What is your definition of darkness? Does it look like ghost stories someone may have told you when you were nine? Does it feel like a nightmare you had recently? Would you attribute it to a person in your life? Does it have a face at all? A theme maybe? There was a time when I would define it as forgetfulness, a draining relationship, a time of bad luck, or anything that seemed to have negative consequences on my life. That was before I understood it the way I do now for myself. The way I interpret darkness now is that there is none outside of us. It is all a part of us and reflected in the different parts of our world. When we hold onto darkness (in its misconstrued form, read on) within us it appears to be in our relationships, interactions, health, families, homes, careers, etc. It is easy to think that it is somewhere outside of us. But why does it seem to always keep popping back up, sometimes in the same place we saw it last?
I believe there is so much power in knowing that everything is within you, even the darkness. It may seem like a negative thing, but this is so much better. Think about this: if the darkness is within you then all you have to do is recognize it, locate it, and from there you can transform it into something else. It is important to remember that the way we know darkness isn’t you. If you perceive darkness this way, it is helpful know the darkness is only within you. The darkness is not your identity. You are not darkness, you have darkness. We all do. If you are open to a different definition of darkness, then this is no longer applicable. Toss all of that away and enter with a clear mind and heart. What if you knew the darkness as simply Love*, waiting to be awakened? The darkness is now a part of you since you are also an expression of Love. Now you are the darkness and its counterpart, because they are all different forms of Love. There is so much energy behind the darkness as Love because Love is an infinite power Source. You need to be willing to know it as a part of you to ignite that spark within your being in order to navigate its depths.
Once you know what darkness looks like as you, it can become a powerful mentor. Once you are less afraid of it, it has so much to teach you. Once I learned how mine shows up through feeling, I paid attention to how I felt when it would arise. I sat with it, let the thoughts roam wildly through my head. I didn’t try to suppress it. I let it have its space. In the beginning of this practice, I was amazed about the things I was able to know about myself. There are some that I was able to guess and others that were completely unexpected. The ones that are unknown unknowns (the things you don’t even know that you don’t know) arise when you make giving the darkness a space a constant practice. It is unpredictable what you will be able to understand about yourself until you do it.
Once you know the form of darkness, like you would a friend, you can learn to Love and have compassion for its existence. You have infinite Love within you to give to the darkness. What would happen if you just gave this part of you a space and a voice? What would it say to you? What relationship could you cultivate with it? This connection can require some patience. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time. I think that is a very common misconception. It takes as long as you think it does. Why would you waste any more time? Darkness can be transmuted instantaneously into Love. Love is always ready and available. Love doesn’t take a ton of work or hardship. You just need to be open. Your mind may resist because it is simply not used to it and would rather cling to what it knows. In those moments, allow your heart to remain open. At first, it may be confusing to have your mind closed and heart open. That still happens to me, just let it be. The mind opens when it is ready. If you force yourself, you may just have a headache and end up using more energy than required. Love is available to you. It is a force independent of time and space. It is always here, in this moment. It is the relationship with Love and allowing it into your life that could take some adjustment, depending on how open you are to its power.
The darkness has much to offer you as a guide. As you continue to give the darkness a space in your life, you are naturally feeding it Love and that is how it will transform. We all have our own methods of transformation that we are guided towards. Mine is through writing, but it really could be anything. Any and all ways are of Love. If that is where you are guided, that is where you need to be. It doesn’t have to be perfect. When I am in the thick of it and I really feel the darkness, I turn to writing. Naturally, it is a messy process. My journal is filled with thoughts that don’t seem to make any sense, but they are what I needed to provide for myself at the time. I don’t reread anything I write there. I only use it as a vessel to hold a space and give everything inside of myself a voice. The process is what matters, not the words on the page. Journaling has allowed me to just get used to acknowledge the darkness instead of pretending that that part of me doesn’t exist. Now I see so many more dimensions of myself. Find the thing that allows you to see the different dimensions of yourself. Allow the darkness to move you toward what feels natural to you when you need to give it a space. Do it whenever you perceive it somewhere in your life. Notice what this is. Create a space for this within your inner Home.
Now that the darkness has a space and voice, there is so much more to explore. Imagine for a moment that this universe is half light and half dark. Duality is not the only Truth, neither is non-duality, so suspend what you may believe about those systems of interpreting energy. If the universe was half light and half dark, you may have been suppressing half of the universe! Imagine how much more mystery you have to explore, inside and outside of you, now that the darkness is welcome as an expression of Love. The darkness contains its own unanswerable questions and massive riddles of life. By exploring those expressions within you, you become your own visionary. The deeper you go within the dark unknown, the more Love is reflected in your life with the strength of a thousand suns.
There is so much growth infused in being your own agent of transformation. Imagine how much you would expand if every time you met the darkness you greeted it with Love. When the darkness begins to transform and disappear into Love in your own life, you are able to see with great clarity when Love takes this shape within someone else. Having your own relationship with the darkness allows you to easily recognize the darkness no matter where it appears. You recognize it because you know it as a part of you. Remember, the darkness that you have within yourself reflected within other people is yours to transmute. Don’t be afraid, take responsibility for yourself. Everyone has theirs that is reflected in the spaces in their life that they need to heal. It is really all the same force in infinite different manifestations. It shows up in different shapes and colors for all of us, depending on what we need on a personal level. That is the only thing that makes it appear different. Don’t overthink this, even if it may sound confusing. Just sit with this notion and you will understand in your own way. Same force, infinite forms. Sit with this and understand when you convert the darkness within yourself, you do it for everyone. How is this possible? You will no longer see darkness within them, only different expressions of Love. That is all the darkness is. While they may perceive it as darkness, you know its True identity. When you choose to be a guide for them, show up with Love, patience, compassion, and understanding. Remember your own relationship with the darkness and see that they too can transform it into Love for themselves.
Do not let someone else’s form of darkness become your own. It is not yours to identify with. Do not forget who you are. While we are all guides of Love for one another, we all need to discover how to channel Love for ourselves. This doesn’t mean you can’t be there for someone else. Shower them with Love and help them give their darkness a space if it seems like they are having difficulty doing it on their own. We all have this capability for deep Love within us. Sometimes we may need a little bit of help. Don’t be afraid to be the guide for someone else. Think back to a time when you may have needed someone to see the darkness as a form of Love within you. How would you have felt if they offered you the Love that you were unsure of how to access for yourself? When you show up for yourself and are then able to show up for others, the “darkness” of the world begins to slowly transmute into something else we can all recognize within ourselves.
You are forever protected from being controlled by the darkness of yourself and others when you know what it looks, feels, tastes, smells, sounds, etc. like… however it may show up for you. You are not protected from the “darkness” itself, because there is nothing to fear or to be protected from. The “darkness” is Love in another form. You have the infinite power and capability to transform it whenever you like. Dedicate your heart to providing the “darkness” Love whenever it comes and see what changes arise in every space of your life.
When you understand the darkness is another form of Love within you, you can see yourself clearly as Love. You are a clear and open channel for Love. You are also able to know others with this immense and powerful clarity. They too are a complex, yet simple expression of Love.
Naturally, you will have a new Love and appreciation when you have a friendship with the Darkness. The Darkness is everywhere you are, Love, waiting to be awakened. What will you create from it next?
with love, katie
*Love/Higher Self/God/Source/Spirit/Creation/Consciousness/Unmanifested/The Eternal/Soul/Everything/Nothing/All That Is/Infinity/The Unknown/The Witness/Being/… you fill in the blank…