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 –

“Our 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.” —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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19 thoughts on “Learning In The Dark

  1. Hi, twas nice to read your article at the time that I am coming in terms with my darkness. I came from a Catholic family. And, like most Christians tend to deny their dark sides. I have come to accept myself completely and be comfortable with my darkness as well as my light but I keep getting judged by people. I doubt if we can ever be close again.
    I must say that you are lucky to have your friend even as you are getting to know yourself. For most of us, the closer we get to our true selves the more people we lose.
    I must tell you to ride on to being who you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there, thank you for sharing your story with me. It takes courage to share one’s truth with another. I commend you for persevering toward self acceptance, irrespective of the reaction of others. I too let go of people along the way (they too let go of me) as I discovered myself. Not everyone can understand your journey, but there are those who will accept your journey even if they don’t understand it. The more you accept yourself, the more you will find others who too will do the same. You will let go of people, ideals, notions, perceptions, and as you do, you will also gain all of the above. We are all on this journey, even those people who are judging you. But I always remind myself, that my journey, is mine alone, no one else’s, just mine. Be proud of your courage to continue treading on your own path. Power to you!

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  2. Hi. nice post. I came from a Catholic family and like most Christian homes are inclined to pass their judgment or labels on anything they perceive. I have come to accept my darkness as well as light. However, unlike yourself I can’t seem to get along with people who I used to be friends with. I must say you are lucky to have a friend who sticks with you through the process. For some of us the more we know ourselves the more people we lose.

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  3. I tend to call my bad phases ‘my darkness’ too… But the thought of living along with both light and darkness never came to my mind. Maybe that’s not such a bad idea… I mean our darkness is as much part of us as our light which means it’s an important part of our true self as well. Thanks for this clarity, I love your story and your cognitions! x Ny

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My recent experiences made me think that my darkness may need equal if not greater attention than my light. I tend to steer clear, wait for the dark to pass, for inevitable light to visit once again. When I began to accept, embrace the dark, I have to say, my relationship with myself has certainly improved. I guess I’m still working on it. Thank you Ny, for such thought provoking input.
      Xx
      Shruti

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