Tag: dark night of the soul

Hitting Rock Bottom: A Right of Passage

We’ve all heard the story of the alcoholic or drug addict found face down in a mud puddle after losing his friends, job, and family. Generally, this is a right of passage, as there is nowhere else to go but up, if he/she faces the addiction.

I’ve been watching a new television show called “Mom.” I’ve not laughed so hard at a television comedy since I found “Big Bang Theory.” “Mom” is television at its best. Allison Janney plays the alcoholic mother of an alcoholic daughter who has a child that is prematurely pregnant at 16. The three-women household defines the word destitute. Though the problem of alcoholism is terrible, they seem to make the trip to finding their way to the light a delightfully authentic comedy. It is definitely my pick for best new comedy.

Over the years of my life, I have heard many stories of hitting rock bottom. Most times this happens as a result of an addiction, which means that the Ego had been in complete control for a while. The person involved usually has a “dark night of the soul,” which can be defined as the weakest moment of your life. This is when you finally realize that accepting your spiritual truth, whatever that may be, is the only way out.

My dark night was a year after I moved to Nashville. I had been an “in the closet” homosexual for many years, as I left my sexuality for the church and religion. I thought I couldn’t be gay and love God at the same time. As I struggled for many years, even giving up the idea of having an intimate partner completely. I asked God for answers.

A friend recommended I go to see a counselor, who happened to be a priest at Catholic Services. I made an appointment for the next week. My first appointment took three hours. I couldn’t stop crying. Every story I told about my past led to more tears and shame. For some reason, up to that point in my life, I felt as if my childhood had been normal. But suddenly, I realized that all the abuse I had suffered left me with posttraumatic stress and enough anxiety to fill the Titanic.

The priest was kind and caring. He helped me through much of what could have been a nervous breakdown. He advised me that my childhood wasn’t my fault. He showed me ways of forgiving and moving on that I hadn’t thought of in the past. Still, one night soon after I started therapy, I wanted to take my life. I felt hopeless and fearful that I was too broken to ever find happiness. I didn’t make any specific plans as to how I would proceed with suicide, but I thought hard about not continuing my life. I shared with my mother how sad I had been. She lived in Tucson, Arizona, then, and I lived in Nashville.

I went out to get groceries. When I returned to my house, three policemen with flashlights were looking in my windows. Of course, this scared me. I thought I had been robbed, or that they had been looking for some criminal who ended up hiding in my basement.

But, the truth, though it sounds funny now when I think of the scenario: my mother was so frightened that I would actually take my life that she called the police and told them of her fear. The words of the big, hunky policeman were what actually set me back on course, “Son, I think you better call your mom. She thinks you took your life.”

When I heard his words, I realized how horrible suicide would be for everyone around me, especially my family. So, I decided to continue with counseling and seek for a more authentic way to live my life. This action alone is what helped me be compassionate toward myself and my personal situation. As a result, I ended up starting on a path of healing that has taken me through until today.

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New Challenge: Go to Week 5 of the “Year to CLEAR Challenge” 

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Look for MY LATEST BOOK: “Finding Authentic You, 7 Steps to Effective Change” with a Year to CLEAR (C-larity, L-ove, E-nthusiasm A-nd R-elationship-Ready) on my Website in the Webstore. Thanks!

Below is information that I will be sharing for about a month, as not every person on my list reads the blog every day. If you have already read it, just skip over it. Thanks for understanding.

A Year to CLEAR Challenge:
(Please Know: You Can Join Us At Any Point in the Year Challenge.)

The masses search outward for things that qualify them as a person, but I always go inward for that which quantifies me for greatness. At twenty-five I preached on street corners in NYC as an in-the-closet Pentecostal minister. One day I heard a still small voice say, ‘God cannot be contained in a book or a law or even in a religion. Dig deeper, reach further to find me, and you will find your authentic Self.’”

A Year to CLEAR Challenge!

The acronym CLEAR stands for (Compassionate, Loving, Enthusiastic, And Relationship-Ready). The goal of this project is to engulf readers in a weekly study that will transform them by removing blocks, promote self-growth, and give them wings to fly freely into daily life. Each week, by going to BoSebastian.com and choosing the Year to CLEAR Challenge tab, a new challenge or thought to provoke conversation, growth, and group functionality.

My vision is to make Finding Authentic You the book to have in your Kindle or on your computer. The book is a comprehensive look at growth—spiritually, mentally, and physically.

As a yoga teacher and student of the Ayurvedic tradition, I bring to the table understanding of physical challenges, the ability to overcome mental problems with Life & Health Coaching, as well as hypnotherapy, and expertise in meditation and spirituality as a minister.

The combination of all three in one book with an interactive connection to like-minded readers, for one year, is what makes this Year to CLEAR Challenge a must-do for every spiritual seeker.

The One-Year Approach to Change

No one believes he or she can change overnight. But success in change comes from the metaphors of nature. Seasonally, life changes all around us in nature. Finding Authentic You offers a gradual change perspective, looking at the triune aspects of change as in yoga: Body, Mind and Spirit.

Accessing the ability to change and finding yourself actually pursuing change must be a daily search, which I call getting to the “observer mind.”

In this frontal cortex of the brain we find the anatomy of change and the power to counter every negative trigger of the human process. The workings of Hypnosis, NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) are all positive actions to help the mind and body flow to a positive space for change.

Every aspect of FINDING AUTHENTIC YOU fulfills this constant need for diffusing the negative past and dreaming of a fulfilling future.

