One of the few memories I have from when I was very young is my mom tucking my brother and I in bed at night. As she would begin to exit the room, we would yell, “Halfway, halfway, halfway!” begging her to leave the door open enough to allow in some light. Like most little kids, we were terrified of the ghouls and demons we might encounter in a pitch-black bedroom.
As Winter Solstice approaches, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, I’m working on my relationship with darkness.
Humans are hard-wired to be anxious in the dark because our ancestors had good reason. Think saber-tooth tigers and ambushes in the middle of the night. So, it’s no surprise that we might carry in our DNA an aversion to things we cannot see. Even today, darkness generally connotes something negative. But I think this reputation is undeserved.
Despite popular culture urging us to disperse our energy, this darker time of year beckons us inward to retreat, rest and review. Uh-oh, review. That’s when old wounds can re-open and old stories can rear their ugly heads! That’s when we revisit our shortcomings and face our fears! Yep, it’s true. Yet, there is another “r” that darkness offers us–release. When we are willing to enter the heart’s dark places, we encounter the ghouls and demons that are holding us back from the life we want to live. When we meet them, we can release them.
It has taken me quite a while to figure out that darkness is actually a gift. I spent a long time trying to hide in the light, ignoring my inner knowing and my pain. My thinking mind labeled pain as bad, when pain can be a guidepost pointing to something that is ready to be healed.
Of course, none of us wants to be stuck in pain. Luckily, we don’t have to be. I’ve lately been trying to disempower my pain by developing a sort of relationship with it. First, I try to feel it as fully as possible. Then I ask the hurting place in me (be it physical or emotional) what it needs and what is the pain’s true source. This tracing back to the source shows me the energy that is ready to be released. Here’s one example.
Christmastime has always been a mixed bag for me, offering moments of joy and moments of melancholy. This year, I decided to take an online course on reimagining the season. Through a meditation in the course, I stepped into my darker feelings about the holidays and discovered a memory whose story had been playing in the background of my psyche since I was a teenager. Meanwhile, shortly before this meditation, I had developed some low back pain seemingly out of nowhere.
As I revisited the memory, I understood reasons for the situation that I was unable to comprehend at the time. Patterns of behavior ongoing since those days revealed themselves. So, I cut my cord to this old story. It had long since passed and had nothing to do with the now moment. Interestingly, almost immediately afterward, my back pain dissipated. This was yet another reminder that everything is energy, and we have the power to shift it. Had I avoided the darkness of the memory, I could not have transmuted it to light.
Winter Solstice encourages us to welcome the darkness and celebrate the light. We acknowledge that darkness and light are dependent on one another. We can’t really comprehend one without noticing the other. Wholeness requires both.
Unlike my brother and I as children, we don’t need to fear that if we rest in the darkness monsters will come. The monsters are there whether we acknowledge them or not. When we do, we can embrace the light.
January appointments are now available for intuitive readings, healings and spiritual mentoring (and there are even a couple left in 2022). I would be honored to work with you. Book today!