Embracing Despair

In our various stages of growth, we strive and hope and yearn to create the life we believe will provide us with the fulfillment we feel we are deserving of. Often things do not work out as we had planned or hoped, and in our efforts to figure out what it is that went wrong, we often blame others or life or our own inexperience. We set about making changes, but eventually after enough trial and error, we can begin to believe that our apparent failings in life are nothing more than a monument to our own worthlessness.

In these darkest moments, what is it that keeps us hanging on to life? Often it is our fear of how it might affect a person in our lives: a parent or a child or another who is equally tied to us but yet unaware of our despair. These are people who, although we will suffer to live another day for them, we will not reach out to for help. Somehow, in spite of how alone and useless and pointless we may feel, if we believe that our absolute absence would be harmful to even just one person, we somehow find the strength to continue. We do this knowing they will never understand the sacrifice we have made for them in living.

And while we are hanging on to those threads of mattering at least that much to just one person, there is someone far more significant who we absolutely matter to that we have completely overlooked. That person is being masked by the story of our not mattering. That person is trapped inside a cell of expectations and desires. That person is our authentic self.

And it’s not even appropriate to say that our authentic self is masked or trapped, it is just experiencing the absolute power and limitation of thought. Regardless of how it looks and feels on the surface, this is an essential, valuable, and purposeful stage in our growth. This is a large part of why we have even come into this world of form: to experience these limitations so we can better celebrate our limitlessness. And when we can experience that limitlessness while in form by awakening from those limiting hurts of the past, this brings in a whole new dimension to the celebration.

In those moments of deepest despair, we need to open to the realization that it is not our body that has to die to be released from these stories of hurt we have collected, whether they are true or not. Those human stories of hurt have worn us thin, and that is when our being has the best opportunity to try to break free. It tells us to just let go, to stop, to die, but with only a conventional understanding of what those words mean, we lose ourselves in thoughts of mortal death.

Everything has a purpose, even darkness. The age-old saying “It’s always darkest before the dawn” takes on new meaning when you can learn that by embracing and welcoming that darkness into your heart instead of fearing or resisting it, you are able to discover the absolute beauty of the light that it conceals.

It is not you, in your essence, who is alone and useless and pointless: it is the mind-made story of who you believe you are that is all those things. And when you can get inside those limiting beliefs, you find that they were actually gifts leading you to discover the truth that in your essence, you are pure and beautiful and untouched by any of those stories or experiences of pain and hurt.

Your spirit, your authentic self, your awareness of who you are beyond all limitations of thought, is now free to be in this world as an expression of the love that it recognizes in all situations. Through expressing this love, you are able to create and experience a truly fulfilling life beyond any story of the one you believed you were deserving of.

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