Step 1: Recognize That Change is Inevitable
Step 2: Release from Resistance to Change
Step 3: Understanding Change and Allow Spirit to Define It
Step 4: A History Lesson—About You
Step 5: Look at Your Past with Compassion
Step 6: Making a Strong Commitment to Change
Step 7: Dream Your Fabulous Future
Go to www.bosebastian.com for Week One to Four Challenges:
TOOLS FOR CHANGE:
Go to Storefront to buy any of the following or make a donation to Finding Authentic You: www.shop.bosebastian.com

• My Latest Book: Finding Authentic You—7 Steps to Effective Change (800 page downloadable Kindle version)
• Introduction to Meditation
• Smoke Cessation mp3
• Weight Loss mp3
• Hypnotic Lap Band surgery Mp3
• Insomnia mp3
• Eternal Om mp3
• Meditation Music mp3
• Guide to Meditation mp3
• Healing the Body mp3
• And my “Lessons from the Heart” book ready for your download purchase.
Go to Home Page: www.BoSebastian.com

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com. Please feel free to comment and/or sign up to receive your blog sent to you directly or stream with an RSS Feed.

I am trying to spread the word about my blog and I need your help. Please let your friends know it exists, if it gives you hope and blesses you each day. I would be greatly pleased for you to share anything that you read by clicking the share button in Facebook.com/bo.sebastian, or add it to your Twitter at BoSebastian; or LinkedIN at Bosebastian5@gmail.com; or find this blog home at www.FindingAuthenticYou.com. Any of my books can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel, just by typing my name in the search header.

Also, look for MY LATEST BOOK: “Finding Authentic You, 7 Steps to Effective Change” with a Year to CLEAR (C-larity, L-ove, E-nthusiasm A-nd R-elationship-Ready) on my Website in the Webstore. Thanks!

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Beyond Blessings

I once read a book called: “The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth,” by Gerald May. The subject seemed daunting. My dear friend Lisa had suggested the title. I trusted her spiritual path, so I bought it and read it on the plane to and from a long vacation out west.

In our darkest hour we learn the most about ourselves. We learn our strengths. Our fortitude is tested. Our endurance is explored. Our ability to withstand stress is weighed. In our times of deepest desperation, it could be said that we actually see who we actually have become as human beings.

Looking back at my life, I remember a time when I returned to Nashville from NYC. I was just about broke. I had relinquished my vocal studio to a friend with an agreement she never fulfilled. She had turned the ministers of my church of 20 years and half of my friends against me by the time my car rolled into Nashville, because she was afraid I would steal back the vocal studio from her. In turn, she stole my piano and got a lawyer before I even had time to move my furniture into a new home. And this was the person I had called my dearest friend before I left Nashville.

It was one of the darkest moments of my life. All of who I was, seemed to come crumbling down around me. I had little to fortify me, as even my friends had trouble believing that I was in the right.

I remember crawling into bed and wanting to stay there forever. I didn’t understand why everything was happening in that moment. I thought Spirit had directed me to come back to Nashville. I felt a strong peace about it. And my partner, then, also felt that same peace. So, we decided to stay in our truth and begin to tell friends that we would be happy to meet with pastors, lawyers, and friends and discuss anything with this antagonist and work it out. We were not afraid to come to the table with our truths.

So, one by one, these pastors, friends, and cohorts asked this mutual friend to make peace and talk. Each time, she refused and said that she would not meet with us. Eventually, every one of the people we talked to began to realize that the only person who was hiding something was the woman who took over the vocal studio.

At that time, I was also offered a position as the music minister at Unity. Some of this woman’s friends wrote terrible letters to the minister about me, but wouldn’t sign the letters. So, the minister, with wisdom, decided that anyone who didn’t have the courage to sign a letter, didn’t have truth either. So, I ended up with the position.

My life began to change as I sat in the darkness and face reality, as cold as it was. But I turned to the deepest truth in me. I recognized what God had shown me over and over again in life—eventually, truth will find you. So, I just had to be patient and wait upon the Lord.

There have been many other times in my life that have wrought bountiful blessings through dark times. Even now as I sit in my loneliness after a break-up at Christmas, I know that God is already preparing the perfect mate for me. I can see his face and can feel his spirit. I may have to sit in the darkness for a while longer, but not without knowing that there is a God that rewards courage with blessings.

The interesting thing about buying “The Dark Night of the Soul” was that my friend who suggested the book was actually talking about the book that Saint John of the Cross wrote. I never ended up reading that book. I ended up reading a book that changed my life and my thinking about the purpose of darkness. What scared me most, actually ended up blessing me the most.

I remember the words clearly as the writer wrote: “Remember that Jesus had to descend into Hell before he could ascend into heaven. Darkness to light.” I may be paraphrasing, because it has been a long while since I have read the book, and have long since loaned it out. But you see the truth in the metaphor.

I believe that the Buddhist thinking would be similar. The noble path to truth is facing that life holds unbearable pain. When you can fully embrace that noble truth, you no longer feel entitled to spending your life in joy. You recognize that darkness and light are side by side and each make way for their separate way of teaching us the path to spiritual growth.

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.

I am trying to spread the word about my blog and I need your help. Please let your friends know it exists, if it gives you hope and blesses you each day. If you are looking to enter the RSS or Atom Feed, you have to go to the home page of the blog to get there. Also, I write this Blog as a part of Finding Authentic You Ministries. If you would like to send an offering or a tithe, your donation would greatly be appreciated: 5001 Maywood Drive, Nashville, TN 37211.

And I would be greatly pleased for you to share anything that you read by clicking the share button in Facebook.com/bo.sebastian, or add it to your Twitter at BoSebastian; or LinkedIN at Bosebastian5@gmail.com; or find this blog home at www.FindingAuthenticYou.com. Any of my books can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel, just by typing my name in the search header.

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