Life ain’t a box o’ chocolates sometimes. For a lot of people, The Struggle isn’t an ethereal beyond, fighting against The Man, or deriding obscure social injustices they may never have experienced. Some folks live in The Struggle in a way that is real and tangible for themselves every single day. This post is for you.
When The Moment looks worse than ever and when The Struggle seems endless, that is the very best moment to find your Heartspace, and to engage there deeply. Whether you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, with the end of a job, with the transition of a life style, or with all of the above and/or so much more, the very best thing to do is dig in and engage with life. There is gold in this moment, and you can find it through connecting deeply and sustainably in this time.
I don’t speak of this lightly, because I have lived through The Struggle at many points in my life. Recently, I learned that The Struggle even has a darker side than I’ve acknowledge before. St. John of the Cross, a Catholic monk and mystic in Spain in the 1600s, wrote a poem called “The Dark Night of the Soul.”
Upon a darkened night the flame of love was burning in my breast
And by a lantern bright I fled my house while all in quiet rest.
Shrouded by the night and by the secret stair I quickly fled.
The veil concealed my eyes while all within lay quiet as the dead
This house is a deception, a trick of comfort that alludes to our lives: What we’re engaged with outside of ourselves is fleeting, small; what we engage with within ourselves is enormous and everlasting. We can have all the experiences of wealth, physical love, food, and clothing as we want. However, as long as we’re disengaged with ourselves The Struggle will remain. In the dark night of my soul I have learned that The Struggle is optional because of this reality; your dark night may teach you something else. Whatever that may be, we are challenged to engage in rough moment because they hold the deepest lessons for us.
Dr. King, who was a loving family man living on the road the majority of his life, was followed by death threats and pounded by The Struggle wherever he went. During his 1963 acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize he said,
“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”
The rough moments in life are actually calling us to the depth of our Heartspace. Go there, warmly and boldly, especially when you are having a hard time. The connect you make to yourself will be stronger, more tangible, and longer lasting than any other in your life. This is the better way.