Dark Night Of The Soul

Dark Night Of The Soul

with 27 Comments

I was contemplating ending my life.

It didn’t all really hit me until I was sitting in the bathtub one evening about a year ago.  There I was, ignoring the world, soaking away in burning hot water up to my chin.

I had just endured a nine-year custody and divorce battle with my ex-husband, during which he had abused my daughter, and then been given custody of her. (Yes, my life is a blockbuster tragedy waiting to be made into a shocking movie.  Anyone want to write the script?)  I had just spent a year being able to see my daughter only twice a month in a therapist’s office, having child services, therapists, attorneys, and the district court judge basically telling me that my daughter’s life would have been better off if I had never been in it.

I felt like life had absolutely no joy left in it whatsoever.  I had been completely ripped away from the one person I loved the most in this world—my daughter.  I had a miserable marriage and my step-children hated me.

I had already experienced a couple of nervous breakdowns that resulted in me having to go sit in a tree (for which my husband totally freaked out and demanded that I come down because he didn’t want the neighbors seeing me.)

I had completely come to terms with mortality, the eventuality of death, the massiveness of this illusion of third-dimensional world we call “reality.”

I was in despair.

I saw absolutely no purpose in this life, and no purpose in living at all.  I no longer believe in the religious preaching I was subjected to as a child that told me that God had a mission for me, and that it was my job to obey him and push myself out of some teeny-tiny little mold and become exactly like everyone else in this religion.

I also didn’t believe any longer that women were nothing more than a life-support system for their uterus.  That their greatest calling in life was to worship and support their husbands and children.

I hated religion.

I hated people.

I hated life.

I hated being alive.

Most of all, I hated feeling powerless to change anything about it.

I spent many nights sitting in the bathtub… hours on end, contemplating my existence and the possible lack thereof.  There was just one thing keeping me from sinking below the miniature waves lapping ever so close to my lips…

I had a daughter.  And I just had to stay alive so she would always have an alternative… a voice to listen to besides that of her father’s and his adopted religion.

Clearly I no longer believed in a male Diety that wears white Grecian robes and looks a lot like Zeus.  I no longer believed that I was here for any divine purpose, to obey a God I no longer believed existed, and to shun a Lucifer I believe we as humans invented as the ultimate excuse to escape personal accountability, and I was not here to learn anything in particular.

So if I’m not here for any of those things, then why in the hell am I here?

I asked this question repeatedly over several weeks, as I soaked in the bath water night after night, hour after hour.  I had to take a long hot bath every night to tire my body out enough to sleep each night, or I would lay awake emotionally tormented and unable to stop the endless suffering of my own thoughts.

Slowly, the answer began to unfold.

“Man is that he might have joy.”

I had been reading the Abraham-Hicks material “Ask and It is Given” again, trying to figure out how to alter my situation.  It kept talking over and over about allowing… allowing joy.

I sort of hated it that the answer to the most sought after question in the world came to me from the Bible.  I resented the Bible.

But still, I held onto what this passage was about to teach me.

What sunk into my soul, was “Humanity exists to experience joy.”

If I’m here to have joy, why does it seem that every moment of my life is filled with suffering?  Suffering so intense it makes me not want to be alive anymore?  The quandary of it all was… there seemed to be no relief in death, either.

This is total and complete despair.

So what do you do when neither choice brings any relief?

This was the very reason I wanted out of here.  I couldn’t see joy anywhere… in life… or in death.

I didn’t want my consciousness to go on.  I didn’t want to exist anymore.

So I began to ask…

“Where is the joy?  Where is the happiness I’m supposed to be experiencing here?  Why does it elude me?”

Slowly over the next few weeks the understanding began seeping into my heart—day by day, week by week.

“Joy is all there is”

“Ha!  Bullshit!” I thought.

If there’s nothing that exists that isn’t joy, why the hell can’t I find any?

You suffer… to the degree that you resist joy.

“What?!  My daughter is forced to live with a man that abuses her, and everyone says she would be better off if I didn’t exist, and you’re telling me I’m supposed to be happy about it??!!!”

Why not?”

“Why not!?”  I was incredulous.

And then it hit me.

“All your suffering comes from resisting what is, and all there is, is joy.”

Why did I insist on being miserable about it?

Because I didn’t feel right being happy when I knew she was miserable.

Because I was sharing her misery so she didn’t feel so alone.

Because I didn’t want anyone to think that I didn’t care about what she had to go through.

I was resisting Joy.

I was resisting happiness and well-being by telling myself these events she and I had to endure was something we both should be miserable about.

I was resisting peace—resisting joy.

It surrounded me, permeated me, it WAS me… and I was resisting it.

I was resisting to such an extreme degree, that I was having NO experience of it at all.

Because I had a “story.”

I realized that my refusal to experience joy and happiness, was teaching my daughter to resist joy as well.  That isn’t what I really wanted for her.  I wanted her to learn how to be happier regardless of what was going on in her life… and I was failing to teach her that.

So the only obvious choice I had was to stop resisting.  Or, in better terms… I BEGAN ALLOWING.

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