“In privacy, where no one saw me, nor did I see one thing, I had no light or guide but the fire that burned inside my chest.”
~St. John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul.
There are times like these. Funnily enough, in these moments, we feel like we’re the only ones muzzled of hope in such ways. Just as true, however, is the anxiety that sweeps through us via our visceral circumstance... an anxiety that afflicts the very many.
We feel the absence of God in these times. It is our own dark night of the soul.
If there ever was a time we truly wanted God to break through and make the Presence of God known it’s now—in the stricken trouble of fathom and despair.
That ‘Fire’ Inside the Chest
I recall times like this. Once pangs of anxiety-producing adrenalin fired through my chest, drilled straight into the heart... I was panicked and overwhelmed—with no control over the timing or circumstances of these events.
Another set of times I had something that felt like a steel can wrapped tightly around my sternum—this disconcerting sense that would come and go and, again, I’d have no control over the timing or circumstances of its embarkation over my soul.
And these are the ‘flavours’ of anxiety.
There is always something deeper to be attended to, and yet for want of neither love nor money we cannot determine what the cause truly is... not until we fight an extended fight of introspection, if such a cause is to be determined. But not all anxieties are delineable to one definite cause of events; some involve many... and indeed some anxieties involve a plethora of anxiety itself!
Resolving the Fire
Practicing calm and staying with logic are the best things. This is the preclusion of the things of the heart, for the heart—just now—is not safe territory. Instead, we stay in the world of facts, information and data; we deride our opinions and we don’t venture wildly through our imaginations.
We check our thoughts for logic and compromise to our imaginations.
And we must have faith that this is the right way, because we’re unlikely to see immediate results. Faith attends itself to the journey... this is no ‘overnight’ problem.
Our path needs to be straight and our gait certain; resolved to stay in the present and in a world that is both visible and discernible to all. And to the function of this is added—the resolution of anxious matters will occur eventually.
Faith insists upon it.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.