Darkness Doesn’t Define You

What is your most stressful thought? A few years ago I lost everything that I knew to be true. The life I had built literally crumbled before my eyes as my marriage came to an end. I didn’t just lose a relationship. I lost my home, businesses, friends, my vision for the future I had spent 11 years building – I even lost my last name. At 29 years of age I had seemingly started a fire that burned down all that I knew. I wasn’t sure what I was going to be able to salvage from the ashes. I stopped breathing the moment the reality of the choices I had made sunk in. Like I no longer deserved oxygen. My life became a slow death. I punished myself in any way possible. Leaving my marriage gave me a freedom that felt suffocating.

I tried to out work my sense of despair at the gym. Maybe if I looked strong and put together, it would mask the way I was crumbling inside. It couldn’t.

The cracks began to show and I grew tired. I stopped looking at myself. I began working even harder to gain the approval of anyone that would give it to me – to make me feel better, because when I looked at myself… All I saw was darkness.

I honoured that darkness and let myself feel it. And then, after some time, in the dark, by myself, I felt myself at a fork. We are always at a fork…but this long moment felt somewhat pivitol.

Do I surrender myself to the suffering and sink further, or do I take ownership for this story? Do I become the hero in my own self made tragedy? Only I could save myself…and then I realised I could only trust myself – so this was a perfect circumstance.

I had everything I needed within me to find my way out of the darkness. I couldn’t see the light, I couldn’t believe that this moment would ever be over.. but I had hope that it would. And so I clung to that tiny little glimmer of hope that I could feel within me. It had somehow hidden itself within my body, ready for its moment to gently shine… and so I moved towards that light within myself. On that day, that was enough. Just a gentle movement away from darkness. And I continued to choose it again, and again and again.

We cant always choose the way in which our life plays out – but what we can do is choose consciously to unburden ourselves from the negativity our mind has created. Through your darkest moments –if you can be strong enough to just hang on – if you steady your thoughts and your breath – you will begin to cultivate confidence. You will come to realise that there in the darkness you were building the strength you needed to rise. And when you are ready – you will lift yourself up. Stronger than you could ever have imagined you could be. You will realise that the challenges you faced were not the defining moments in your life. They were the catalyst for change that you needed to force you to finally rise and become the person you were always destined to be.


Lena Phillips