Dealing With The Darkness – There’s Far More To You Than You Realize


It's like this, only not so pleasant

It’s like this, only not so pleasant

I suspect that each of us is visited by The Darkness from time to time, but I only know my own experience with The Darkness. The Dark Night of the Soul, coined by fellow mystic St. John of the Cross is my favorite characterization of The Darkness. While Saint John of the Cross’ poem and commentaries on The Dark Night of the Soul are focused on how a soul prepares to meet the divine, there are times in Life when The Darkness comes to visit and the experience is visceral – I feel it in my body, especially my heart, I feel it in my mind, and I feel it in those aspects of Spirit that breathe life into this bag of flesh, bone and fluids.

Some might call The Darkness “Depression,” but that is far too clinical a term for what it feels like when The Darkness visits. Most of my days and nights are filled with Light, and a Lightness of spirit. I’m generally upbeat, positive and comfortable in my own skin and look forward to additional Life adventures such as the Boot-Strap Expat adventure. I embrace challenges and dare obstacles to even attempt to impede us. When The Darkness visits I feel small, feeble, weak and adrift in doubts that normally would never arise.

When The Darkness visits, he arrives while I sleep and I awake to him wrapped around me and throughout me. I want to slip back into the astral realms of slumber but cannot. Earworms and visualizations refuse to allow such reprieves and in time I accept his presence and arise to start what I know from experience is going to be an unpleasant day. It will pass, but I must accept my unwelcome visitor this day and perhaps a few more.

Feeling Overwhelmed by Setbacks –

This is not my first rodeo. I expect setbacks and challenges to arise. I only go All In when my mind, body and spirit are aligned with purpose. I’ve pushed all my chips into the pot with The Boot-Strap Expat adventure. While I envision a glorious  Flop, Turn and River to bolster my Hole cards, I could also be Busted. It wouldn’t be the first time. Failure and I are old friends, but the fucker never buys a round of beers. I only succeed because I’ve failed so many times.

Over the last six months I’ve had to adjust my plans almost continuously. This was expected as Life laughs in the face of plans and efforts to manage events. In the closed environment of an IT project it is easy to plan and execute the plan because the project is supported by the organization as a whole. In the Open environment of Life no such support is promised or guaranteed. So I have to hustle, juggle priorities and wear many hats rather than my favorite Texas Straw.

Liquidating assets has become a relentless nightmare as I attempt to move forward while keeping the phones and interwebs on so I can continue to move forward.

The IndieGoGo campaign has been a huge disappointment. I accept it is probably because of my inability to raise enough attention but a Big Fat Goose Egg with about three weeks to go on this initial campaign is not what I imagined at all. I figured that with thousands of folks who appreciate what I share here, if a small percentage of those folks kicked in a single dollar, we’d be almost ready to hit the road right now.

I accept full responsibility for not having a few sponsors lined up by now. The holidays are behind us and I haven’t reached out to nearly enough potential sponsors to make anything happen. I will address this.

Money is tight, times are hard and there is so much to distract us in our connected lives.

I miss this guy!

I miss this guy!

Curve-balls and knuckle-balls are flying all over the place since the New Year! Obamacare, Snowstorms,  Polar Vortex, flat tires, trucks that won’t start, friends requiring knee surgery, Polar Vortex redux, a transmission that needs two solenoids, an oven that has to be unplugged because it doesn’t remember that it has a thermostat and “on/off” switches, “it never ends!!” ~ Sam Kineson

I write daily, though I post essays and articles less often. This daily writing keeps me sharp, focused on what matters in the greater scheme of things, but it demands time and focus. I usually write during afternoons and early evenings when I feel at my very best. Before and after writing I’m just an ol’ nekkid monkey doing his best to keep everything together.

Usually holding things together is as simple as remembering to breathe. Sometimes it seems like a Rube Goldberg device – there’s all kinds of things happening to one another, but you begin to wonder if there is any chance of a pay-off once the ball-bearings reach the end of their rails. This is what my life looks like and if The Darkness comes to visit (remember him?) even the people and activities I love best will seem to be activities and people to avoid, “I can’t let them see what’s lurking in and behind my eyes.” Better to wait until The Darkness moves on, I’d hate to infect them with his presence.

How Bad Is the Current Situation?

Since The Darkness came to call this morning, it is far easier for me to see the dark clouds on the horizon.

  • My account is overdrawn;
  • I have about a hundred bucks in my PayPal account that I don’t want to touch because it would only make my account less overdrawn;
  • Having made “Payment Arrangements” for the phones and interwebs, a daily fear is I’ll stumble and temporarily lose access to one or both;
  • Only about a week’s worth of kibble for Max and New Moon and no treats left;
  • Three teeth that need to be extracted, but I’m holding off until I get to Mexico where the care is dirt cheap;
  • I routinely go days without beer and have ratcheted down my standards from Moosehead, to Miller High Life, to Milwaukee’s Best Ice (I am ashamed…).

On The Bright Side

  • Readership for The Boot-Strap Expat Adventure is up by a factor of 24, or 2,400% so far this month alone!
  • I’m scheduled to be interviewed by next week (links will be posted);
  • My daughter loves me;
  • Max and New Moon love me;
  • Arya, the feline Familiar Friend loves me;
  • There’s beer and some food in the fridge;
  • I woke up this morning;
  • I’m grateful for the Blessings that flow my way even when The Darkness visits.

Writing Can Heal Your Soul

You may have noticed the improvement in my emotional state over the course of this article. Writing and sharing your inner most self has the power to heal you.

In the late 1980s, I started keeping a journal, and have written in journals off and on ever since. I may journal daily for long stretches, then not at all for similar amounts of time.  The most powerful journaling I’ve ever done was during the ten months I lived in the wilderness of Louisiana. Not only did I record my thoughts, feelings, dreams and the events of the day, but my mystic practices and visions (It’s powerful stuff to revisit now).

So few folks bother to observe their own thoughts, feelings and experiences. The only reason I know this Alex feller is because I pay attention to such things.

If you’ve ever considered journaling begin today. A single paragraph may get you started on a life-long relationship with your Self and the other aspects of your Self. There’s far more to you than you realize.

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