Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Last night I sat on the swing bed outside, underneath a half moon with stars twinkling bright, feeling completely and utterly destroyed, devastated at the state of things. Mass shootings, families being torn apart, species disappearing, waters being contaminated; it’s enough to devastate any semi-conscious person and I am not immune. I sobbed, my tears watering the earth and my voice wailing, speaking the pain and the sorrow that I feel down to my core. I was propelled into my own darkness, my own shadows, into the pain and the suffering of my ancestors and into my own pain and suffering. I became aware of an extreme resistance to feeling that pain; I felt how my body trembled and shook under the weight of it all. I could sense an urge to disassociate, to push it away, to refuse it, the way that flooded ground refuses more rain. But with that awareness came acceptance. I asked my body to let the pain in, to allow it to be there, to accept that it exists. Because it does and I am no longer afraid of the dark.
I learned, involuntarily, from a very young age how to disassociate, or sort of leave my body. That body knowledge came to me during moments of intense overwhelm, when my young self simply couldn’t handle the physical and/or emotional overload. Disassociating became quite a comfort to me and allowed me to feel okay in situations that were dark, frightening and intense. But when I was 14, my brother’s girlfriend was killed in a car wreck and the grief I felt in my body was stronger than my urge to disassociate from it. The darkness swallowed me up and I found myself in the cave of it for about 4-5 years. I studied and read and figured out how to pull myself out of that dark cave but now, nearly a decade later, I’m realizing that it is time to face the darkness once again. I must now allow the acceptance of What Is, because What Is includes the shadows AND the light, nothing more, nothing less. All of the darkness I see happening in our country and in this world, is a direct reflection of the darkness that lives inside of me and both must be allowed and accepted in. That doesn’t mean that we don’t help, that we don’t fight against injustice, but it means that in the marrow of our bones, we truly accept what is happening, instead of turning a blind eye or wishing it would just go away. It won’t go away because it’s never gone away. It can’t. In this dualistic existence, the dark and the light exist together. So, are you afraid of the dark? Or can you try and let it in, face it, feel it, accept it, and allow it to be transformed.