Friday, March 28, 2008

The dark before the dawn of new light

I am feeling absolutely wonderful these days, but I did go through an intense birthing process last November that scared the living daylights out of me. Since so many people have written me this week, in deep pain and wanting to die, I thought I'd share my experience last year with the 'dark night of the soul' so that others can find hope in the midst of the process of pushing through their old reality into the light. After all, there is SO much good rising up within us that it is simply bringing everything else to the surface - the good, the bad, and the ugly. The light IS rising up within us. We want greater quality of life, more authentic relationships. We can't stuff our real thoughts. Nothing less than love feels very good anymore. And to repeat old habits and beliefs feels like squeezing into a tight pair of jeans after a huge meal. Not fun.

Last year I asked God to clear me of any old beliefs that kept me from walking my path in the world and serving in the way that God wanted me to serve. Little did I know, that opened up Pandora's box! While I was fine doing readings and hanging out with friends, in the quiet of my own company, I found some pretty disturbing thought patterns within my mind. Perhaps the ugliest and most untrue went something like this... "I take care of everyone else and no one takes care of me. My personal dreams don't really matter to God." Mind you, I didn't logically believe that, but when I was tired, hadn't taken care of myself, slept well, or eaten good meals, that nasty little old belief wormed its way to the surface in my mind. I started feeling as if there were two of me - the real happy spiritual true self, and the inner victim/whiner/pityparty hostess. (Hm... maybe the pityparty hostess should have served some cheese with her whine!)

Anyway, I prayed, "God help me get these stupid thoughts out of me once and for all." And God said, OK, rolled up his sleeves and dove into the darkness with me. The old beliefs hit me like a ton of bricks, after a hard week with little sleep during which several clients were going through extreme pain and needed extra care; a week in which friends were facing their own trials and I was trying to support them, and worst of all to this Polish girl - a week where I hadn't bought groceries and and was living off leftovers and snacks from the pantry. Needless to say I had forgotten everything I know and preach, and I wore myself out. And so, not surprisingly, I crashed. I sat in my backyard and felt exhausted and it was then that the onslaught of negative thoughts began to possess me. And I mean possess.

At first the thoughts were my own. "I'm hungry. I'm tired. Nobody takes care of me. Poor me." That went on for awhile, but then something else started happening. The energies in the universe that feed off our negativity began to amplify those thoughts in my mind and expand upon them. "If you die someone else will just do the work." "Your dreams will never come true." "God doesn't care about your desires." And it went on and on. I started feeling as if I were under a barrage of attack with Satan (the energy that seeks to separate rather than unify), pounding on my brain. The more I tried not to think those thoughts, the worse they got. A clammy, electrified, static-y vibe gripped my body. "Your life is worth nothing. God doesn't care about you. You're nothing!" The thoughts now felt like they were being introduced and like in one of those sci-fi horror movies they were infiltrating my brain. Something other than me settled in and I felt a darkness unlike anything I had ever experienced. I felt as if I had tapped my own pain into a deep well of the world's pain and it was unbearably dark. I was afraid. I couldn't feel God, and I never ever cannot feel God. I felt separate from everything.

The moonlit night was beautiful. The palm trees were blowing in the wind and glistening silver but the darkness that I has stumbled into made me feel as if I were not a part of this reality but some outsider. "End it now," the thoughts went on. "Why don't you just quit now. Go back to heaven. Life sucks." The 2% of me that was still real grappled to maintain a semblance of control over this hell I had tapped into. And before I knew it the darkness that had taken over my mind was calmly thinking of the practicalities of slitting my wrists and ending my life. The thoughts were cold and impersonal. I felt numb, alone, and insignificant. Again, the 2% of my mind that was still mine, intervened.... "GOD, SOS! Help, this isn't me. This isn't true. You love me. I know it. Get me out of here!"

I realized my own whining had somehow tuned my entire being into the cosmic frequency of despondency and archetypal pain. I was experiencing the deepest illusion that any human being could feel - feeling separate from God, separate from life, insignificant, and disconnected from anything that matter. I was in original sin all over again. And I thank GOD, that I have worked hard on myself to know Truth because it was Truth and grace that called me back into the light that night. The world's pain all seemed too real.

As soon as I started to pray, I tuned myself back into the frequencies of love, support, kindness, compassion, truth, and caring. I realized in that moment that I could no longer afford to nurture any sort of negativity. I could no longer pretend to ever be a victim again. I knew that it was a matter of spiritual life and death to stand in the truth of God's love. I went to bed, exhausted, but exalted because I realized finally how easy it is to slide into a mass consciousness that is anything but heaven, and I also realized that right beside that frequency of hell, heaven always existed waiting for me to simply step into it.

I have striven to be impeccable with my thoughts ever since. When something negative creeps in my mind, I command it. "Go now. Go to your room. You are not allowed in." I immediately focus on something loving and positive. When I am tired, I stop everything and rest. When the flu bug tried to get me this past winter, I thanked it, sent it love, and blessed it for reminding me to rest, immediately put the chores aside and slept in all my spare time for two days. As a result, I did not get sick although I have been exposed to many who were. When my dog ate a splintery wooden basting brush, complete with nylon bristles that he stole out of the dishwasher this past Easter, instead of cursing and freaking out, I breathed, centered, and calmly went to the internet to find a cure. (100% cotton balls ripped up, dipped in half and half cream, and then fed to the dog do indeed wrap around sharp objects and escort them out of the furry kids safely - google "cotton ball remedy" !)

It is now a JOY to give, a JOY to love, a JOY to serve, and an absolute non-negotiable necessity to take care of myself. I feel supported not only by the people who do, and have always supported me, but also by the universe and God itself. I've birthed myself into new light. I am happier and more filled with faith than I have ever been in my entire life. The old beliefs had to go first and although they went kicking and screaming they are gone and I feel amazing.

It is the nature and process of our souls to continually shed the old skin, break free of the illusions and emerge into greater light. It is the nature of life itself on this planet to constantly grow and evolve into something more beautiful.

So at those times when you feel you've slid backwards, consider the fact that maybe its inwards. Maybe you're looking your old stuff squarely in the face one final time to at long last say, "God, get this out of me." And then, you find freedom beyond your wildest dreams. If you are in financial fear, look it in the eye and say, "Ok God get this out of me. I want to be rooted in the truth of your abundance." If you find yourself lonely, pray for the ability to take care of yourself and receive inspiration. I am never lonely when I do this. If you find yourself fearing for another, put them back in God's hands where they belong to begin with and pray that you will know if and when God wants you to assist. If you find yourself feeling unworthy, ask God to help you experience his love for you.

These prayers are powerful prayers. They are affirmations of truth in spite of illusion. The darkness may come and go in your life but with prayer, with belief in a greater truth, it has no power over you, your heart, or your outer circumstances. It can only fool you. I am no longer afraid of the dark, either within or outside of me.

I have faced it head on and that gives me the strength to face it in others when they come to me for help. I have embraced my own fears and calmed them and this gives me the courage to stand up and say we don't have to buy into mass consciousness - that we can have an economy of God in our lives; we can have peace in our hearts even when the world is at war; we can love in a world that wants to judge, separate and hate. We can be who we really are intended to be and there is nothing that can stop us from this expression.

Easy? Not always. Rewarding? Heavens yes!

I wish you a week filled with light, truth and the grace of knowing God's love in your life,
Ann

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