The abyss. You know. You’ve been through it probably more than once in this lifetime. But have you ever gone back after a good long while and revisited the experience for the gift you ultimately received from it?
I did that recently as an exercise for a writing class I’ve been taking. I had plenty of abysmal experiences to choose from--my mom’s stroke, my dad’s death, my divorce, or any number of slightly less traumatic life events. Instead, I chose a relationship I had post-divorce. In hindsight, it reflected the lowest point I had sunk in my sense of self-worth.
The point of the exercise was not to flog yourself in the gory details of the experience but to plumb its depths for knowledge you couldn’t have known before you went through that particular abyss, and then write about it for the benefit of other poor souls who have to brave that abyss. A gift to help them find their way through the darkness and into the light.
I really enjoyed this writing exercise. The writing flowed easily, which is a sign that I’m writing from a place of truth. Of course, I second-guessed the value of what I had written after I made the mistake of reading a couple submissions from other classmates before posting my own. In comparison, my “gift” sounded rather generic and not nearly heart wrenching enough. Then I remembered the feeling I had just as I finished writing my piece—a welling of emotion filled my chest. I know this feeling. It’s the feeling of deep, sacred truth. What I wrote may not speak to everyone, but it may speak to someone. Good enough.
I thought I’d share my gift with you, in case it comes in handy one day. Feel free to re-gift!
Finding your way home
I wish I could spare you from the abyss you are about to enter, but I can’t. The abyss is both unavoidable and necessary. Fortunately, you have three gifts in your possession that will help you to not only survive the abyss but thrive when you get to the other side.
First, trust the universe. When you feel lost, the universe will always send help and show you the way. I know you want to get out of the abyss as quickly as possible. Faster even. Tread slowly. Look carefully. No matter how dark or how dire things may seem, know that the universe will take care of you and everything will be OK. You will see and feel the light again.
Second, trust your intuition. This can be challenging when you have lost your essential self. Listen to the kind, quiet voice inside you. If you’re unsure whether you can trust it, ask yourself whether you are trying to talk yourself into or out of taking its advice. If you’re trying to talk yourself out of it, that’s a sign you should move in that direction.
Third, trust that you are worth so much more. This is often the most difficult and the most important gift to accept. A deep belief in your own self-worth is the only way to guarantee your ascent out of the abyss and into your own light. Your self-worth is also necessary for accessing the other gifts, which are most powerful when used together.
Use these gifts often. They become more effective the more you use them. These gifts will give you strength and help you face what you fear most. They will give you confidence and comfort to keep going when you think you can’t go any further. They will lead you to the peace you yearn for that lies on the other side of the abyss.
You will know you have emerged from the abyss when you are overflowing with feelings of light, freedom, and love—love for yourself. Welcome home, dear.