We need our bad, difficult or dark times. They often are a time for reflection, rest, renewing and making good relationships and preparing for a time of success and activity to come. Yet, we usually want to navigate out of them.
How can we turn a difficult period in life into one of victory that leads to greater success and blessing?
A bad or dark time can be understood as a time that we experience that we are not getting what we need, or have lost what we need and cannot see a clear way forward. Even though others may also be experiencing our situation, we often feel alone.
In the Bible’s Genesis 1, the night that follows the sunset is a time of inspiration that ends the activity of one day and begins the next day. After the sunset the day begins with night: a dark time.
Too often we confuse a dark time with an event. A dark time can be understood as an event as it has a beginning, middle and end, but usually it is a cohesive event of its own, even when looked at through hindsight. A cohesive event is like building a house, there is a step by step progression, and although there may be frustrations and unexpected setbacks always occur, we basically understand when we are at the beginning, midway and completed.
A dark time is often a reality that we did not cause, such as the loss of a close loved one or the financial effects of being laid off due to a recession. Yet our person realities, how we see ourselves and our lives must be adjusted or reassessed to include the new reality, in a new and somehow positive way in order to pull out of the dark time.
This kind of struggle is like Jacob wrestling with the angel, as sometimes we feel that we are in conflict with divine forces. We wrestle to find a way to go forward with the inspiration that we have for our lives.
Dark times also follow honeymoon periods, the time in a marriage when adjustments in living and acting as an individual must become being a part of a duo, the time after the baby is born when she keeps the sleep deprived mother up, and the time after graduation when the prior student struggles with finding a job, the demands of daily work and independent living, etc. These are times of reassessment, letting go of egotistical goals, and making special efforts that may not be rewarded, but thay can feel like times of great troubles.
Just as night takes away most of the light needed to achieve most activities, dark times are often associated with loss and feeling thwarted or experiencing difficulties going forward.
The focus and work during a dark time is always about how to integrate our new inspiration or understandings about our reality or situation into our lives. It is often a time for changing the goals (not necessarily purposes) from those we had before the time of inspiration or new understanding to ones that include the new ideas.
A dark time is the time to quit pushing the same old solutions and ideas that worked previously. It is the time to reassess, and to ask questions and explore new ways of being and doing that will achieve our purposes but not necessarily our former goals.
Many people in the world today are going through dark times caused by natural events such as earthquakes, mudslides, drought, floods and fires; events caused by wars and economic recession. Nations and peoples can also go through dark or hard times as a group.
The USA went through a dark time during the depression that began in 1929. During the Roaring Twenties we had focused on having a good time, on materialism and status, loosing our focus on developing freedom and tolerance. We were struggling to make capitalism, not democracy work. The attack on Pearl Harbor not only brought us into World War II, it renewed our focus on our Constitutional American values, such as individual freedom, responsibility and tolerance. In the USA World War II was seen as a war of Democracy vs. Fascism, not Capitalism vs. Fascism.
Going to war was not about how other nations saw us, or how we could prosper, it was about standing up for what we believed in. And so we pulled out of the Depression.
Lives change when focus changes to align with our national or individual heartfelt purposes. While Capitalism may be a great system, it is not at the heart of the Constitution of the USA, but may be seen as a by product or a kind of goal.
There are ways to prepare for bad times when in good times. You have probably heard the advice, “Save it for a rainy day”. Yet it takes more than money to pull through a dark time, even when a lack of money from a loss of income or mounting unexpected bills, usually for medical care is the problem.
A personal dark time is the time to renew and review one’s purposes. It is the time to refocus on one’s spiritual relationship with The Divine, and determine how to better live a life that reflects and fulfills that.
Time spent in previous spiritual learning and pursuits such as meditation, positive thinking and prayer can help provide tools and ways to gain comfort. The twenty-first century breakthrough of Awakened Vision can help one to see problems and concerns in a new and less solid way, plus help an individual stay in the present, dealing with the current problems, rather than having past problems and unresolved or unwanted emotions re-stimulated and brought into conscious or unconscious memory.
Focus on what you believe in and take steps that bring your life into harmony with that, ignoring what others think or how this can prosper you. Look for the silver lining, whatever the situation. Ask yourself, what are you learning from this situation that will help you achieve your life’s purposes? While the initial answers may be angry or brittle with bitter humor, eventually some character building or future benefit will be understood. While this may not seem to be equal to the loss or pain of the problem, it does bring you a step forward towards a positive view.
With that realignment you will experience more light and personally begin to pull out of the dark time and move you to a dawn where you can begin to enact your personal inspiration.
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]