“Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing times of darkness. But it teaches you how to use the darkness as a tool to grow.“ –Jack Kornfield

As I started out on my morning walk, I checked in with myself. How is Cheri, and what is she feeling right now? The first thought I had was, “I don’t know.” I was just feeling neutral—some might call it, “blah.” I’ve been paying more attention to “what is” and accepting that, so I settled into the state I was in.

It was a particularly windy day which I found refreshing. I thought about the Midwest wind that often chilled me to my bones but, in contrast, these beautiful gusts of wind created a very pleasant feeling. Looking to my right, it was cloud covered; to the left, blue skies, and sun. Occasionally, the two sides melded together, and the sun would pop through for an instant out of a dark cloud. There aren’t too many things that delight me more than the sun popping through a dark cloud. There is something about how instantly the sun creates warmth on my body as it peeks through. And it’s always a beautiful sight; it’s nothing but sheer artistry that happens in the sky as the rays make their way through the clouds and shine in all directions in a uniquely new pattern every single time.

Nature constantly speaks to me of life. As I took notice of these things, I went from the neutral state I was in to a state of inspiration and love.

I was reminded that sometimes the events of life come in like a cold wind stopping us in our tracks as it chills us to the bones. Other times, events in life come in like a most pleasant wind that gives relief and the perfect feeling of warmth in our hearts. Like the dark clouds, we all go through periods of life that seem dark, no matter the source of the darkness. Sometimes in life we go into a “dark night of the soul” lasting much longer—and dark clouds are pervasive and feel as though they’ll last forever.

Having lived as many decades as I have now, I am able to share from real experience that the sun in our lives is always there! It may be hidden behind the times of life that chill us to the bone and spread over us like the darkest of clouds, but nonetheless, the sun is still there! It will come out again. Sometimes, it’s just a peek through—a little glimmer in life, but we see it and feel it. Other times, it is a complete breakthrough; and, like the rays of the sun it shines a “feel good” feeling all over our lives.

These life experiences have taught me to hold on no matter how chilled to the bone I am or how dark the clouds feel. I hold on to the truth in knowing that behind it all is a bright, beautiful, love-filled sun, regardless of whether I can feel it or see it. I encourage you, as I encourage myself, to hold on during those times because life has shown me unequivocally that the sun will eventually shine through any dark times of life; and, like the artistic rays the sun creates, the artistic beauty of healing and growth will be created in each of our lives!

Today’s Bonus: If you happen to find yourself right now in a “wind chilled to the bone darkness,” you may enjoy listening to the song I happened upon last night titled, “Hold On To Me” by Lauren Daigle.

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.