reclaiming december // here’s how to stop being afraid of the dark

it’s dark out there, friends. and sometimes i am really scared.

for some of us, it is literally dark. december is upon us. the darkest time of the year has begun. nature has turned inward to hibernate until spring. yes, nature has slowed down… but have we?

well, considering that we don’t usually like the dark and want to avoid it at all costs, we most likely have not slowed down, but sped ip. hoping to avoid this uncomfortable, cold, strange time of year. we want to fly away to the sunny, warm sands of some tropical island and forget all of the troubles of the world. some of you are living and experiencing those warm, tropical feelings right now. the rest of us are longing for the sun again.

but for all of us, whether nature shows us or now, it is dark out there in the world. terror, violence, hate, threats, oppression, inequality.

all of it is scary. or depressing. or both.

but, i say, let’s stay still. let’s face it all. besides, all of this darkness is actually not something to be afraid of. stay with me now…

we all yearn to understand the mysteries, questions, and hidden meanings out there. but, it always seems that these things are shrouded in darkness. and that makes them a bit scary. you know, like the unknown. we don’t like feeling like we are fumbling around in the dark. perhaps we want to know so much because we feel like the knowledge will give us a bit of control. we will not feel so insecure, unsure, and frightened when we have figured everything out.

and yet, the mystery, the magic, the darkness also intrigues us.

so, as i said in sunday’s post, for the month of december, during the season of advent, i am planning to explore the dark side. i intend to allow myself to sit in the dark, be at one with the dark, an find peace in the dar. to do that, though, i have got to stop being afraid of the dark.

and, i just know that if we can conquer that fear and uncertainty that comes with the dark, if we are willing to explore our darkness, the dark side of spirituality, then we just may be taking a step into the next part of our own evolution. perfect timing for preparing for a new year.

so, here’s what we generally think about the dark:

we understand and perceive that light is good and dark is bad. which makes sense, right? in the light, we can see, and therefore we know what is around us, what is coming at us. in truth, we have a semblance of control. however, in the dark, in the absence of light, everything is hidden, shadowy, unknown. we literally cannot see what is in front of us. it’s definitely frightening and way more uncertain.

of course, this understanding of light and dark is all based on our physical perception. and, throughout the years, we have relied on and be taught by great thinkers, philosophers, and theologians that what is true for the physical is also true for the spiritual. hence, light is good. literally, it is good to see. and darkness is bad because, well, we can’t see. so, we don’t know.

but, what if we learned more about what light and darkness really is?

ok. here comes a little science for you that i have researched online. but, hang with me. it’ll blow your freaking mind about what light and darkness really are.

check this out:

“In a black hole, much of the light is trapped inside of the actual black hole, so there is a massive amount of light inside of it. The perception of a black hole is that it would be a physical manifestation of darkness, and yet, the black hole itself is filled with dense light. The vacuum of space, which we perceive as darkness, is filled with matter and anti-matter which is a form of storing light. In this sense, the darkness of the vacuum is just a state of light that is standing still. So it turns out that all of the physical perceptions of darkness around us are just another form of light. This brings us to the fact that the physics, if it is mirroring the spiritual, is telling us that the darkness itself is another form of the light and that darkness is dense light. Darkness is light that is standing still and is stored in a state of readiness to become light. Darkness is potential light and therefore, darkness is the source of light.” – quote from spirituality information 101 (you can also check out what NASA says >>> here).

mind. blown.

what this means, dear ones, is that darkness is not evil or bad, but simply another form of light.

it is, in fact, potential light. that means that there is no good versus evil. there is only good and potential good. everything is potential. anything is possible. and the darkness is a place creation out of chaos, opportunity. it is a place of dense, heavy, intense potentiality.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

so, spiritually/theologically/metaphorically speaking, what if darkness, is actually a gift?  from a divine being? from the spiritual world? a dense light that is so powerfully packed together that you can’t see it, just waiting to be released. what if the dark times in our lives (literally and metaphorically)  were present in our lives to teach us a way to unleash the unlimited potential of the human spirit and mind?

the bottom line is: what if we saw darkness not as the opposite of light, but as a whole other, intense form of light that was just what we needed to push us forward, a place of pure potential that can be used to thrust us into becoming who we are truly meant to be?

what if, instead of being afraid of the dark, we embraced it, calling it a divine darkness in which hidden treasures and amazing potential is found?

