– Heartwood Path Waypoint 1.79 –
The Dark Side
A common impetus for most spiritual journeys is some form of suffering. This suffering may come from distant, abusive, or alcoholic parents; warring family members; or a variety of misfortunes. Think of the Heartwood Path as a great errand you are about to perform as a way to confront and then move away from past suffering.
Confronting the dark side of life is important as an early step in spiritual growth because there is a big psycho-spiritual payoff when life’s problems are overcome. Since pain—physical, mental, and emotional—is inevitable it ought to be accepted with the knowledge that its purpose is to awaken and to help with spiritual growth. Pain often teaches what one needs to know. It often seems to be brutishly designed to force us to learn. Ironically, the more pain one is willing to take on, the greater the joy.
When grief is only an inner experience of sadness it immobilizes. Within darkness is a bright spot, a blessing. There can be an improved response to despair, as evident in the following practice. Here is how to make that response:
Feel your loss. Express it. Then look for the hidden blessing. Give it time. All losses are part of the divine order. Determine what is the source of your sorrow. Pay attention to your own state of suffering. Look for the hidden lesson in the suffering.