Day 262 of 365: the importance of “the dark night of the soul”

I’ve heard that a dark night of the soul is when all our worst fears manifest… And we live through them. And, just like a character in a movie, we are challenged to rise from the ashes and flourish into a better version of ourselves.

For years, my primary fears were external… And ego-based.

My worst case scenario, had you asked me 5 years ago, would have been something along the lines of:

Living in parents’ basement, in debt, overweight, and not yet living my dream life.

I swore I’d never move home with my parents. I swore I’d never get into debt. I swore I’d never get out of shape again.

And yet… That’s precisely where I am right now. That’s not a statement to beat myself up. It’s simply a statement of truth. (Also, if you told me I’d be without my big fake boobs and long hair, I’d have probably laughed at you or had a panic attack, depending on the moon and how hungry I’d have been at the time.)

I’m beginning to think that the Universe ignores such negative/absolute words as “never”… Thus making my previous statements, all of which were repeated multiple times:

I swear I’ll move home with my parents. I swear I’ll get into debt. I swear I’ll get out of shape again.

Careful what we wish for, right?

Part of me wants to walk on eggshells with my words… To be ever-so-careful… As if some Universal police listened to every thought, imaginative bubble, and word… Working to teach me some type of painful lesson.

But most of me sees this chapter of my journey in a grateful way. Those things I feared… The fiscal and physical and vain fears… No longer hold power over me. Why? Because here I am, living them. And guess what? I’m okay. It’s not the end of the world.

While in this space, I’ve met an amazing man… And we’ve spent months building the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had. I’m building friendships. Real friendships with people who know me for me. These people in my life are helping me learn to love myself for who I am without the size 0 pants, fluffy bank account, and nice house.

Their love for me isn’t contingent upon my diet or exercise regimen or pants size or bank account. They adore me for me.

I don’t know if I ever would have made it to a place of vulnerability to allow people to love me this way, had I not hit my “dark night of the soul”.

Being forced to deal with fear is freeing.

Learning that I can be happy even when my life looks the opposite of what I wanted it to… is liberating.

Longing won’t bring us happiness… But happiness will bring us what we long for.

Next on the list of ego-based fears that have held power over me for way too long: wearing shorts in public.

Even as young as age eleven, I wore jeans and pants to the lake and pool. The only time I was comfortable showing my legs in public was when I was emaciated from exercising every day and nearly starving myself.

I don’t even own shorts now. I’ve simply avoided them, because putting them on puts me into a place of panic.

My sponsor gave me the challenge to wear shorts in public. And so… That is what I’ll do.

It may not seem like a big deal to others. And, when I do go out into public in shorts, NO ONE WILL GIVE A SHIT WHAT I’M WEARING.

Everyone else is too wrapped up in their own shit to care about the cellulite on my thighs.

I’ll make sure to post an update when I accomplish this VALIANT FEAT.

~J

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Some days, I paint. Other days, I write. And rap. And tell stories. And do comedy. And doodle. And [attempt to] bake. And, one week out of every month, I merge with my sofa and sob about mortality and things like the existence of air and how we can't live without it and how utterly claustrophobic that is to consider. I'm relatively particular. And this is a place for me to share ALL the quirks.

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