Guest Blog by Suzanne Hanna, a Licensed Psychotherapist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Coach, Writer, and Inspirational Speaker.
It can happen in a moment, usually after a life-changing realization or event. Everything goes dark. The air in your body gets sucked from your lungs. A lead ball crashes into your core, leaving you weak. Your throat constricts and your body begins to sweat. Your heart races. Your temples pound. We have all been there.
I can remember this happening to me a few times in my life. Something completely unexpected happens. You get a devastating phone call; you’re counting on people and no one shows up; you wake up from a lie and realize just how shaky the ground you’ve been standing on is. These moments send you reeling down the rabbit hole into the deep dark abyss.
You think you’ll never recover from whatever it is, but most of us do eventually. Once we have regained equilibrium, we look back and wonder how we got from there to here, and then we swear that we will NEVER go back there again.
Yet we do that, too. You see, that is the evolution of life. Pain is often the catalyst for periods of intense growth, when we are ready to shed the old, but are not yet ready to embrace the new. Pain is perhaps the defining characteristic when we are thrashing about in the murky waters of denial, shame, fear, anger, and doubt until we regain the strength to swim to the nearest shore.
The times I have spent in the rabbit hole have been scary as well as painful. I will admit that I have wanted to run, hide or find anything just to make it stop. I have prayed that I would fall asleep and wake up to the realization that it was all just a dream. The truth is, there is no way around it. We can temporarily avoid it but it will always come back until either the lesson is learned or we have been awakened from a deep sleep. It would be nice if growth could come in prettier packages and with detailed instruction manuals to follow, and at times it does. But if you are anything like me, with a stubborn streak, then there are times when the Universe has no other choice but to bring the hammer down. Not to punish us, but to awaken us.
EVERY time I have been in the darkness, I have learned something new — about myself and about the lessons I have come to this life to learn. I have gained more insight into my deeper truth and have brought healing to my core wounds. I have learned to reach out and ask for support so I do not drown in the pain. And once I have climbed out of the rabbit hole, I see the enormous gifts that I received from my time there.
I am not going to lie and say I look forward to these periods of painful growth, but I will say that they no longer frighten me as they once did. You see I have gotten the tools and resources that I have needed to see in the dark. My faith, my purpose, my truth, and my courage have been loyal companions. There are moments that I forget that they are there, but before long I am reminded again.
We will NEVER be able to outrun the darkness. The more we run, the more painful the process. It will inevitably find us lurking behind some tree or hiding underneath the bed. We eventually have to face it.
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew what to do when it comes knocking at your door?
What if you could befriend it so that you can learn quickly what it has come to teach you?
What if you no longer had to constantly fear the day that it will find you so that you can live FULLY in the present?
Suzanne Hanna is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Coach, Writer, and Inspirational Speaker. She has helped hundreds of men and women move through their fear and pain as a way to live a more Inspired Life. Suzanne believes that it is up to the mid-lifers and beyond to come out from the shadows of their own fear, pain and shame in order to be the way – showers for the younger generations.
“I am on a mission to remove the stigma around fear, pain and shame. I want to teach others about the importance of the journey into darkness in order to reclaim their power and true selves. I believe it is the ONLY way to get to personal freedom. Several years ago I went on my own version of The Wilderness Walk when I hiked across the United States with my golden retriever Grace. It changed my life.”