I recently wrote about dealing with the presence of darkness in these times and received some thoughtful follow-up requests to share more about what it means to accept the fact of darkness in the world and for practical advice on how to do this in daily life.
So just how do we accept the presence of darkness? What does such acceptance mean? What do I do?
First, I admit that darkness exists in this world. Accepting darkness is not to embrace it, not to hold it and not to approve it. It means only to acknowledge it is there, that darkness is a reality in our lives. And why should we acknowledge it? So we know what we are dealing with. To deny the fact of darkness is to give it power, to give it an advantage by sidelining our own intention and capacity to counter it. Light works in relation to shadow, and of course shadow works in relation to light, neither exists without the other. To deny one, is to deny the other.
Second, I recognize that I alone cannot change the world. I cannot make darkness go away. It took me many years to reach a place of this level of acceptance. My idealistic and younger activist self, both inner and outer activist, believed, or at least wished and hoped, that darkness could be denied. It cannot. To deny its existence is to give it free rein; it will be there even if I refuse to look at it. There is no chance to defeat darkness if we don’t admit it exists.
While it may seem paradoxical, I have found that facing the fact of darkness has freed me up to be more light, more expanded while more grounded, less fearful, and altogether more effective in countering negative forces. The way I approach this is not to engage with darkness, but to acknowledge it and then to fully engage with the light.
In practical terms this is accomplished through simple acts of love and joy. If you can find a feeling sense of delight, then you have found light. What experiences open your heart? Who makes you laugh? How do you give and what gives you that feeling sense of warmth and affection, comfort, connection and tenderness towards life? Is it a sunlit day, is it your partner, your child, your pet, your garden, a favorite book, music, art, beauty, good food, good company? In short, what “lights you up”? Humor, fun, social connection, and all occasions to smile will nurture your light. Being connected in the present and to ordinary life experiences support the sense of well-being that is your lightness. Look for the signature vibration or resonance that is yours when you feel happiness, pleasure, and love. That is the starting point. And then attend to nurturing and revisiting and expanding upon those moments. When we recognize our feeling sense of joy, of love, we have identified our feeling sense of light.
It’s important to realize that working with light doesn’t simply mean visualizing light and sending it somewhere. It means merging with it, being it. And how do we do that? Through joy in connection with life and with others. Light is love. And love is an act of engagement.
Holding light is not passive, it is an action. It may be an inner movement, but it has outer consequence. And when enough of us nurture and hold light, we do surround and blind the darkness. Indeed, this is what we are going through right now. As enough of us hold the intention for change and carry light forward, we are seeing movement towards the ending of old and archaic structures and the influx of new understanding.
As I was completing this blog, I took a moment to sit and ask if my inner contacts wished to add anything and received this comment:
“These are most challenging of times, but also times of great opportunity. You hold in your selves the possibilities of the future, the power to create change.
The great distraction, the chaos, the uproars that surround you are instruments of those forces that seek to neutralize, immobilize and disenfranchise you, looking to corral your attention in order to diminish the true power each of you hold and the immense collective impact you may have when you each stand in your own love and self-light.
Know that you are the stronger in this confrontation because you are one of many standing together, in love and truth. Nothing frightens darkness more than to face such splendid brilliance.”
Much appreciated words of encouragement!
You can read my original article “Coping with Darkness without Conceding” here.
This article was also published by the Lorian Association.
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