Learning In The Dark

It was for about three years that I truly experienced my darkness. I grew accustomed to it, that even in my physical world I’d keep my house dimly lit, preferring the blinds drawn, the light too offensive.

I feared my darkness but I also loved it, making for a volatile relationship. It kept me company, indulged my self loathing, my doubts, my fears. A solace from my reality. It was in my darkness I didn’t have to be anyone. I didn’t have to have dreams, that I wasn’t working towards, projects that I hadn’t started or started and never finished. I didn’t have regrets, and I didn’t have to change. I could be anything, nothing, and no one. I didn’t have to confront any of my truths. It was in my darkness I could remain in ignorant bliss for as long as I liked.

My loved ones though, they began to notice. I was spending far too much time in it, leaving less time for them. They would ask me out, and I would make excuses, that I was busy, that I wasn’t feeling well. My darkness was convincing me that they no longer knew me, that I shouldn’t listen. My loved ones didn’t approve of my relationship. “It isn’t as bad as it looks,” I would lie.

But it was bad. The more I stayed, the more my darkness took from me. My strength, my independence, my beliefs, my courage, my dreams, my joy.

But there was something in me that just could not be taken. As I traversed deeper into my darkness, I unexpectedly met with my light. And the darker it got, the brighter that light shone.

I don’t know how it got there. I didn’t even know I had it. It wasn’t there in the beginning, when I was first acquainting with my darkness. It lived at the depths of my core. As I met with it, I began to learn it, and as I did, my path out was lit, my darkness no match against my light. It surrendered, yielding, it didn’t even put up a fight.

I remember one morning, it was the beginning of winter in Melbourne. I woke up, and the first thing I did was open up the blinds, allowing the winter sun to spill into my room. I tilted my head out the window, toward the direction of the sun. I closed my eyes, and smiled the warmth in. I called my best friend, telling her that it was a beautiful day and I wanted to make the most of it. I asked her out to brunch and even a hike. She told me she’d been waiting for that call for years, believing that it would come.

It was when I emerged from my darkness, I started to learn it more. Why did I fear it so? Was it really darkness that I feared, or was it something else?

As I was learning, I came across this –

β€œOur deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” β€”Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love.

I had my answer. I knew then why I withdrew into my darkness for so long, but my light would not be ignored.

Now almost two years after my emergence, I am grateful. Together, my light and my darkness rescued me from my self induced slumber. I no longer fear either of them, instead I am choosing to learn them.

I now realise that it is in learning them both, I will understand my Self wholly. 

photograph – Kathmandu after the rains, July.

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