so, now, how do we feel about december? how do we feel about the darkness that surrounds us in the northern hemisphere and the darkness that is so prevalent in our lives? could it be that this darkness can simply be seen as a starting point? a new beginning? a big freaking ball of potential energy (which astrophysics calls it… dark energy)!

for me, this doesn’t mean that the darkness all of the sudden becomes easy. it doesn’t take away the unsettledness and the mystery. but, it does allow me to slow down and see the beauty found even within the dark. it allows me to change my perspective from hopeless to hopeful. it helps me to understand that the darkness provides me a time of hibernation, of going inward, of searching and discovering and slowing. a time of letting truth sink deep into me. a time of preparation. and with all of this knowledge, i can reclaim the month of december as a time of building energy, of sitting still and letting all of the potential swirl around me, silently waiting for the light from within to burst forth and be born into my life once again.

darkness is not the end. no, not at all. it is just the beginning.

december blessings to each + every one of you. xoxo

8 thoughts on “reclaiming december // here’s how to stop being afraid of the dark

  1. Oh so true! To whatever degree we are participating in the holiday season it seems inevitable that we’ll all be affected by the energy of the season pushing us to do-do-do and go-go-go rather than be mindful. Pushed to ignore the shortened days and loss of light, the emphasis is on action and doing – but in the accomplishment type of way, not in the mindful-present type of way. It’s difficult to not feel driven with the way our culture has structured a countdown to Christmas and the emphasis is on the anticipation; it rushes us to accomplish the gift buying – checking items off a list, get our decorations up, attend all the parties, schedule all the family visits, shoehorn in all the tasks, etc. Thinking about it this way, I almost feel our culture has structured the Christian holidays that way deliberately in order to assuage our natural unrest that comes with the loss of sunlight…. I’m mildly familiar with the pagan origins of many Chistmas traditions (and I’m aware that the winter solstice had meaning and was celebrated by pretty much every tribal society since the dawn of agriculture) but I’m wondering if this element of anticipation is entirely a modern creation and if earlier cultures/different societies celebrated this time of year for what it was instead of a time that must be passed in order to get to the warmer/sunnier months ahead. And thinking aloud here, can we even know that for certain for pre-historical societies (or ones in which their oral traditions were not passed down to historical peoples) without written records?

    Anyway, the lack of light absolutely messes with our sense of security and need for control. I love the black hole metaphor (that’s seriously awesome, science-fact wise too) and that the potential for light/change/happiness comes from the darkest of dark places. The potential and the opportunity that facing the dark holds completely makes sense as THE challenge we need in order to to rise above ourselves – only by sitting and being present and facing our fears can we hope to move forward; otherwise we stay stuck, moving mindlessly and feeling unsatisfied. I don’t believe darkness will ever become comfortable since it seems to me that it must be inherently unsettling (as in, it must make you uncomfortable to that you can turn your attention to what needs to be dealt with), but I think your call to embrace it is exactly right – and we all need encouragement to face the things we don’t want to face, particularly when we’re already feeling overwhelmed or dragged down by dissatisfaction with the stagnant aspects of our lives we’d so desperately like to change. Thank you so much for such an interesting, thought-provoking, and motivating post. Love and strength to you as you face the darkness. xoxo

    p.s. Sorry for the super-long comment; pardon anything that comes across as rambling

    1. Meghan, I have nothing to say except your comments inspire me more than you could ever imagine. Keep writing. Keep rambling. Keep sharing with me. And, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For being you and for being so attentive, deep, and loving. Love to you. xoxo

  2. Wow! Love that description of density of light standing still. Very very cool!

    I read a book once on reclaiming the dark — and one of the exercises was to stand in my back yard every night around 3 am and learn to be comfortable — eventually, the goal was to walk around the block at that time too.

    I had to take my dog with me! And I’m not sure I ever got truly comfortable with it. 🙂

    Love that you are doing this. Love the sense of peace and gratitude and expansiveness.

  3. Dear Louise, I now remember reading a blog post of yours about that experience that you had of going into your yard at 3am. Of trying to learn to be comfortable in the dark. So inspiring. I have decided to meditate in the dark every morning. NO lights. No candles. Nothing. Just me and the darkness. So far, I am longing for it every morning when I wake up. How amazing is the experience of just learning to be? Love to you and wishing you a great weekend. xoxo

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