If you want to read an upbeat, let’s speak and think and feel only positive things so that’s what we attract kind of experience today, then you don’t want to read this blog post. But if you are in the midst of a dark night of the soul or if you’re just feeling a bit unsettled, anxious, pissed off, scared, sad then keep reading.
I want to talk about the multi-faceted, complicated, sometimes painful but real experience of being a human being. Nope, I’m not talking about the simplistic, one-dimensional, superficial, everything is sweetness and light experience that some would have us believe is what we should be experiencing or we’re doing life all wrong.
It Feels Awful
I’m in a dark night of the soul right now. I’ve been here before, and intellectually I know this isn’t a permanent state of affairs. But it sure as hell feels permanent, doesn’t it? This is that place that precedes an act of surrender that precedes a profound transformation that precedes a giant leap in consciousness. But it still feels awful.
And you know what? I don’t want to hear one word about the Law of Attraction right now. Not.one.word. I don’t want to hear that I’ve attracted this. I don’t want to hear that I’ve created this reality. And you know why I don’t want to hear it? Because those statements come with judgment.
First comes the judgment of the people proclaiming the law. Oh, they claim not to be judging, but you and I both know they are. At best, they’re damned relieved they aren’t going through it and step just a bit away so they won’t catch it. At worst, they’re just a bit smug, a bit disdainful, a bit judgmental.
That’s bad enough, but then there’s our own judgment of what we’re going through because we’ve brought this on ourselves. This is the self-inflicted blame and shame that makes the dark night even darker. Like it wasn’t already dark enough.
My Promise to You
Here’s my promise to you (and me). I promise not to judge us for our dark night of the soul. I promise not to try to fix us, because we’re not broken. I promise to acknowledge the courage it took to get vulnerable and tell the truth about what’s going on for us.
It takes courage to tell the truth about our dark night in this society of ours that is relentlessly shoving sweetness and light and positive thinking down our throats. It’s difficult to get real about the negative thoughts, feelings, and experiences we’re having, when we’re told that we attract and create our own reality. Hell, we’re as much as admitting that we’re flunking the Law of Attraction test.
You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m not a big fan of the Law of Attraction. Let me rephrase that. I’m not a big fan of how the Law of Attraction is being presented to us these days. I suspect this spiritual law has been distorted by our human interpretation of it. I suspect it isn’t as simplistic, as black or white, as superficial as it’s being made out to be.
Now I know we human beings are pretty much terrified of the random and unknown, even more so because most of us aren’t all that solid in our faith in the God of our understanding. So that means we’re pretty desperate to believe that we can exert some kind of control over our lives.
But we’ve allowed our desperate need for control to take a rich and profound spiritual law and dumb it down. We grab the Law of Attraction to go and gobble it down to fill that hole inside us the way we grab fast food to go and gobble it down to fill the same damned hole. And you know what? Neither one works because the hole is shaped like God, and only God can fill it.
Don’t get me wrong. I do think we create a great deal of our own reality. Part of my job as a star polisher is to help my clients bust through the limitations they put on themselves and their reality by what they are thinking, believing, feeling, and saying. But let’s face it. Life can be random sometimes. Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to skilled practitioners of the Law of Attraction.
And we’re left dealing with not only the Something Bad that happened, but also with wondering what we did to attract this Something Bad. What did we think, feel, say, do that brought this Something Bad down upon our heads? And what the hell are we supposed to do with the inevitable blame and shame that follow?
I know the beaters of the Law of Attraction drum have good intentions. Many of them are my friends, and they are good people. They want to inspire you to create the life of your dreams. Me too! My writing and my business are all about encouraging you to go after and create what it is you want out of this life.
But I’m also going to encourage you to be your most authentic self while you do it. I’m going to suggest you own every part of yourself, including the negative thoughts and feelings and words and behaviors. I’m going to suggest you let go of the fear that your oh so human negativity is going to bring the wrath of the Law of Attraction down upon your head. I don’t believe in a mean and punishing God, and I don’t believe in a mean and punishing spiritual law.
Good Little Girl
Playing the Good Little Girl because otherwise the Law of Attraction is going to get you just doesn’t work. Sometimes you’re not the Good Little Girl. Sometimes you have an awful week, month, year. And you’re tired, discouraged, disappointed, pissed off, and scared. You’re in pain.
You can do one of two things. You can push all those feelings down, pretend you never felt them, and keep a smile plastered on your face so you attract only good things. But you won’t attract good things. You’ll attract what unexpressed pain always attracts and what we’re experiencing in epidemic portions these days – addiction, depression, aggression, even violence.
Or you can get real, get vulnerable, and express your feelings, however socially unacceptable those feelings may currently be. You can write them out, exercise them out, whine them out, scream them out, stomp them out. I don’t care how you express them, as long as you don’t harm yourself or others. I just want you to express them and to keep expressing them until they have lost their power.
And beaters of the Law of Attraction drum, here’s what doesn’t help when we – your loved one, friend, colleague, client – are going through a dark night of the soul. Being told (even if it’s true), that we brought on this pain we’re feeling. Not helpful. Being told we attracted the source of our current suffering. Not helpful.
What does help is people meeting us where we are. People being kind and showing compassion. People saying, “I feel your pain because I feel pain too. Because I suffer too.”
When we remember our common humanity, then we can start to be vulnerable with each other, to connect and be real with each other. If we recognize we are not alone here in the dark night of our soul, that there are others here in the cave with us, that’s when the darkness starts to lift. That’s when our light starts to shine. That’s when the healing begins.
This blog post is an excerpt from my radio show, the Golden Goddesses on the Creating Calm Radio Network. Tune in any time after 10 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, April 23rd to hear my segment. Just fast forward to minute 30, and that’s where you’ll find me. In fact, that’s where I’ll be every week. I hope you’ll join me.