In speaking with a friend this morning, I was reminded of the great bias in our culture toward the light and away from the darkness. When we meet with a friend who is depressed, introverted, shut down, or otherwise not beaming and joyful, we become quite convinced, quite quickly, that something is wrong. We scramble to put them back together, to remind them of all the gifts in their life, to let them know everything will be better soon. Of course this is natural. But much of this also arises out of our own discomfort and anxiety around the darkness, and all that is unresolved within us. Perhaps as little ones it was not safe to feel these feelings, not to mention express them.
It is possible the kindest thing we can offer to our precious friend is to sit in the darkness with them, so that they know that we are fully here with them; we do not need to remove them from the darkness, we do not need them to “heal,” “transform,” be happy or awaken – we will love them as they are. We resist the temptation to project our unlived life upon them.
Love is the totality, it is whole, it is raging and alive in the darkness, shining brightly in its own way. Within this darkness, this sadness, this grief, this existential aloneness is something very real, breaking through the dream of partiality. There is a richness here, something is happening, but what that is does not support conventional egoic process; nor does it support our cultural fantasy of a life of invulnerability. Here, everything is alive, everything is path, everything is God. God is not only the joy and sweetness, but comes at times as Kali to reorder your world. We can hold hands with our friend and look at Kali together and finally see what she has to say.