Artist Dancer Writer
Lover of Nature
Lover of Nature
What comes to your mind or to you when you see a dark cave?
What feeling arises in you?
I often felt fear looking at the dark cave because of a childhood experience. I was frightened by my uncles, who were youth then, over a horror movie (never do that to a child). I developed this fear of the darkness. However, I overcame and healed from the fear of darkness during the 2015 contemplation retreat. I am at peace with the unknown, with the mystery of the dark cave, with the darkness or the night.
I was led to enter into my dark cave, metaphorically, during the last week of advent. I do not know why. I was being guided. I am reminded of the winter season - the hibernation period - means to rest, to enter into the 'dark cave' in solitude.
Needless did I know what it had in store for me. I actually went through the stages of grief in the whole week. Not grieving over the lost of a loved one but hearing the news of a loved one - a not so good news of an imminent illness - possibly cancer. I found myself unconsciously, unknowingly went into a stage of anger for 2 days and projected my anger outwardly. I was quick enough to listen within and paused when I was angry again after hearing more news. In me, my soul signalled something was amissed. Why was I so angry? In the moment of anger, tears rolled down uncontrollably - a pang of sadness and grief. I recognised the feelings. The mixture of emotions came clear that it was not just pure anger or pure sadness. And probably in me I wanted to deny it was true. Truth hurts at times. Truth is often hard to swallow at times when it is a painful truth. A good friend was also at the same time going through a hard time. Both of us had an open conversation with Nita. NIta's sharing opened my heart to the gateway of acceptance - tears rolled down as I learnt the truth - as I learnt the infinite love of God for this loved one (I didn't want to reveal it. I opened this sharing to help you to understand the stages of grief. It can happen when we are hit with the news of a loved one who was struck with illnesses.)
The tears this time is not sadness but I was enveloped with acceptance and love. I felt love flowed over and in me as I engulfed in the love of God and teared in silence, in solitude, being embraced.
That week was an eye opening. I gain deep insight on the stages of grief. It can happen not only when we lost someone but also hearing a bad news of a loved one or even with self. I walked through the stages of grief in the week and found the light again in the dark cave. I'm surprised to be led into the dark cave without understanding why. But my soul knew way before me. As a human, I needed the week to grief. If I'd not listened and followed my inner guidance (Holy spirit), I probably would have just walked through the motions projecting unknowingly my anger, sadness, grief and pain, probably for a longer period of time. And also to find myself being held by God, by loving compassionate friends and walked into the light in the moment of darkness in my own dark cave.
I love a beautiful inspiring quote by Rainer Maria Rike, sent by another good friend:
"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
Dark cave to many may perceive as something scary and we choose not to want to even go there if we can. However I learn that if we do not allow ourselves to enter in the dark cave, we would not be able to see the light in it. Only when we enter, be in it, only we can finally see the light in it. Like the quote, live the questions now, gradually in some distant day into the answer. Trust fully.
I also contemplated on the three wise men following the stars to Jesus when he was born. The star signified the light in us - each infant, newly born, is light, in us, shining ever so bright when we enter into the Earth - perhaps entering into the Earth is the dark cave, struggling to be born, pushing, stretching, birthing through the "canal' into the light, receiving the light as well as shining our light on Earth. In the dark cave, we are led into more than transformation, a new self is born. The mystery of the dark cave in that week opens far more insight to what it means to be in the dark cave.
As my Sabbatical is going to end in 2 days. I began to see that my journey, God has been preparing me all these years for my next phase of my calling where I have immersed myself in study and work from cradle to grave - pregnant to birthing to growing to dying.
I see that my Sabbatical has way begun much earlier when I was back in Netherlands. I counted it was exactly 9 months. I find myself in pregnancy for 9 months during the Sabbatical period, waiting to birth the new me as the 2018 opens the gateway of a new life, new mission and a new me. I'm very excited to emerge from my dark cave to the light as the new year shines the light on me and my light in me glows with love!
Shalom! Blessings! Love! To you!
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