“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” – Mary Oliver
Over the years I’ve been given more than a few boxes full of darkness. They were not intended to be such, I believe, by the person or people or events that gave them to me. They were only actions or circumstances, the results of other actions and circumstances gone before.
But that never made them any less painful, any less hurtful, any less dark.
In time, for the most part, I’ve come to see, as poet Mary Oliver wrote above, that each thing, sometimes even the worst or most terrible thing that happens, can become a gift of sorts. But it takes hard emotional, mental and spiritual work to transform suffering into success, misery into miracles.
You have to want to rise above, you have to want to learn and grow from even the most ugly experiences.
And it’s very hard to be around people who don’t understand this once you do. It’s very difficult to go on living with the naysayers, the doom-and-gloomers, the ones who can’t or won’t try to overcome life’s adversities, even if they are people you dearly love. And of course, sometimes the hardest experiences come through them.
All I know now is, you cannot receive the light in life fully without getting a box or two of darkness along the way. You can’t feel the sun without knowing it’s shadows, too. They are both real, both true, and both inevitable, and it is up to us to transform one into the other.