Figured I should write a post about this about now. What is the darkness that I talk about rising above? It's not the physical darkness. It's the mental, emotional, and spiritual place we all find ourselves in from season to season.
Sometimes we dip our toe into the darkness. Other times we are fully enveloped by it. And there are times we're so deep into the darkness that we have no idea we're in it at all. There's no light nearby to remind us there is anything better than this present darkness.
Now you might get to this point and say "yeah yeah so what. Good talk. Darkness blah blah blah.
But what is it really?
Solid question. Because general, high level talk like the above doesn't really help people. Most people need to know what it means in real life. So yeah, the darkness:
It's definitely the big scary stuff
- Extreme depression
- Grieving the loss of a loved one
- Losing a baby
- Cancer diagnosis
- Drug addiction
- Physical, mental, emotional or sexual slavery
- Your spouse cheating on you
But. The darkness is also
- Sometimes the long wait for answered prayer
- Fear, every kind
- Missing a dear friend
- Panic attacks
- Unreciprocated love
- Recovery from an accident
- Losing an opportunity
- Losing a job
- Lack of motivation
- Longing for companionship
- Unhealthy lust
It's that dark place we find ourselves in throughout life. And it doesn't have to feel bad. Sometimes the darkness feels good, really good, too good.
Addictions, toxic relationships, unhealthy lust, desiring something or someone can all feel good in the moment. Even a panic attack can have feeling of "good" before the panic hits. Often times it's because you're interested in something or someone. Or you're doing something. And then the darkness flows in around you as the panic rises...
All that being said.
How do you know if you're in the darkness?
Especially if it's possible to not even realize? Here are some signs the darkness might have overtaken you:
- Loss of appetite or out of control appetite
- You start pushing away the people you trust
- You realize you've completely forgotten about the most important people in your life
- You're considering cheating
- All your thoughts are about yourself and what you want, you no longer consider anyone else in your choices
- Inability to sleep
- Daily drug use
- You've been drinking more, and more, and more
- You cannot stop yourself from doing things you know you shouldn't do
- You cannot stop shopping for stuff you don't even need or want
- Your body feels like it's constantly shaking from emotional stress
- Rapid extreme weight change, either loss or gain
- Constantly fighting with your spouse
- Constantly fighting with your coworkers
- Leaving job after job after job...
- Inability to let go of the past, like that stuff from your ex that's in a box hidden in your closet...
- Trusting people you know are only using you
- The list can go on and on and on
I'd wager something in that list, or many of them rang true for you. I can say many of them have for me. Of course all this is just heady talk, the real question is
How the #&!! do you get out of the darkness?
It's usually a journey. And most times not a journey you can do on your own.
Find the people that truly care about you, and hold tight to them. Trust them. Open up to them. Be transparent and tell them what you're really feeling.
Run to the people you trust, the ones you actually trust not the ones you want to trust. And when you arrive before them ask for help, and trust them.
Pray for The Lord to bring you out of the darkness.
Pray for someone to run into the darkness, lock arms with you and walk you out!
Immediately get away from whatever is the darkness manifesting in your life. If that's pornography, run away from the screen. If it's a person, get far away to a safe place. If it's a substance, get accountability.
Get a counselor. Talk to your pastor. Be transparent, really transparent with your best friend. Join a recovery group, support group, church group.
When the darkness surrounds you, it's other people that will bring the light back into your life.
And with those people you can begin Rising Above The Darkness. Together.