I have been feeling exceptionally un-funny lately, and I believe it’s because I’ve been wandering around my own personal version of The Desert.
I’m by no means the first person to have spent some time enduring the harsh challenges of this place. Back in the Old Testament Moses and the Israelites were stuck wandering around the desert for 40 years before they were able to enter The Promised Land. In the New Testament even Jesus had to spend 40 days out in the desert after his baptism facing all manner of trials, tribulations, and temptations, before he made it through and began his years of public ministry. The desert even shows up metaphorically in the final Harry Potter book, when Harry, Ron, and Hermione spend months wandering aimlessly around England trying to figure out the next step in their quest to destroy Voldermort.
This is not the first time I’ve found myself wandering here. I know that The Desert is one of the main stops along the road that goes through my own personal Dark Night of the Soul, which shows up every time the core of my identity and the way I view the world shift and evolve.
But this time The Desert sneaked up and surprised me. I expect to be here anytime I’m going through some kind of trauma, like moving, or leaving home for college, or working through a period of depression, or completing my first time through A Course In Miracles.
However during this past year I’ve been doing so good. I’ve spent the majority of the past year in a space not unlike that of Davy Jones’ locker in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, where Jack Sparrow was sent and forced to deal with all the different aspects of himself. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing lately-identifying, working with, healing, and re-integrating all the places in myself where I had splintered off and frozen because of some kind of trauma or wound.
So I was unprepared for all this healing to also be a dark night of the soul, not to mention kind of pissed.
Although I guess it kind of makes sense, because healing so much stuff has changed the way I view myself and the world. I see myself as healthy, whole, and happy, instead of wounded, lacking, and miserable. I see my life as good and getting better, rather than constant suffering briefly lightened by fleeting glimpses of happiness.
And now, where there was once a constant inner war taking place, where I was fighting for the right to be who and how I am, now there is peace. My inner warrior is out of a job. And now that I’ve gotten what I’ve wanted for so long, it’s kind of freaking me out.
When I was fighting, I always knew who I was and where I was going. I had a clear goal in mind, and I was aware of all the obstacles I needed to work through before I could reach that goal.
But now that the battles are over, and there’s no more need for me to be a warrior, I don’t really know who I am anymore. Who am I now that I am happy inside, just cuz, and no longer need to use any person or any thing to try and make myself feel better? Who am I now that I am so strongly, and directly, connected to the Divine from moment to moment? Who am I now that I no longer believe I have to prove my worth through suffering? Who am I now that I know that I can be, do, and have anything I want, just cuz?
I don’t really know yet, but I’m working on it. And as soon as I can find a new line of work for my inner warrior, I’m sure she’ll be glad to apply herself wholeheartedly to this new cause.