What Are the Gifts in Life’s Darker Moments?

Box of DarknessWith the sudden passing of actor and comedian, Robin Williamsdepression has once again taken the spotlight. This time, however, it’s being met with a compassion and empathy that I haven’t seen before.

Because Williams lived his life through a lens of humor and laughter – and came across as an approachable and joyful beam of light, many took his passing quite personally, as if they’d known him on an intimate level. And in many ways, this was true – as the characters he played on television and in films represented the types of people that we could all identify with in one way or another. Even in his personal interviews with talk show hosts and reporters, Williams conveyed an energy that was instantly attractive. One couldn’t help but be engaged by his warm and humble persona.

He was a real-life example of “the nice guy next door.”

So when the news began to spread about his death, and particularly the way in which he died, people were genuinely shocked.

How could a man who was so full of light and laughter, and who was so well-liked by many, end his own life?

This question sparked a curiosity that far-exceeded the stigma of depression. There was a true thirst for answers, being filtered through a deep sense of compassion.

Many times, when depression makes its way to society’s living rooms and water coolers, it’s greeted with a myriad of misunderstandings and puzzled reactions – with proposed solutions that involve the latest medications and therapeutic methods.

But not this time.

This time, the conversation is different. This time, the doors of truth and understanding are opening. This time, there’s an element of compassion and connection that feels almost angelic.

So is it possible, in his last moments of life, that Robin Williams took on the role of spiritual messenger with the intention of bringing light to a very dark and taboo subject? Is it possible that this was part of his bigger purpose? Is it possible, on a spiritual level, that the way he chose to exit this lifetime was part of his spiritual contract – and done in a way that he knew would bring more awareness to a conversation that has been constantly shoved in the closet?

While living, Robin Williams created a lovable and trustworthy persona which, upon his death, triggered empathy, compassion, and a deep desire to understand the reasons behind his depression and suicide. So it’s quite possible that he agreed, on a spiritual level, to play the role of “teacher” upon his exit – shedding light on a painful truth that up until now hasn’t moved beyond a whisper, “Depression is the silent killer.”

And in bringing this whisper to a soft roar, it’s quite possible that his exit was one of joy for having accomplished this very big and difficult mission.

It’s quite possible that Robin Williams has given us all a gift of seeing the light in life’s darkest moments. And in this sense, it brings to our awareness that everything has meaning – IF we choose to see it.

So what are the gifts in the darker moments of your life?

This is a great question to ponder as we move out of the full moon phase – and toward another new moon beginning.

As poet Mary Oliver once wrote, “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”

About Tina Games

Tina M. Games is the author of Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother’s Path to Self-Discovery (an interactive book with an accompanying deck of 54 journaling prompt cards). As a certified creativity and life purpose coach, and a gifted intuitive, she is the “Moonlight Muse” for women who want to tap into the “full moon within” and claim their authentic self, both personally and professionally. Through her signature coaching programs, based on the phases of the moon, Tina gently guides women from darkness to light as they create an authentic vision filled with purpose, passion and creative expression. She lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with her husband and their two children.

9 Responses to What Are the Gifts in Life’s Darker Moments?

  1. Bonnie Nussbaum August 13, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    This is so true! Depression continues to rob people of the joy in life. It is an insidious illness that decimates countless lives. It’s also very treatable for most sufferers, if they seek help.

  2. Mateja August 14, 2014 at 12:05 am #

    What a moving and amazing post! This subject is close to my heart as I had been struggling with anxiety and depression most of my adult life. I keep advocating for people to reach out and get professional help. I became a therapist because I have found a way out and I am passionate about helping others to do the same. Many people don’t have anybody and it is sad that even people like Robin Williams felt that there was no other way out. Like Debbie Ford also said, we all have our shadows. RIP Robin Williams. Thanks for sharing this important message.

  3. veronica August 14, 2014 at 3:14 am #

    Beautifully expressed! I have written about Robin in order to express my own deep feelings of loss and to honor his gifts. I do believe what he has left behind is a gift to humanity. Darkness covers what we think is not there – remaining open to the possibility and truth that our light dispels all darkness is what needs to be a given.

  4. Kailean August 14, 2014 at 3:24 am #

    Awesome post! Beautifully languaged and bringing to light a very difficult issue. Maybe we can all look at depression in a new and more compassionate way, and it feels very true that Robin Williams was a messenger of light in so many ways. His death appears to be a very difficult step in living that mission.

  5. Louise Crooks August 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Beautifully said Tina. Robin has indeed given the world a gift of helping us look at depression with more compassion and less stigma. It’s such an ‘under the covers’ topic and he indeed has gifted us with bringing it into the light. Ironic how something often so painful on a human level is indeed a deeper lesson. I’m constantly reminded of this in all challenges and struggles in life – AND that my soul signed up to experience it! The soft roar is a tough one to swallow on a human level but looking at it from this perspective, indeed the Universe is celebrating his journey as a job well done.

  6. Aine Dee August 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    I so appreciate your perspective, Tina. I still cringe every time I read the current diseasecare myths that marginalize depression as only an illness to be cured with therapy and pharmaceuticals. Our notion of it can include the immense opportunity to go deeper and find parts of self struggling to be liberated beyond labels and to express fully. There is such a far more expanded and profound purpose and experience of depression, sorrow, grief and despair and the gifts are waiting for us to perceive it that way. Thanks for this conversation.

  7. Teena August 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    Thank you Tina for sharing an illuminated perspective on a topic that invokes darkness. We need both the dark and the light to transform the limitations we place on ourselves. My gift in the darker moments of life is to be in that moment and trust the light by feeling it’s warmth on my skin and in my heart.


  8. Robyn July 22, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

    Thanks Tina .. sometimes we don’t really know what someones personal journey is .. it has me reflect on times when I don’t reach out and ask for help … there is always a gift in every situation .. thanks for the reminder xo

  9. Josee July 23, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Very moving and beautifully said Tina. Depression is an illness that’s very much misunderstood. I love how you’ve shifted the perspective from dark to light. Leave it to Robin Williams to come shinning through in such angelical ways. The world has been touched one last time by this brilliant man.

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