Sunday, March 18, 2018

Dark nights and Haagen Daz

March 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Patricia's Journey

Last Thursday I had treatment and I was in a good place.  I blogged about it.  That lasted about 24 hours :)  Only now can I write about last weekend. It was too murky and terrible and yucky to write or talk while I was in it.  I just needed to “be” in it.

It was a humbling weekend.  A dark night of the soul that turned into a dark weekend.  Each time I transcend a dark night, I feel scrubbed clean.  A  bit more polished, softer and smoother.  The edges are less jagged, less sharp.  If you have had a dark night of the soul experience, I don’t need to tell you what it’s like.  Kind of like belonging to an exclusive club.  We can’t fully articulate the experience required to join.  If we did, you wouldn’t want to be a part of it.  We would simply ask you at the door, “Have you had a dark night?”  You would say yes, and we would let you in.  If you said no, we would gently turn you around and bid you farewell and tell you to be careful what you wish for.  Are you kidding?  Spend a night or two feeling like you’re being turned inside out and your guts are spilling out everywhere and you’re alone and the emotional pain is so raw, you swear someone is physically hurting you?   When in reality, nothing bad is really happening except in your mind!  It’s not a club people are clamoring to get into.  And yet, when you are a member of this club, there is a sweetness to life that can’t be had any other way.  When you have experienced a darkness so black that death seems a comfort…and you move through it and come out on the other side…the gratitude for what you now see is poignant and quantifiable.  Nectar.

The more I am on this spiritual path, the more I learn about the voice of the ego and the voice of the Holy Spirit.  As I have stated before, I believe there are only two voices that guide us- the ego and the Holy Spirit.  The ego has run my life up until about six months ago and it’s not letting go easy.  The ego is clever.  It can take a Divine idea and begin to manipulate it into something to its own satisfaction and soon you are no longer co-creating with God.  You are controlling and stressing and bargaining and planning.  For example, the ego took the Divine inspiration of a book and started putting time-lines on it so I could create an income soon and then I didn’t have to be afraid of making a living, because you are afraid of making a living, aren’t you Patricia?

I have written before of realizing when I had been hooked into the ego’s idea of what this cancer journey should look like.  I decided how many treatments there would be.  I decided when I would complete cancer.  And I found myself there again this weekend.   Somehow I was able to get clear enough to witness my mind torturing me with its thoughts of death and dying.  I was able to see the erroneous thinking of  ”I am my body.  I am the cancer.”  My mind’s rationale would be “look at the evidence.  See the physical truth.”  My mind wanted to give a very dark meaning to a single test result.

I followed the streams of consciousness to wherever they wanted to go.   Similar to being afraid yet willing to look in the closet for the dragon you think is lurking there.  I followed one stream down a path of “the treatments fail, there are no other options, I’m dying”.  Well, if that’s the case what the hell am I doing burning up valuable time and energy worrying about dying?  Let’s live!  Then I realized I was not afraid of dying; I was afraid of living my life. And then I followed that stream.  What about living my life made me afraid?   And so it went…on and on until I had opened every closet door and faced the dragon within.

I spent time in bed with Annie Lamott reading “Traveling Mercies” and I read my “Course in Miracles” lessons.  I spent most of my time in bed because for the first time a chemo treatment knocked me on my tush…flattened me.  Body aches, head ache, nausea.  And then sometime on Saturday I began to pray.  I prayed for the healing of my mind, so that my body could heal.  I prayed to God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, Krshna, Yogananda.  I bathed in Spirit and epsom salts.

The accumulated darkness of ages is dispelled at once by bringing the light in, not by trying to chase the darkness out.  One cannot tell when he is going to be healed, so do not try to set an exact time limit.  Faith, not time, will determine when the cure will be effected.  Results depend on the right awakening of life energy and on the conscious and subconscious state of the individual.  Disbelief immobilizes the life energy and prevents the perfect working of this divine doctor, body builder and master mason.

~Paramahansa Yogananda

When I awoke on Sunday morning, everything had changed and nothing had changed.  Whatever the darkness was had gone.  Transmuted.  Released.  Shifted.  Whatever word you want to use.  Altered.  Vamoose.  Answered prayer.  In that moment, I knew the hand of God had touched my mind.  I was quietly at peace.  For the first time in many months, it wasn’t my mind convincing me I was going to be OK.  I could feel it to my core.

What does it feel like to be on the other side of dark nights?  I am once again connected to and in love with God.  Dark nights come from the belief of separation from God.  That is the real hell.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?   A friend of mind used to always ask that and seek out opportunities to make it so.  Alexander and I were in bed Sunday night eating ice cream.  He was eating Dreyer’s Dibs that Laurie brought.  Don’t laugh, but I was eating Haagen Daz ice cream for the first time.  Yep, I’m 53 and have never eaten Haagen Daz ice cream.  Oh, that’s her problem, you say!  It was milk chocolate and almonds on vanilla ice cream bars.  Oh, man, I was savoring every bite.  I could feel Alexander’s eyes on me.  I was purring as I was eating.  Only once did I think to ask him if he wanted a bite…and then I immediately dismissed the thought.  Tonight, I was not going to share.  And then he did it.  He asked.  ”Can I have a bite?”  ”Nope”, I said without missing a beat.  From the look on his face, he was in disbelief.  Me, too.  I don’t think I’ve ever denied him a bite of anything I was eating.  Isn’t it sacrilegious not to want to feed one’s child?  In fact, a mother spends most of her life trying to get her child to eat.  ”Aw, come on” he begged.  ”Nope”,  I repeated.  Then he became the negotiator, the plea-bargainer, the kid to whom I have a tough time saying no.  ”One tiny bite”, I said.  And I held the bar to his mouth and placed my fingers in such a way that he could only get a smidgeon of ice cream in his mouth without biting the hand that feeds him.  I fulfilled the silent oath of mothers everywhere to never deny their child a bite of their candy bar, mashed potatoes, warm apple crisp or ice cream and still have the last bite.

And so I survived dark nights of the soul and did something for the first time.  Not bad for a weekend.

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