Dark Night of the Soul…

I absolutely do not wish to compare myself to the great Spanish Mystic,  St John of the Cross.

A Carmelite friar and priest (1542-1591).

No way me!  But I do every so often refer to my awakenings, in the middle of the night full of despair and dread, as my dark nights of the soul.

I don’t enjoy these early mornings when all the angst and worries bubble to the surface and threaten a panic attack which I keep at bay by rapidly muttering prayers learned as a child and breathing deeply in a prone position, one hand on my heart the other on my belly.

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Happily this feeling does not bleed over into the day;

I enjoy my life;

The home Hubs and I have created for ourselves, our retreat into the natural world.

But a sadness returns as the day wanes and we put on music while cooking dinner.  The oldies we choose remind us of our schooldays, our parents, our children.  The musicals we listen to remind us of the years we spent on and back-stage, the directors we met, the musicians, the dancers, the singers, the costumers, the designers.

Ahh, those Canaan days!

When we sit down to eat dinner we pretend that everything’s OK but it really isn’t.

Something’s missing.

I imagined, during those bustly, jostly, heady days of raising young beings to adulthood, that all my hard work of logging the days, months and years on paper, cassette, video or photo  would allow us to walk down memory lane sweetly breathing in the nostalgia…

But that’s not the way it works.

It causes a yearning.

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We invite friends to enjoy meals, visit relatives to reminisce.

I find things to do outside the home, work with children, with the general public and several lovable horses.

But when darkness falls, or dawn hovers, an abiding sense that something’s wrong comes prowling, nipping at my heels and seeking the ruin of my soul,

and I pray

and pray

and pray.

“At times like this,” I say to Hubs, “I feel as though my life is over…” He feels the same.

I’m all of a sudden invisible.

I’m treated differently as I grow older.

Wait a sec… I treat older people differently…

“I forget that they were young once, held good jobs, ran successful companies, were fathers and mothers, young husbands and wives…” I say to Hubs.

“Perhaps I should ask more questions, dig a little deeper and maybe treat them as I would want to be treated,” I suggest out loud in my kitchen as I rattle around in my pots and pans.

“Maybe that’s a way to slowly come back into focus, lift the cloud settling around me.”

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“You think too much,” Hubs says with a hug, “I can see you just fine!”

My sense tells me that I’m still capable, but the feeling of being written off, undervalued, finished, ignored and not needed anymore, rears its ugly head during those darknesses and tries to trick my soul into giving up as she bravely makes her way through life towards the light of God.

Why can’t the beauty of the day, when I feel I have so much to offer, overflow into the dreary night?

And then my prayers were answered.

A young girl I work with had tears in her eyes when she told me she was moving out of state with her family and wouldn’t ever see me again.

“I really loved working with you…I’ll miss you.”  If only she had told me during the 18 months we worked together.  She had valued our friendship.

I went into Isaiah where I always find a poetic set of verses that speak to me.  And there they were just waiting…

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,                                                                                           all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.  Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:3-4)

God is not finished with me, He has not written me off, He still carries me grey hair and all!

And my beautiful grand-daughter Sophie continues to fill my heart;

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she knows me and does not ignore me.

My life has been returned again and I have learned that I need to rest in the Lord…

For He will sustain me…

He will be enough.

My angst is quieted and my God is shining much needed light into the dark night of my soul and I am rescued.

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1 Comments

ElRay

2020-12-02 17:58:53 Reply

Your are invaluable to me and I cherish every moment we are together. true some things have changed but just last January in the UK – it was as if we were our ole’ youthful selves again. We’ll make it no doubt. But we must be always sensitive and respectful and caring of all and each other and most of all remember who is leading us! I love you! You know who!

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