Christmas is always a terrible time for me. So many bad memories, and so much isolation.
There is always pressure to be in the light at Christmas time. Everything is about light. Everyone is happy and jolly.
Christmas 2016 was, for me, very different to what Christmas had ever been before. Before, I had just felt the pain. But in 2016 it was more than pain. I had found something. It was the DARKNESS. The darkness glowed for me. And, whilst everyone was trying to drag me into the LIGHT, all that I wanted was to cling to this mystical darkness that gave me a greater peace than I had ever known before. To take it from me would be like wrenching my baby from me. To wrench it from me would be to have me kicking and screaming. In desperation I would be trying to hold onto it. It was my salvation.
I had known much suffering in my life, but more recently I had known a very deep suffering. I had had cancer, a very severe cancer that almost killed me. The treatment had made me go blind, and also unable to walk, so I was wheelchair bound. I also had lung issues, and could not feel with my hands and feet. Life was hard. It was made even harder by the fact that my husband also was in a wheelchair. We struggled to survive.
I was shocked to discover that people were not always kind to me. In fact, they could be very cruel. The struggle to learn to live as a blind person was intense. It was not made easier by people’s attitudes towards me.
One day, the cruelty reached its height. People would often wave at me from a distance and expect me to smile and wave back. Of course, I failed to do this. On this day someone came to me and told me that I was stuck up and stand offish because I did not wave at people when they waved at me. I was then told that I had the sin of pride. A most serious sin.
The pain that this caused me went right off the scale. I was in agony. Life was hard enough, without this. I did not know what to do with myself. Nothing would assuage the pain.
That evening, I went to a little church that I often went to, in an isolated hamlet. It was dark, but I went inside the church anyway. I did not know why I had gone, for I was dead inside. I felt like stone. Nothing could ever comfort me again, or get past this hard stone. It was impossible now, that anything could ever get though to me again.
I sat there in the darkness of the church – a place that was very special to me. I expected nothing. Waves of pain were coursing through me. I was unsaveable. I wondered what I was doing there – why I was there. Nothing could happen here any more.
As I sat there in the total darkness, a most amazing thing suddenly happened. I felt the darkness putting its arms around me. It put its arms around me and comforted me. I felt the most intense peace. I sat there for a long time like that, just being comforted. All the pain left me. It was the most incredible experience. I had never ever had one like it before. I left that church a different person. A miracle had happened. The impossible had occurred.
As I contemplated what had happened, I felt that it was the DARKNESS ITSELF that had out its arms around me, not God IN the darkness, but the actual darkness. And so, it seemed that the darkness itself was GOD. It hardly made sense, and yet it made the greatest sense ever. I was set free. The darkness was now my Friend. The darkness was precious to me. It was like the Pearl of Great Price.
And so, we approached Christmas. The darkness was my Precious Friend. It GLOWED. It was beautiful. But I was being dragged into the light, by all of what was around me. I knew that the only way to get through Christmas was to hang onto this dazzling and wonderful darkness. The light was NOT for me.
I am still exploring the darkness. It is a mystical darkness in which are to be found many treasures. But here, there are no waymarks. Everything is unfamiliar. In fact, you can see NOTHING, physically. You can only “see” with the eyes of your heart. And, when your physical sight is taken away, you “see” differently. You see the things that really matter.
Today, I live my life differently. I am open. I have no preconceptions. I am open to the Divine Darkness