Today I search for light from a consuming darkness within, and turn inevitably to John O’Donohue. I’ve shared this before, but each time I read it, the words take on new meaning, depending on the storms passing through. Though I am strong, there are days when courage and faith simply escape me and I question everything.
When the light around you lessens
And your thoughts darken until
Your body feels fear turn
Cold as a stone in side,
When you find yourself bereft
Of any belief in yourself
And all you unknowingly
Leaned on has fallen,
When one voice commands
Your whole heart,
And it is raven dark,
Steady yourself and see
That it is our own thinking
That darkens your world,
Search and you will find
A diamond-thought of light,
Know that you are not alone
And that this darkness has purpose;
Gradually it will school your eyes
To find the one gift your life requires
Hidden within this night-corner.
Invoke the learning
Of every suffering
You have suffered.
Close your eyes
Gather all the kindling
About your heart
To create one spark.
That is all you need to nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark
Of its weight of festered fear.
A new confidence will come alive
To urge you towards higher ground
Where your imagination
Will learn to engage difficulty
As to most rewarding threshold!
– John O’Donohue, from the book Benedictus