“She took me deep into her night and her fog. She tried to break me on her demonic altar.
But I told her No.
And she listens to my No, when I infuse it with all of my conviction and my heart.
On the dividing line between sanity and madness, life and death, love and loss, I found myself finally, learned the lessons my father could never teach me. He abandoned me to the darkness so I had to find my own way. How to love. How to breathe, how to surrender to the breath. How to trust. How to stay kind. And how to keep walking, even when death is close.
That is trauma, you see, my love, the sense that you’re on the edge of oblivion, about to disappear, when in reality you’re not, and you’re safe but you’re hurting and you find no relational haven in time or the world. That sense of doom and the overwhelm of the night. The absence of all empathy.
But No. No. You are not her meat. You are not her prey, her collateral damage. This screaming in your head may be loud but thoughts shall not define you and will not hurt you as you learn to embrace them, even laugh at them through the night.
I have learned this the hard way. I have passed through the hell realms where the brain seems close to madness and the body is on somatic fire. I have learned to give myself to the night so she cannot take me by force. This is the secret of all healing, I tell you.
I will not be her victim any longer. I have found power in my powerlessness, victory in the ego’s failure. My strength lies in my willingness to shatter for love and for the goodness of things. Her night will not devour me; I shall devour it first, in trust.
Like you, I have felt the wild heart pounding and the terrible heat generated by the body, and the sweat and the constrictions and the tremors of primordial arousal. I have felt the contractions in the belly, and the numbness and the tingles in the arms and legs and the way we sometimes feel like we are falling into oblivion and all things are coming to an end. I have known it all and I know now, finally, finally, it is God. I have given up the fight against life, surrendered to the power of my very own body, my healing temple. I tell my heart to beat faster, harder, to beat out of my chest, and it does. I tell the heat to rise to a peak, and I tell the tremors to intensify as much as they need to. I invite the storm so it does not end me. I beg the anxiety to increase. I beg the terror to do its worst. I know nothing can break me except my own refusal to live. I know I am stronger than I would ever believe.
I have told my nervous system to show me its terrifying healing power. I have relaxed into my own sweat and flesh and pounding. I have given myself willingly to the night and to the darkness, to her convulsions and contractions, I have become one with her and she has become one with me. Entered the death realm, was sucked into the heart of trauma, it was not happening to me but alongside me and with me and through me and it was finally a part of me and I was bigger than it all at last. And I was no victim, no helpless child, but the life force – yes, the fucking LIFE FORCE – that created a billion universes with energy to spare, with playful laughter and wild abandon and a twinkle in its eye.
Vibrating with warm energy, shivering with awe, I open my eyes again. I see you now.
Hello, my love.
The worst has happened and I am alive. We are alive. Terror as portal. Yes, terror as portal. We are here.
I have gone deep into her night and fog and I have found only a stronger version of myself, and I know this is possible for you too. I tell her not to break me and she does not. She listens, she does, when I talk with the fullness of my being, with a courageous heart, and with all my authenticity. She will listen to you too.
Do not fear the night, my love, do not fear her fog and her contractions, do not run when the dark material emerges and do not panic at the point of utter helplessness for that is the healing point. The eye of the storm will inoculate you. Her darkness will strengthen you if you let it, and she will show you things the daytime knows nothing of.
Trust the night! For she is you, you see – your own dark warrior heart, your own ache and longing for safety, and warmth, and home…
~ Jeff Foster