The Author: Kristine Carlson
As I passed through that time period that is aptly labeled “the dark night of my soul,” I learned that the torchlight through the darkness came from writing. I first understood this right after my husband died.
During the first weeks and months of grieving, as I awoke to the light of a new day, the pain was so intense. I had never known such pain—separating on the physical level first, where I felt my skin was burning at the cellular level. Where every day seemed to mean he was slipping further and further away, and it was unbearable.
For the first few weeks, I would make my way half asleep to the mug drawer and place two cups on the counter as I made coffee. I would forget I only needed one. The early mornings had been our time. We would meditate and drink coffee and strategize about books and parenting. These early hours were the most painful for me in my early stages of grief. I had always been a morning person who jumped out of bed to begin my day, excited. But at this time, waking meant realizing I was not having a bad dream. My husband was gone and wasn’t coming back.
I can’t recall exactly when I first opened my computer to journal. But one day, early on and in order to survive, I had to fill that painful early morning gap. As I opened my computer and stared at the white space, my fingers began tapping, and that’s where I found Richard. It’s as if he couldn’t wait to begin. I had to laugh as I said to myself, Of course I would find you in the place that held so much of your attention in life. His computer was probably his most treasured possession, holding the documents and folders that would become books. Many, many books. I had never been as fast a typist as Richard, but now my fingers couldn’t find the letters fast enough as the keys struck and formed words that flowed—as if he and I were once again immersed in one of our early morning rendezvous.
And every morning I returned to find him. This is how I learned how to allow the divine to flow through my fingers and onto the blank screen.
The magic of this is what keeps me writing today—and the mystery of what it means to intentionally become an instrument of divine light and love.
As I sit down to write, there is one prayer I offer:
Divine light and love,
play me as an instrument
in your finely-tuned orchestra of life
This prayer becomes my single-minded intention as I sit. With intention, I become the tuning fork for spirit; my ego mind gets out of the way, and my light reaches high above through my crown as my third eye opens wide to receive. In some far off vortex, way beyond the outer edges of the universe, there is a portal of inspiration that is open for those who allow spirit to find them and ignite the delight of flow, which is nothing short of miraculous.
Words come without effort or angst.
The wisdom that is needed.
The truth that comes through love and the desire to serve.
It is magic and filled with the wonder that comes through the collaboration with the divine.
A blank screen that becomes a paragraph, a blog, a chapter as the words appear as if from the ethers. It is a lucid dream-like state where I am present with something far greater, where I surrender my mind to allow what is present from spirit to come through me.
Indeed, the painful hours of the early mornings turned my suffering into something tangible where I could be with my beloved and where I could heal from heartbreak to wholeness. I had been heartbroken open (which became the name of my memoir) to waking up to allow my words to express my grief in a way that allowed me to continue communicating with Richard. I had found a way to connect, and that brought me such hope and healing.
When your words become your hope and healing, they can also become that which helps and heals another.
The other day a reader wrote to me—a woman who has lost her husband and who is about the same age as I was when I lost Richard.
She said, “Your words are powerful, and I am so grateful.”
Just knowing that you have impacted one person with your writing is enough. I am so grateful to be used in this way.
To this day, I practice asking the divine to use me as that instrument. To this day, I am collaborating with love.