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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Darkest Before The Dawn

I keep coming upon the phrase, "darkest before the dawn" quite a lot these days so I decided to tap out my thoughts on what it means to me.

Immediately what comes to mind are other phrases: The "hour" before the dawn. Things often go down before they head up. The good follows the bad. How low does one have to go? The lowest ebb... Etc.

The English theologian and historian, Thomas Fuller, was possibly the first to write in his religious travelogue, "A Pisgah-Sight Of Palestine And The Confines Thereof," in 1650: It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth. There's also a saying amongst the Irish peasantry: "Remember," they say, "that the darkest hour of all is the hour before day."

I doubt that there's anyone among us who hasn't felt sadness, despair...even unto hopelessness in their lives. It comes with the territory of being a spirit inhabiting a human body as we live our life on earth.

But why must we feel so low at times? Why does the down sometimes seem to have to happen before the up? Is this necessary to the equation of life? I think the answer lies within the lessons that we, ourselves, have chosen during our spiritual life between lives. It lies in the blueprint drawn up before we are conceived, born, and let out into the world at large. Let's face it...what would we learn if everything WAS only a bowl of cherries?

I don't like arguments any more than you do, but once in a great, great while, Chris and I have an argument. I can count on less than one hand the doozies over the course of 30 years of marriage. These are the ones that feel like the boiling tea pot has blown its lid. Try as we might, stuff gets brought up from the past...just when you think it was already dealt with and buried forever. Misunderstandings give way to hurtful mud-throwing. Things are said that under normal circumstances wouldn't be uttered even quietly, and possibly not even in our own minds. And then the silence. The awful silence. Each person involved licks their own wounds and comes up with umpteen reasons for the unfairness of what was said personally to them.

It's hard to say what is the darkest hour before the dawn in a fight. Is it when things are at their full-steam nastiest? Or is it during that time of silence when what was said can't be taken back? Or is it when each party has felt sorry for themselves enough and they finally SEE that they have hurt the other person that they love more than anything in the whole world?

I'd bet there's hardly a person who wouldn't say that making up after a terrible argument is beyond a relief. The air is clear. The sun is shining. Smiles replace tears.

I think I can understand why sayings such as the following have been written: Today's a new day. Start anew. Forgive and forget. Etc.

"When the first light of sun, Bless you. When the long day is done, Bless you. In your smiles and your tears, Bless you. Through each day of your years, Bless you." ~ Irish Blessing

"When I stand before thee at day's end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing." ~ Rabindranath Tagore

"One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything before you go to bed." ~ Ann Landers

"Every path has its puddle." ~ Proverb

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one that gets burned." ~ Buddha

"Darkness is only driven out with light, not more darkness." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.Pic courtesy of Public Domain Pictures.

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