grief FORUM is here for you to be able to share your thoughts and feelings with each other. Sharing of ourselves involves trust. In order to do that, these need to be safe spaces. It is essential that sharing comes from a place of respect, not judgement. If you want to share with another something that has worked for you, be sure to do it in the format of an “I statement”. Simply, stating what you have done that helped you. No, “you shoulds”. You can share, but what the other person does is totally up to them. We need to be kind, considerate, compassionate with each other. Focus on listening and understanding and offering support and encouragement and affirmations of any progress the right direction. Healing is slow, uneven and takes effort and energy. Just showing up is success!
(Note: If you have been at this stage and now have moved beyond this, you are also invited to share and encourage others, giving hope and inspiration that it IS possible to continue with life at a new level, integrating this loss into the patchwork quilt that makes up your life.)
Remember, too, that life goes in stages and cycles. We can be in and out of grief many times throughout our lives. Coping skills you have learned before can help you again. With time, you also build up resiliency. It is true that grief can really create depth, character qualities and have priceless gifts of pearls and wisdom buried in the muck. Every one of my blessings of mystical experiences and incredible spiritual growth started first with a huge loss and broken heart.
Remember to write in your journal. This can be very helpful to go back to later and see how much you have learned, grown, changed. Life never holds still, it is always moving forward. The more we can be IN THE FLOW, rather than resisting and fighting the flow, the easier it becomes.
When life becomes challenging for me, I always ask myself, “What SOUL quality is this “inviting” me to develop / strengthen.” That helps me look for the deeper meaning behind the surface appearance of something.
….When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind…” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer