“As the Father Sent Me” 8″ x 10″ mixed media, sold.

When we studied the dark night of the soul in the Living School, I determined this was an extremely valuable painful experience for a serious seeker like myself to acquire.

First I considered the dark passages of my life that had already come and gone. Perhaps one of these qualified as my “dark night?”

Then, I went through a vigilant phase, scrutinizing any plot twist or light change in my life to discern whether I might be in it right now. Was it painful enough? Long enough?

Dark enough?

During this time, I was still calling the shots and I felt in control of this path. When the dark night came, I would recognize it and graciously consent. I’d read enough to know how to handle it and I would make the most of it. I would suffer through it like a champ, crossing the finish line in good time, collecting my dark night medal at the end.

It was so like me to want to win at this.

It’s no wonder I had to be lured into what would become what I now understand as a bonafide dark night of the soul.

I had to believe I was in control enough to go all in only to discover that everything I had previously relied on to create a “win” was essentially invalid currency in my new Godforsaken circumstances.

I didn’t know it at the time, but the darkest night came only as I accepted that all roads leading out of it were sealed off —

Worn out and weeping without consolation, I slowly consented to let the light within lead the way.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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