Daily Life, Inspiration, Relationships, Self

A Box of Darkness

box of darknessMy friend posted this today.  I have posted this sentiment on Facebook myself in the past.  I have had conversations around it. I guess its time to write about it.

A box of darkness, when I hear this, I think of my Mom.  My mom was really dark. She was angry, and sad, and bitter, and all closed up.  And yet she yearned for love, for connection.  It all goes back to her childhood and never feeling loved, wanted, accepted.  I know all of this because she told me, many times. She spoke of her abuse and I know she left much out in that area.  But I can put together the pieces.  It was not good.

So as grown woman having a relationship with my mom there were a lot of challenges. She lived 15 years after my dad died and our lives became more intertwined. As she grew older she isolated herself more, the anger, the bitterness grew.  I tried to take it on.  I tried to help her out of the dark place. I would suggest friends, activities, all kinds of things.  She would shut that down fast, always a reason to not partake.  We would spend time together but the quality suffered.  I finally accepted her terms letting her be., It was better for our relationship which I did not want to lose.

I could not  fill the void that my dad had left, no one could.  He stood between her and the world. I am not sure if he protected her, I think it was more he protected the world from her.  By the end of her life she had pretty isolated herself from her family and friends. She did not talk to her mom or her brother. The only ones left were myself, my son, my sister and her husband.  One by one mom shut everyone down. It was a big box of darkness.

So how can a box of darkness be a gift?   She trusted me, she loved me, she shared that scary part of herself knowing she was safe.  That is a gift. Knowing that someone can survive child abuse and move on to fiercely love her children is a gift. Because she gave me entry to her box of darkness I am more compassionate.  I can see that humans are fragile and yet incredibly strong.  I can see that even in the darkness there was beauty, there was song, there was laughter, there was love.

When I see darkness in someone I can handle that.  I am not afraid of it.  I don’t need them to hide it from me.  I am strong enough in my light to shine on your darkness. My mom taught me that.  Because if I could love her though all of that, I am good with loving you. That also, was a gift.

And I can see how very hard it is to share your darkness, to take that step.  We all have darkness. We all have those spots of anger, fear, sadness, shame.  That is our balance for the light.  How could you see the light without the dark to contrast.  My mom sharing her darkness makes me less afraid of my own.  I know I can survive the dark thoughts, the doubts, the demons.  I don’t have to feed them, but I don’t deny them either. I am a human female with all kinds of facets, I have to embrace that and love myself through it.

So yes,” someone once gave me a box of darkness and it took me years to understand that too was a gift.”. Perhaps more than light this gift brought me growth, understanding, compassion, and ultimately peace. There is no struggle to pretend,  I don’t have to hide my darkness.  But I don’t feed it either. Sometimes i am sad, scared, lonely. I look at the world and the horrible things humans do each other and I feel hopeless and angry. And it is okay to feel that. I know without a doubt even in the darkness there is Love, Light, Life, Peace, Power, Beauty and Joy.  And those are the things that I feed.

Thank you Mom, Namaste

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