Desert Awakening | A Soothing Poem During The Dark Night of The Soul

This is a very tender and treasured poem because it was written in the depths of my second dark night of the soul. This piece came through near the end of that cycle which I didn't know at the time. However, this was a piece that somatically moved through me. I felt why the inner desert is actually necessary in order to enter an inner oasis.

Arising from an experience of contentment once I recognized a newly heightened awareness that all the darkness had brought me. At the time I wore this sensitivity like a fawn with newborn legs trying to navigate carrying its own body. However, from an aerial-like perspective, I could see the beauty blooming from this newfound sensitivity. It became clear, we cannot consciously feel our pain and remain unchanged.

In IFS (internal family systems therapy) this looks like integrating a part of you that has been exiled due to the pain and suffering it holds within it. Touching this raw and sensitive part of me was at times unbearably painful, but (when I was able to embrace it) it brought back with it a part of me I didn't know I was missing and needed.

If you or a beloved of yours is in a dark night of the soul, this poem is for you. It is to fuel that inner wisdom echoing in your bones saying somehow, someday this will be okay; even if I have no idea how that is possible right now.

Desert Awakening

I didn’t know that feeling of
simply being “off” in my own skin
would ever end.

Like an invasive species taking over
or a self-doubt famine,
how many different ways could I fry up
the insatiable thirst to be more?

Holding back
Wrong timing
Misread signals
Hyper ownership
Unclear boundaries

No matter how much I pushed, I sunk in
like quicksand.

Stagnancy had become
the only seasoning
in my arsenal.

It coated every conversation.
Every action.
I could no longer tell what was underneath it.
Was there even anything underneath it anymore?

I became familiar with not recognizing myself
Stranded in wafting dust storms
Granules of questions whipping
through my mind
leaving nothing in its wake
…but more questions.

The savage heat of the desert
dried my skin
and wrinkled my understanding of myself.

And I can’t tell you how or why
they parted,
but they did.

And I can’t tell you why this
brutal disconnection
awoke in me what I was seeking.

But what I can say is when
you find yourself in the desert,
The desert holds her secrets.
She is an intelligence all to herself.
A guru of whipping sandstorms
and dehydrating heat.
She carves out
what has been buried
so long and so deep
perhaps you’ve forgotten entirely
what’s been resting between your ribs
stifling your very breath until it’s gone
and you can breathe again.

So trust when the sandstorm comes,
it's because you need her.

- Jordyn Roe