Brave the darkness | Pinay.com
A post from the series Pinay, Shine! 15 Ways to Connect to Liwanag and Shine. Available exclusively at Pinay.com.
“Survive the darkness. Rephrase the light.” —Andrea Balt.
Facing one’s fears is probably one of the hardest things to do in life. People are reluctant to do the hard thing, understandably so. I get it. I’m like that too.
Another way to connect to your inner Light is by actually braving the darkness that happens in our lives. I am talking about the shadow side of life.
The irony of the painful, dark occurrences of human existence is that because of them one can come out of them transformed into someone of uplifted substance and character, someone who shines.
So take heart and face your fears. You can brave the darkness and flip negativity on its head.
Going through and coming out of dark times doesn’t mean that you have to come out a darker, grim person. Because you can come through with grace and dignity and become a better person.
Some people might think that I have easy smiles and this positive attitude towards life because I have had an easy life. On the contrary, I have had my share of hardships and dark times.
I’ll tell you about one of my dark periods in life as a child growing up.
During my childhood and until I became a first-time mom, my own mother suffered through mental illness trying to cope with the death of her husband. She was struggling with reconciling her anger at his death with her love for him and with her devout Catholic faith and love of God. Because of her periodic nervous breakdowns, I had to be a little-mom for my 2 younger brothers. I was born with a happy demeanor and easy smile, so during these times I tried to be cheerful and to take care of my brothers. To get through the absence of my mother, the pain of her suffering, and through the physical abuse we suffered because she wasn’t in her right mind, I would say to myself repeatedly: “Tomorrow is another day and it will be better than today.”
What I get from these sad and dark experiences of my childhood is that I was compelled to grow-up suddenly. I had to become emotionally mature on the spot from 8-years old and on. I had to be the responsible big sister or the little mom, watch the house, and take care of my little brothers. I also had to be a rock for my mother to help her. I had to somehow be a rock for my brothers get through the emotional upheavals that haunted our family because of the untimely death of my father. It was painful and difficult, but we kids knew my mother loved us. Outside of her nervous breakdowns she was loving, affectionate, and attentive. As a kid, I intuited on a deeper level that the pain she inadvertently inflicted on us children came from her own pain. We children never held a grudge against her. And although it took time, my mom and our family have had forgiveness and healed from those dark times. We remain close and affectionate towards each other despite our geographical distances.
So what I am saying again is that one can choose to come out of gloomy, excruciating experiences with grace and dignity. It really is a choice. One doesn’t have to come out of pain and hardships bitter, angry and hurtful. To move on from the hurtful past you have to let go, forgive and work on healing. It can be done.
When it’s over one can choose to leave grudge-luggage on the way-side, and journey light through Life. People can come out stronger. I did it. You can do it.
I hope you can take courage and support from this post. Because if you’re walking through the shadow of darkness and trying to make it to the other side, you should know that somehow you will get through it and out back into better times and see that the sun shines bright upon you. And when you do, you will have become the better person you were meant to be. And you will shine back at the sun and stars, too.
Don’t suppress your fears. Face them down like the inner demons that they are. Call upon your inner warrior to defeat them.
When going through dark times you can say these things to yourself when you are afraid and need to take courage:
I have a light inside of me and it is connected to something unimaginably Greater, Brighter, Good, Wise and Loving that will light and guide my way.
The Light shines within me and it crystallizes and brightens my inner vision so I can see my path clearly before me.
I trust my inner compass. I have faith in the Strength that comes from the Source. I ask (your choice) God/Goddess/AllThatIs, Jesus, Mary, Allah, Buddha, Bathala, the Saints, Angels, boddhisatvas that He/She/They accompanies me along all moments of my Life.
I am grateful for Divine support and guidance.
I balance my reasoning and intuition to make my way through life.
I take note of coincidences. Synchronicity in ordinary occurrences are messages from Unseen guidance and Wisdom that I need to pay attention… These are my signposts and lamp posts along the way.
There is always safe ground for me to stand on.
And when I need it most, I already have the wings and ability to fly.
“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.”—Hafiz
So turn problems into lessons.
I know it sounds crazy, but the painful events of life will be the metaphorical forces, the elements of nature— earth, wind, fire and water— that alchemize your humanity from rusting iron to glimmering gold.
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
that is how the light gets in.
— Leonard Cohen
“Those who overcome hardships and grow as human beings are advancing towards success and victory in life.”
— Daisaku Ikeda
When it comes to disasters and tragedies, people have no choice when it comes their way. They can’t turn away. Right there, on the spot, they have to find the strength to handle the difficulties. Like our kapwa Filipinos who recently experienced Typhoon Yolanda at the end of 2013.
CNN reporter Ivan Watson reported about Filipinos’ remarkable trait of still being able to laugh even immediately after Typhoon Yolanda razed peoples’ homes and lives.
“Certainly Filipinos here have not lost their sense of humor. They joke with the stranger even though their homes are damaged and their stomachs are empty,” he recounted as he featured the smiles on children’s faces in Guiuan, Leyte—with one kid saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
We Filipinos know that this is part of what makes us resilient in the face of devastation.
When we, mere humans that we are, overcome setbacks and obstacles we unwittingly create a shining feat that will carry into history and into the heart memory of our children and all our descendants.
Think how to turn challenging situations into stepping stones.
Brave the darkness. Conquer your fears. You will be stronger.
”Stay with the fear! Because on one side of that fear
is the face of ego, but on the other side is the face of God.”
— Orthodox Christian tale of St. Michael the Archangel
calling to the angels of Light as they battle the angels of Darkness
“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.”― Rumi
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Divisiveness—unsubscribe is up next in this series of Pinay, Shine! 15 Ways to Connect to Liwanag and Shine.
Omehra is also known as Inday Perla, Perla Daly, BagongPinay and NewFilipina.
She has been publishing websites to empower Filipinos for 20 years. More about her art, blogs, events, publishing and organizations at BagongPinay.
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