“Monday 5 Things”™….. La Noche Oscura del Alma …..

850 0569 EditPhoto: D. Paul Graham / Shrouded Valleys, Blue Ridge Parkway circa 2019

“Monday 5 Things”™….. La Noche Oscura del Alma …..

Ireally grappled with this morning’s M5T. It has been an arduous few weeks for me. Moments of pure joy and excitement, but too many moments of deep sorrow of memories from fifty years ago. Hours spent contemplating recent decisions, actions, and reactions. Deep valleys. We all have been through them, will experience them again, and most likely will pick ourselves up, and climb back out. Secret valleys. Not just low points or bad days. The kind of moments that the 15th century writer, John of the Cross, called “La Noche Oscura del Alma” – the Dark Night of the Soul. I had a difficult time focusing on this week’s planned missive and remembered writing this M5T four years ago. I have amended the original and today M5T once again looks at climbing out of valleys.

1. Discomfort.

Valleys are usually the first to flood in heavy rain. To climb out of a valley, you may be forced to learn to swim, to clamber, or to truly feel discomfort for the first time in your life. Working through discomfort leads to growth and finding renewed peace in your life.

2. Viewpoints and Questions.

G.K. Chesterton said that “one sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.” Valleys often lead to profound questions about your activities, achievements, and what’s truly important in life. Questions lead to profound observations and answers.  Those answers certainly won’t be found from superficial postings on social media; those answers are only found in the depth of a valley;

3. Dark to Light.

Valleys can be dark, very dark. Spiritually, intellectually, psychologically, and physically. Rising from a valley illuminates and replaces those things that have become meaningless with a fresh purpose, new desires, and renewed calling, hope and faith.

4. Battered but Better.

Valleys can leave you battered, and tattered. Those scratches and scars will be constant reminders of the inner strength you found to climb out with a better understanding and appreciation for who you really are.

5. Renewal.

Valleys are often unpredictable and isolated and yet demand engagement of ourselves and, eventually, of others. Climbing out of a valley can be a reawakening of yourself and what you truly believe in. A part of a journey of moving from brokenness to wholeness, from feeling damaged to being renewed.

Here’s to a week of understanding and accepting the pain of life’s valleys and to the peace, stability and growth found from emergence. And for anyone that finds themself feeling like they are unable to climb out of a dark valley, please don’t remain there. Talk about it with someone you trust; seek out some counseling; do whatever you need to do to start rising up and out; you’re worth it.

© 2021 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com