Let us not forget that just as the sun will rise again bringing the light, so the night will fall again bringing the darkness. In life, the darkness occurs whenever I try to control something that I cannot control. For example, this morning I wanted to stand up on a surfboard and ride a wave. However the Ocean had other plans. There were no rideable waves. The more I tried, the darker the situation became. I noticed the waves were breaking nicely near the shoreline, but I knew that those waves would crush me into the hard ocean floor because there was not enough water to cushion my fall. I felt the darkness of an impossible situation. If I over-controlled to achieve my desire, I would risk severe injury. I screamed at Mother Earth in rage.
It is critically important for recovering people to realize that there will be times where we are lost again. Don't panic and try to take control. The first instinct of an addict is to control until there is a bad result. If we fail to accept that which we cannot control, our next instinct is to pick up a drink or other drug to escape from the darkness. The correct way to deal with the return of the dark night of the soul is to use a spiritual tool like acceptance, to surrender gracefully, what is commonly referred to in AA as "letting go." Today, I do not fear the return of the dark night of the soul. I recognize that it is borne from my trying to control something that I cannot control.
Today I will not fear the darkness. I will recognize that it occurs when I do not have a solution to something that I cannot control...what AA members call, "handing over the towel but hanging onto the label." In such cases, I will relax and breathe and perhaps take a quick peronal inventory as to why I am trying to control something that I cannot. Is it that my ego is telling me I need to accomplish something to raise my low self esteem? Is it my need to appear a certain way to someone else? Am I being impatient? Always the solution lies in exercising a spiritual principle like being grateful for the problems that I am able to choose today because I am sober...like helping someone else...like being flexible in my plans...These solutions are what the Taoists call "non-doing" or "Wu-Wei"...the essence of letting go...Knowing one cannot control the ocean keeps one sober and serene and able to return to the sea perhaps on another day when the ocean is more accomodating. And if the ocean is never accomodating, the important thing is I didn't get drunk, stoned, or jeopardize my life.