Soul Sunday - In your darkest hour
The dark moments of our life. We dread them. We avoid them at all costs. We pray, we grumble, we complain, we cry, we decide we just won't (or can't). No one really tells us about the darker times we'll experience in life.
As humans, we see the darkest times for many people. We see it from the outside. Think about this - when's the last time you've seen someone hurt? I see people hurt, every.single.day. I soak in their emotions and my heart swells up. Sometimes - I become emotional because it's so much, everywhere, constantly, and I'm overwhelmed with compassion.
Those in the darkest hours, don't always show it, in fact they rarely show it. They cover it up with a smile, a new handbag, a inspirational Facebook post, etc. But I can see it. Because I've been in the darkest hour. And I know what it feels like, what it looks like, and what it does to us.
And sometimes people are very outward in the darkest moments. They use drugs, sex, anger, self-harm and hate to create an alternate world, full of pain to cope with their pain.
In the darkest hour - you can be broken. Ahh - a emotional state I know all to well in this season. Broken to the point where all you can do is cry out to God. You can be lonely. So lonely that in a room full of people or constantly communicating with a spouse - you still feel like no one really understands you, or even worse that no one really wants to hear you continue to painfully verbalize your feelings of confusion and anger. You can be depressed - where life seems to be happening all around you, but not to you. You are in a stand still...waiting for your emotions to match your greatest needs.
Here are some things I've learned while getting through my own darkest hours...
- Be grateful - It doesn't take more than five minutes to sit down and write down a gratitude list. A quick list of at least ten things you appreciate, love and enjoy about life. In my darkest hour I try to be as simple as possible. Some days I'm only thankful I'm able to have a cup of coffee, or yoga pants. But it helps me to realize that absolutes (everything, nothing, always, etc.) are grey and I do have some things going right.
- Pay closer attention to my thoughts - I loved the movie the War Room. From a spiritual aspect it discusses the importance of filling up your 'weaponary' with Gods truth versus the enemies lies. In a non-spiritual aspect - it's using CBT! Changing your words, even without feelings attached so that you can speak more positively about your situation.
- Being patient - This one right here. *sigh* Sometimes our darkest hour seems so long, because we ourselves drag it out. We try to take shortcuts, avoid making positive changes, complain and grumble all day, ask God why, when, and how over and over again. To be patient means we wait without complaining. We trust that the God is working or the universe is unfolding as it should.
Now don't get me wrong - these things don't always help me feel dramatically better. Especially in my darkest hours. But they do help me ride the funk out and get to a better place - even if for a few hours. But these are skills I've learned and practiced, tried and true - and now filled with compassion spilling over, for seeing others in their darkest, how blessed am I --
I am in the business of teaching others how to get through their darkest hours.