We are approaching some of the darkest days of the year. There are literally more dark hours than there are hours of sunlight. Around this time, we may experience feelings of being down, gloomy, or even depression. In many respects, this aligns with the “As without, so within” principle which would suggest that there is a sun inside of us (soul) just like there is a sun outside of us (El Sol in Spanish/ solis Latin).
Many cultures before us understood this correlation and had celebrations of lights and other festivals to illuminate us externally in hopes that it would have an effect internally. This is a large part of the reason why there are so many lights used during the Christmas season.
However, the more I think about darkness and its place in this existence, the more I realize that we run away from the darkness. We are afraid of the darkness. We think something is wrong with us when we experience dark and depressing times.
If we think about nature, light is not shining all of the time. There is day AND night. There is being awake (light) and being sleep (darkness). We even blink approximately 20 times per minute, giving us moments of darkness in our waking hours.
As I have been doing my year-end personal reflection, I have discovered that I have been severely imbalanced for a while. Somewhere along the way, I have adopted the notion that I am supposed to be happy and smiling all of the time—and any time I feel blah or like I don’t want to put on the mask, I ask myself, what is wrong with me?
Currently, I am in a place where I am accepting ALL of me: my good and my bad; my happy and my sad; my light and my darkness. I am learning to embrace it all—for that is the only way we can really know ourselves.
I always take everything back to nature. The trees outside have a part of themselves in the sun, but the other part is underground. And it’s said of most trees, that as high as they go up, they are equally or greater in length below—as the roots are what anchors the tree—giving it the foundation to stand up in the first place. The roots grow before the tree. It develops in the darkness before it ever sees the light of day.
If there are seasons in nature, why can there not be seasons in life? Does Mother Earth take a pill every time the winter comes to keep the sun out longer? Does Mother Nature go to the doctor every time it rains? There is nothing wrong with a few bad days. Explore the darkness, the loneliness, the gloom. Observe the way it makes you feel. Observe how you feel when you come out of it. Note any lessons you learned from it. Appreciate it. But don’t punish yourself for being natural. Don’t medicate yourself for having a few rainy days. The sun will shine again.
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