Monday, August 31, 2015

Nothing Dark can Stay

A few weeks ago, I had my hair done. I wanted to add a little dark blonde, a little depth for Autumn. When I left the salon, my hair was muddy, grayish, brown with only hints of my original blonde. I was desolate. I felt dowdy and less attractive. I canceled dinner with a friend and went home frustrated and depressed.  This one little change affected my mood in a terrible way. The next day, as I looked in the mirror, the storm clouds in my soul reappeared. I did not look or feel like myself.  I wondered if I ever would again.

Three weeks later as I readied myself one morning, I noticed that much of the dark, muddy brown had disappeared. My original blonde had returned and now had hints of sparkling amber. My hair was pretty again. I chastised myself as I examined it. My hair has never held color for long. Despite my many efforts to make it something it is not, my hair refuses to be anything but blonde.

“You should have known,” I said to myself, “nothing dark can stay.” The words surprised me. They hadn’t seemed to come from me. Instead, they’d appeared; a whisper from the universe.

Nothing dark can stay.
Isn’t that the truth?

Throughout my life, even in the midst of my most difficult trials, I’ve shocked myself with an easy laugh or an impromptu smile. Of course, there have been times when I’ve thought I will never feel well again. Times when I have vowed never to forgive. These are the times when I’ve leveled a fixated effort to hold on to negativity, anger and pain. These are the times when I’ve put all my thought, action, and energy into staying in the dark.

Yet, the instant I exhale and stop holding on so tightly to regret, hurt or things I do or don’t deserve... The moment I let go, even just a little... The light comes flooding in. Without me realizing it, sometimes without me even wanting it, I have found when I let go, nothing dark can stay.

A few years ago my Sister-in-law died an unexpected and tragic death. The week of her memorial, our family gathered at her home. On the eight hour drive to get there, I often found myself staring out the window at the sparse, lonely desert. My heart was heavy at the somber weekend ahead. How would it be anything but devastating? How would we do anything but cry?

The night before her funeral, we gathered in the very room she died, and I felt the air disappear. As we gathered pictures, something magical happened.  The memories started to flow. Smiles started to appear. Our laughter began to fill the corners, wrapping us in a comforting embrace. We culled through her favorite songs from an Itunes list. Blasting the speakers, we sang at the top of our lungs and danced away our sorrow. There was no missing her in those moments. She was there.  We felt her dancing with us. We felt her swaying and whispering…” Remember me this way.”

It is not always easy to remember. Sometimes all you want to do is hunker down and hide.  I’ve been dipping my toe in shadows lately. I’ve been holding on to fear and regret.

It took a bad hair day to remind me of this absolute truth:

Our Universe repels darkness. Even the vast blackness of the expansive sky cannot swallow the light of twinkling stars. No matter how sad, how alone, how defeated we may feel today…we are not meant to feel this way forever.

Whatever we choose to believe in; God, collective energy or even the people who’ve gone beforeif you listen long enough, you will hear their significant message:

“Be happy. Be open. Be loving. Focus on living.  Don’t drown in the abyss, instead let go of all that tethers you, and reach for the light.”
No matter how dark or dreary your night has been, tomorrow will dawn a new day.

The sun will rise,

as a dazzling and constant reminder: Nothing dark can stay.
Dedicated to Shelle Blakemore whose children are the epitome of light.