A spirituality of darkness

Disappointment has a profound way of weighing on us. We are disappointed in ourselves for whatever reasons. We are not _____ enough. We didn’t get this done in this time period. We don’t appreciate how many of our relationships with other people have worked out.

When I was growing up, I thought that I had asthma. Something would happen, and, something inside of me would trigger and I would have trouble breathing, I would experience chest pain and things would become difficult for me. Over time, I realized that I did not have asthma, but, I suffered panic attacks. As a person who has struggled with anxiety for a large portion of my life, I have come to realize that there is a part of me that struggled to accept anxiety. My feelings had become troubling for me, and, I struggled to move forward. Over years of anxiety, I have been forced to accept, which is for me, a Spirituality of Darkness. Anyone, who has anxiety can tell you how much more troubling anxiety is when you aren’t allowed to have anxiety. Your thoughts become more degrading and self-destructive.

When Jesus was being crucified, we see a man who willingly absorbed the violence of men, for men. I think this is what a Spirituality of Darkness is all about. When we allow ourselves the mind and heart space to absorb the violence in our lives. I think life is filled with lots of ambiguity, pain, betrayal and suffering. However, I firmly believe, and, experience that life is filled with so many good things. Things of love, beauty, hope and trust. But, when we don’t have a Spirituality of Darkness, we don’t have a place to absorb that ambiguity, pain, betrayal and suffering. Ask anyone who has abused someone if they have woken up and thought it was a good idea to do so. Or, if any child who grew up in an addicted home, and, they themselves became addicted because they thought it was a good idea. When we don’t have the inner life to absorb the ambiguity, pain, betrayal and suffering, we will without a doubt deflect it onto others after we ourselves have endured it. I don’t think that we can accept and experience this love, beauty, hope and trust in others, if we don’t learn a Spirituality of Darkness. We will never learn how to forgive, repent and in return learn how to experience and return love, beauty, hope and trust in others.

It is impossible to enter into the world and not be reminded that the world is broken. Every time we turn on the news, we are reminded of the hatred we experience by the murders, the poverty, the neglect, the war and the sickness. As we move towards the light, we will in fact have to experience the darkness of ourselves, and, the world. That’s what it, in part means, to have a heart for God. That we have a love for the Truth, that sets us free, that we love Justice, that we love Peace, the things that brings God’s kingdom to earth and allows for others to experience the goodness of a Loving, Justice seeking and Peace filled Savior, who is Truth and wants to set us free from things like Anxiety, Depression, Despair, Violence, Sickness, Pain and all of the poverty of the Human Condition.

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