For example, I learned through listening to people talk on the internet and various conversations that there are quite a few people who believe that walking the path means striving for love and light in all things, lifting everyone up, and helping everyone to achieve enlightenment. It means shedding the darkness, disavowing the shadows that surround us.
I cannot tell you how completely I disagree with this notion.
The path I walk isn’t about love and good tidings. It’s not about reaching nirvana. It’s about discovering the balance that is needed to live a healthy, product and just life. It is about embracing who I am, whether it is the part of me that shines in the light or the one that dances in the darkness.
I get it. Shadow work is scary. We often find things in the darkness that we don’t want to see, let alone admit to. It is a place often associated with desires, temptation, personal demons and the like. We are taught from an early age to turn away from the darkness and embrace the warmth of the light.
We are taught to deny part of who we are, part of what we are.
And that, my friends, can lead to more trouble than it is worth. After all, what happens to something when it is ignored? Often it will grow and fester, becoming malignant, dangerous. Ignoring the shadows and darkness that exists can burn you just as easily as ignoring the sun and not wearing sunscreen.
As the title of this blog post suggests, I’m not about conquering the darkness. Rather, I believe in embracing it, just as I embrace the light. In truth, what exists in the shadows of ourselves and our world has much to offer. It also demands quite a bit from those who would choose to dance with the abyss. Here are a few things to think about.
- The darkness within and without can offer a great deal of knowledge and wisdom. It is, by the nature of it, the great unknown. While a strong light can reveal, it can also be blinding. When you learn to experience shadows and work with them, you begin to understand the subtle, mutable nature of reality.
- Darkness will give no quarter to those who do not have the strength to understand the truth and the nature of who they are.
- What you see as demons to be conquered may just be entities that are here to teach you what you did not, or could not learn in your time in the light.
So do I think everyone should come and dance in the darkness of their souls like it is an old friend? Not really. Most people are afraid to do such a thing and are conditioned to shut out the shadows of their lives. For some people dancing in the abyss can be quite dangerous, mentally, physically and spiritually. Like I said, the abyss offers no mercy for those who do not have the strength to understand the truth.
But for those who really wish to understand, to learn, and to grow in their own wisdom, there are ways. Working with dark should not be done carelessly, just as working seriously with things of the light should not be. Over the next few blog posts, I will discuss some of my journeys into the darkness and what I have learned from them.
© 2016 – 2017, Laura Seeber. All rights reserved.