Shattering Moments, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

“There is no sphere of the Other Side (darkness)
that entirely lacks some streak of light
from the side of holiness”
                                             Zohar II:69a-b

I don’t like summer.

I know, I know!  Most of you do like it!  My husband loves it.  He loves to be hot, to feel the sun, and the extended light of the long days.

I love rain, clouds and dark days.  On those days I feel free and exempt from all duties.  My soul feels free!  Maybe it was because my Baptist Grandmother always gave herself permission not to go to church on the Sundays it rained.  She believed being in the rain made one sick!  So I have permission to make my own choices on dark rainy days.

Maybe that is also why I love Kabbalah.  I remember the moment some twenty years ago in Kabbalah class when I had the “aha moment” that the Divine is just as present in the dark as it is in the light.  In my catechism days as a child I remember the answer to the question “Where is God”?  The answer was “God is everywhere!”

As a child, that never made any sense to me.  How can God be in terrorist attacks, or in disease and death?  Where is the freedom of spirit in those moments?

Kabbalah teaches that those are shattering moments.  When all order is interrupted.  Within those moments the possibility of something new is being born if we learn to live and learn from the darkness.  With the gift of hindsight, we can look back and see examples from the past.  What seems dark and hopeless in one moment may have created the possibility for light and hope in the next or in the future.

I counsel with many PTSD soldiers and other trauma patients.  Their stories are unnerving and tragic and stay with me long after my client has left the session.  However, after twenty-five years of engaging presence with these people I can see their struggle to find authenticity and realness in their lives is the slowly evolving light shinning forth from within their spirits.  If they will stay with the process it always happens.

Each time their light shines forth I am amazed and in awe!  My trust in what is… deepens.  My faith in a larger truth and reality is reinforced.  My belief that freedom of spirit is the result of darkness is renewed.

Susan Austin-Crumpton
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.