So far, in this series of blog posts about dealing with the darkness and shadows in our world I have touched briefly on what I believe the nature of darkness is, how it manifests in ourselves, and in the world around us. I have discussed the ideas of demons, both self-contained and outside of us, what these things can possibly truly mean, and even how to deal with them. Today, I’d like to talk about something a little bit different.
I’d like to talk about learning to dance in the darkness.
Now, of course, I’m not talking about literal dancing. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with dancing in the dark. Personally, though, every time I’ve tried it, I’ve ended up with quite a few stubbed toes or banged up knees. WNo, what I’m talking about is learning to trust yourself. Let’s face it– darkness, no matter what form it takes, can be a frightening thing. It’s dark. It can be cold and uninviting. It can be foreboding. And sometimes, just sometimes it can force you to face things that you really didn’t want to. Darkness can pull you in, drag you under and spit you out into the blinding light, completely disoriented.
But in all the chaos, one thing remains, really. The core of who you are. Over the years, I have come to believe that the core nature of people and entities for that matter don’t get changed; they just get revealed over time. We see glimpses of our true selves in our actions. We see hints of it when we are alone with ourselves. It manifests in our hopes and fears, our triumphs and our failures.
Knowing and recognizing the core you, and learning to trust it are really two different things. I wish I could give you a step-by-step guide about how to learn to trust yourself enough to dance in the darkness, but really I can’t. Each person has to travel their own path and learn what is best for them. I can, however, share a bit from my own experiences. As always– I want you to question, critique, and never take what I say as the whole truth, or something to be obeyed. These words come from my experience; yours will probably be different.
I’ve learned to accept my faults as well as my virtues. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always changing and striving to improve myself, but I’ve learned that it’s better to acknowledge what I am at this moment. I am stubborn. I can be the laziest person in the room. I will cut off my nose to spite my face. I will help a stranger without thinking about it. I am brutally honest with my friends, and sweetly sadistic to my enemies. I can be kind and merciful beyond what any saint can endure, and I can be calculating and remorseless when finally provoked.
Needless to say, I am not a simple person. By understanding this about myself, a few basic things occur. First, I know where I am on my path, right now. Two, I understand what I need to alter if anything to get where I need to be. And three, I know what inner resources I have to accomplish the goals, and if I need to find help.
I’ve learned to accept the faults and virtues of those around me. Let’s face it– I’m not always going to think people are on the right path. Heck, there are times when I think my friends, family, or the people around me are acting like complete idiots. Everyone does. I will argue, debate, discuss and try to convince them of this fact until I’m blue in the face, but in the end, I know that they are going to do what is right for them at the time. If they chose to follow a path that I know to be a difficult one, I have come to realize that it isn’t for me to prevent them making that choice, nor to protect them from the consequences of that choice.
Now, please don’t misunderstand– I’m not talking about letting a child play with an electrical socket, or allowing a dog to chase after a squirrel into oncoming traffic. What I’m talking about is stepping aside while others around me deal with the darkness. Just as I have to trust myself and the core of who I am, I know that I have to trust others to do the same.
After all, we are all individuals following our own paths to the destination. We are all trying to find our own dynamic sense of balance.
And finally, I have learned to embrace both the light and dark aspects of who and what I am. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Just because I don’t fear the darkness, doesn’t mean that I curse the light. Sure, there are challenging aspects to both sides, but both are necessary to dance in balance and joy along the path.
Until next time… I wish you well as you walk your path.
© 2016 – 2017, Laura Seeber. All rights reserved.