“The Wound is the Place Where the Light Enters You” ~ Rumi
Each of us, in our journey through life, has probably had times when life seems hard and unmanageable. These are the times when the experience hits hard, and we don’t understand why things happen the way they do. These are the events that we may call the “dark night of the soul”. We can’t stand the pain of staying in the depths of the pain, but we are also immobilized as our standard coping mechanisms don’t quite get us through the pain. Nor do we understand what our next step might be as we feel the grip of pain paralyze us.
Being part of the human race is pretty much a guarantee that we will walk the fire of pain at some point in our life. If we are living, we are pretty much assured that we will have loss, grief, and deep pain at some point. This is the kind of pain that takes us to our knees and stops us cold. Our natural inclination may be to run from it, avoid it, not feel it as it hurts too much. This is not the way to heal the pain, nor is it effective for exiting the pain.
Rumi’s quote is the light and the “way” through the pain. It is the hope. Through our pain we can find a place deep within that will also give us solace. Through the
dark night of the soul, we find that place where we feel deeply. Feeling sorrow deeply means we can also feel other emotions deeply. Kahlil Gibran said, “Your joy can fill you only as deeply as your sorrow has carved you.” There is light in the darkness.
Walking through the pain – feeling it, being with it, listening to it – can be our guide in getting through it and coming out the other side of it. Rumi may be telling us
that walking through the pain we will find those parts of ourselves we never knew, a deep strength, a courage we need in our sorrow, a compassion for others in pain, a compassion for ourselves, a gift of feeling deeply. We may learn more about our own self. Walking through the pain, we will find a depth to life we never knew.
Out of the dark we may find joy in small things. We may find a different priority in how to live life. What other choice do we have when in this kind of pain? When we
walk through it, we can walk out of the intensity of it. When we avoid it, we stay in it. So when in pain, keep walking through it and keep moving. In that movement we will find life again, maybe not the same life as before, but life in a deeply felt way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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