Thirteenth century Persian poet, Rumi, said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” The band Roman Candle sings, “Come tell me something, any words are fine…let me know if the big light is shining on me.” Rock bottom is usually where people finally allow others to help them. The vulnerability that comes with grief, loss, or injury can actually be the thing that allows light, love, and healing to enter. When you get to that point where you can no longer keep a stiff upper lip, you either shut everything out and sit alone in your depression or risk letting something in, knowing that even if it is good, it will still hurt at first. And because it hurts, it’s really tempting to close yourself off again because, let’s be honest, you’ve had enough pain for a lifetime already.
But friend, I beg you to grit your teeth and bear the initial sting because it will get better. A sharp pain for a short time that leads to long-term healing is better than a deep ache that never ends. So let people love you. Speak the name you don’t dare say for fear that it will rip your heart in half all over again. Talk about your grief, and hear others well when they say, “Yep. Me too.” Feed yourself good things – good words, good music, good food, good relationships, good touch. Be kind to yourself.
I know being kind to yourself sounds both like common sense and like an impossible task all at once sometimes. If you’re having trouble with it, here are some suggestions:
- Listen to a good album.
- Take a hot bath or shower.
- Eat something delicious.
- Take a nap.
- Hug somebody.
- Do some light exercise (or heavy if that’s what you need, but the goal is to be kind to yourself, not punish yourself).
- Get outside, and breathe deeply.
- Read a good book.
- Play a game.
- Watch a comedy.
- Enjoy a hot cup of something (coffee/tea/hot chocolate).
- Go swimming, and just float.
Let the light in, friends. Don’t let the darkness permeate every space inside you. The darkness gets to a point where it feels comfortable, but it’s killing you. The light hurts for a moment, but it is the only way to really live.