Without darkness, nothing comes to birth.  As without light, nothing flowers.

– May Sarton

I’ve been struggling to find the function of the darkness that falls upon me ever so sneakily while suffocating me as it has me in its stranglehold.  As I came to the end of my most recent bout of sadnessand depression, I attempted to bargain and proclaim contentedness if I could only become aware of the reason for the madness that often wreaks havoc on my mind and yields me otherwise emotionless.

I’ve struggled with darkness and depression for longer than not.  I’ve experienced the looming darkened clouds that hover about me, constricting me, longer than I can remember.  I’ve allowed myself to be debilitated by the sadness only because I’ve known little else.  But just as I’ve known this part of me better than any other part of me, I know there is a truly happy version of myself yearning to be free.

I think much of it can be attributed to a sheer lack of knowing how to be happy.  I’m unsure of how, or perhaps even a bit scared, to let go enough to allow myself to fully step into a place of happiness and joy.

How do I learn to thrive outside of conflict when it’s all I’ve ever known?

And self-love.  How do I learn to love myself?  How do I learn to appreciate all that I am; who I am?  How do I learn to not be disgusted by every single ounce of my being and every thought that enters my mind?  How do I learn to not hate this vessel of my soul that I call my body that’s attempted to fail me?  How do I forgive myself of all the things I ever did or never did that created my current circumstance that I call life?  How do I learn to give myself credit where credit is due?  How do I learn that I do matter, that I do make a difference and that I do have purpose?  How do I embrace the darkness that is a resident within me?

I’m reminded of the talk from a few Sundays ago that our minister gave.  I cried through the entire talk, which is far unlike me.  I quote her again, attempting to cling even more tightly to the message she shares:

And I move on and I have to claim all of my life: the good, the bad, the indifferent…because I begin to claim all of me the moment that I do that.”

The truth is, regardless of it’s function; regardless of how or why; regardless of when – it’s me.

Dark or not.  Disgusting or not.  Sad and depressed or not.  This is me – and me is who I am meant to be.

The question is not how or why I am seemingly plagued with this darkness and what its purpose is.  The question is what am I doing with it?  Am I allowing this depression, that will likely never fall away, make me or break me?  Am I allowing it to broaden the separation between myself and my Creator or am I embracing it and allowing it to bring me closer to the person I’m intended to be?

I have to admit, I awoke this morning to the happiest me that I’ve seen in a while.  This morning I awoke in rebound mode.  I awoke with hope.  I awoke with the distinct knowingness of what and who I am; of what I want to accomplish; of what my goals are; of what I am working toward.  I awoke to long lost motivation.  I awoke with purpose.  I awoke knowing that I’m tracking toward the life I’ve been longing to live.

There is no path to happiness.  Happiness is the path.

– Buddha

Perhaps life isn’t about finding the path to happiness, but learning to be happy within the darkness.  Perhaps the darkness isn’t an infliction, rather a tool.  Despite the irrelevance of why or how, the sadness does serve a function and perhaps if I just embrace the darkness and find the good within it, I can continue on my quest of being who I am intended to be.