Dark Nights of the Soul and Books
I don’t blog a lot, but today I feel like it. Maybe it’s the gorgeous sunset outside or the reflection on how the year is ending…dying, with a new one to follow.
I write fiction, and I read a lot of it. These last couple months, though, I’ve really been into non-fiction. I wouldn’t say I’m a big self help kind of person, but I am really in favor of reading about subjects I feel ignorant of or that I want to master.
This phase of devouring non-fiction during my reading times started less than two months ago. I found out some amazing news: I was pregnant at 35…again. My only little girl is 9. We had planned for this year to be it if it was going to happened, and it did just a few months before my 36th birthday when I was probably going to stop trying.
I waited to put the news out there. After all, near the end of October, I was only about 5 weeks along. That’s pretty early. There were some folks I really wanted to tell, but I needed to give it some time. And I had time, right?
So I thought.
During that period of a couple of weeks of waiting, things sort of fell apart on other levels/with other relationships, and my news was delivered differently than I had expected it to be–by me, by choice due to an event I didn’t foresee. I’ve always been sensitive, and I went through a tough time; there were things best left unsaid, and I held them in for the most part. Pregnancy hormones likely made the whole situation worse. There were behaviors I was unwilling to accept at that point from others…at least that I was not going to let into my life and that I could not deal with in a positive way. I needed a bit of reassurance and loyalty, and that didn’t come as I’d expected it to–at least from my vantage point. I tried to put myself in the other person’s shoes, but that didn’t help much. I have often stepped over myself trying to give support to others or swallow anger when I probably shouldn’t have (at the cost of people I love), and I see that now. It didn’t make sense to do it this time.
My choice to take myself out of the situation, deal with it on my own, and just get quiet was the right one. When one is pregnant as with other major points in one’s life (marriage, births, deaths, divorces, new jobs…there are many of them), it is important to go with what feels like self preservation and the emotionally healthy choice. That’s what I did. I’m sorry this story is vague, but it needs to be that way. I’m sure you’ve all dealt with similar sadness during “big” times in your life. My overarching thought was “if only this could have happened at another time–not when I had news I needed to share, not at what should have been a time of happiness.” There were other factors that went into how I handled the whole situation as well. Suffice to say, my heart and mind were in a knot for a time.
I’ve seen people deal with big events at big times in their lives myself and have had my share of people acting out about weddings and at other crucial points–sometimes out of ignorance. I don’t seem to forget those events, and I bet other people don’t either. They are major life transitions. There is something sacred about such times.
What did I turn to in my time of need? Whom could I depend upon? My husband has always been my rock, and he was. And then prayer of course and after that…books. Yes, books. I downloaded a few good ones on my Kindle on topics that were and are near and dear to my heart these days. I’ve found these books nourishment for the soul and reassurance that there are different paths; sometimes things don’t end well and they are messy, despite what fairy tales tell us. These books have helped kill some myths I’d accepted from culture but that I knew in my bones were not true. They’ve helped me embrace what is coming next while smiling about the good that is past.
This reflection doesn’t have a lot to do with Christmas, but then again, maybe it does. Into the darkness came the light, and it still happens that way. Sometimes, the light seeps in through words on the page, and the darkness in our souls and hearts flees from the truth we find. Wishing you much light at the end of one year and the dawn of a new one…