Where dark & light unite, love takes flight.

Long have I loved you.

There is Hope.

You will be found.

The mystery that lives in the darkness is You. And She is Love.

“When you don’t feel strong enough to stand, you can reach out your hand. And oh, someone will coming running. And I know, they’ll take you home…Out of the shadows, morning is breaking. And all is new. All is new.”

—Benj Pasik and Justin Paul, You Will Be Found

“To be a lighthouse, you must be strong enough to resist every kind of storm, to [endure] every kind of loneliness and you must have a powerful light inside you!”

―Mehmet Murat ildan

Most of the time I was okay. Except when I wasn’t. For a while it felt unpredictable, but with my husband’s help, we started to see a correlation with my monthly bleeding and the moon. It wasn’t your typical premenstrual syndrome. It didn’t exactly occur at the right time or go away when it was supposed to. And the severity was like nothing I’d experienced before in my life.

It started with rage. Shocking, yes, but easier to handle than what came later. As the rage burned away in layers, it unearthed deep grief and isolation. A darkness that was unavoidable. That demanded to be acknowledged.

In those times, the inner predator of my mind fed on that disconnectedness, saying all sorts of awful things that caused me to cower in fear. Imagine Soul 22 at the end of the movie [Soul] when she’s lost in that dark tornado of hers and everyone’s critical and judgmental thoughts. Like her, a little part of me always remained, huddled in the eye of the storm, desperately trying not to believe any of it. But otherwise, it felt very real. And very scary.

The deepest part of me intuited that I was going through a spiritual process. A reconciling with the collective feminine and the pain I thought She was carrying. And mainly because I considered the process sacred, I kept going.

But as I peeled back layers with each passing cycle, the sea of emotions got stronger and more difficult to navigate. The dark thoughts became scarier and more harmful. My normal self worried about the self that lived through these periods of darkness. Was I going crazy? What if I forgot that the thoughts were not true? What kind of mom was I during these times?

Then a month ago, the perfect storm hit at the most unexpected time. We were in Hell’s Canyon rafting the Snake River with ten beautiful friends. It was my version of paradise. Good food. River time. Sleeping under the stars. Sun and flowing water.

Later, we would joke about the fact that it was called Hell’s Canyon and recall the Carl Jung quote:

“No tree can grow to Heaven unless it’s roots reach down to Hell.”

But in that moment, I couldn’t believe it. What was wrong with me to feel grief and disconnectedness at a time like this? Surrounded by all these gifts. All this beauty. And the worst part? There was nowhere to hide.

When someone asked if I was okay, I tried to run. I tried to conceal the way I crumbled before hot tears watered the dry earth. But I couldn’t hide from the wild sunflowers swaying on the hillside. I plopped on the trail, watching them overlooking the river, nodding in complete benevolence and love.

For a moment, I experienced a point of absolute clarity. The sunflowers didn’t need me to be anyone other than me in that moment. They weren’t calling me ungrateful or crazy or telling me I was purposeless and shouldn’t be here if I was just going to be sad and in pain all the time. They weren’t telling me that a good mom/friend/wife should wake up and look around at all the gifts in her life and just choose to be happy (or do whatever it took to make myself so). It was a beautiful gift of Spirit. The permission to just BE.

But I couldn’t stay there. I had to get back on the raft. Back in the flow of the river. Back around people and the self judgements that brought up for me.

I had to have the courage to let myself be seen.

Two of my best friends came to my hotel room at the end of the trip with the courage to ask the hard questions. The ones I didn’t want to say yes to. The one’s I knew I would raise concerns. Because as uncomfortable as I was, I didn’t want to hear that drugs were the answer.

I didn’t want to numb the pain. I wanted to know what was on the other side of it.

I was soul weary and just done. And maybe that’s why I didn’t lie when one of them asked if I ever had harmful thoughts. Maybe that’s why when one so compassionately said, “You don’t have to feel ashamed.” I surrendered and replied, “I do feel ashamed.”

There’s a wondrous metaphor in construction called “Sistering” that a friend recently shared with me. It’s when you join two structural pieces of lumber (members) to act as one continuous member and make it stronger. It’s frequently used to add support, restore damaged members and prevent further harm to the structure.

These two beautiful women were literally “sistering” me. Gently cradling my truth in the light. Holding up a mirror to what lived inside me. My self doubt that I could get through this. My shame of the battle that raged within me. My fear that I was irreperably broken and needed “fixed”.

But they also left space for possibility—for an answer that none of us had. For the Unknown. The mystery. That space was vulnerable. So vulnerable. How could these beautiful people ever look at me the same again? They saw what I was trying to hide, and my fear did not like that the illusion of my “okayness” had been absolutely shattered.

The phone rang, ending the conversation. It was my mom. The one person I’d always let see the whole truth and who’d loved me unconditionally through it all. Who’s belief in me was simply unshakable. She said, “Ali, put some make up on, get dressed and go to dinner, and hold your head up high. Show yourself who you really are.”

And I did. I found the inner strength to put one foot in front of the other. To see what life looked like after the bright light of Truth. To go without answers and without solutions. To walk courageously into the unknown.

Afterwards, I started supporting my body in any loving way I could. Exercise. Healthy food. Walks in nature. Journaling again. Gathering my network of loving friends and family (It’s called a “net”work because it will catch you if you fall…haha!) and inviting them to support me in remembering who I was. Anything that could help me feel more capable of facing the next battle. I felt like I was preparing for an exam I desperately needed to pass. And I’d be lying to say I wasn’t scared. But I didn’t need to be. Spoiler alert:

What lives in the darkness is a treasure. It’s You. She, who is Love.

Right as my bleeding time was approaching, I was talking to my very upset three year-old daughter. In true toddler form she yelled, “You’re a mean mom.” I was unfazed but compassionate. I’d heard that one before. So she tried again. “I don’t love you,” she said.“Oh, are you trying to think of more creative ways to hurt me?” I replied. “Then, you know what I will do?” I asked. “I will think of more creative ways to love you.”

As the words left my mouth, I suddenly remembered who I really am. Who the Heart of the collective Mother really is. Unconditional divine Love. I knew what I had to do.

The worst of the storm had already passed. The three beautiful women who’d held the scariest of my truths in their healing light the month before, had effectively dissolved my shame. And in its place, my wise self rose to meet what remained in the darkness as a sister. As a beloved treasure. As the lost parts of ME.

“I’m afraid,” she said. “That’s why I’ve been hiding.”

I wrapped my arms around her and said, “I know. It’s okay now. You’re safe. Please forgive me. I love you.”

And the darkness replied, “Long have I loved you.”

Where dark and light unite, love takes flight.

It’s not just a saying here at Lightsong. It’s a reality. A deep universal truth that transforms hearts and lives. Darkness and Light are Sisters. They must be brought together. United to produce something stronger than the duality of good and bad or light and dark. A foundation that is rock solid—Love. The Oneness that is ALL that IS in union.

If our reality is a reflection of our beliefs and perceptions, then it is absolutely critical that we change our mind about the Dark. That we end the battle within ourselves. She has never been the enemy. Our Fear of her is the enemy. We just excluded Her, and she’s been patiently waiting for us to change our minds and see the treasure that she Is. To allow her to transform. To think of even more creative ways to love us into wholeness.

When all pain and fear have been transformed in the light of awareness and acceptance, all that remains is the very LOVE from which we are made. A love that has been waiting so long to throw Her arms around you. To welcome you home and say “Long have I loved you.”

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