In the middle of the road of my life I awoke in a dark wood where the true way was wholly lost.
Have you had times in your life when things seemed dire and impossible to resolve, where every direction you could imagine had consequences you deeply didn’t want? The mind goes round and round searching for an answer. You try different things, but nothing brings relief or salvation. The fear and panic that grips the soul awaits the quiet of the middle of the night. Uncertainty and doubt pierce the heart. As Dante famously writes in the quote above it’s like being in a dark wood where the way is wholly lost.
I know this territory very well in my own experience. One of the biggest life lessons I have learned is to stay in the conversation. It’s so tempting to in one way or another shut down the conversation because it’s too painful and overwhelming. It’s just so difficult to continue facing our deepest fears and pains and the void of not knowing, to speak out our truth, and to stay open to hearing and being moved, to being broken open into a new possibility.
What has given me strength in the middle of the night and in the middle of an intensely heated moment of interaction is to remember the “triad of conversation.” The triad is self and other and then awareness on the third side of the conversation. Awareness holds us in its gentle strength, an ocean of aliveness within and surrounding. With this support I can keep returning to connection, to the space between filled with what we share and need in common, to a searching together for the way forward.