The phone clicks off, my TV is black, and my laptop sits closed. I stare down at my hands. I am here again. It’s a place that’s dark, and I don’t like it. The darkness drapes over me. It reminds me of: something that I don’t want to see, something I don’t want to feel, something I fear, and something unknown.
Have you ever had a dream where you’re alone walking in the middle of pitch blackness? Or there’s a pitch black room or space of which you are terrified to walk inside? That darkness represents the part of yourself that needs to be brought to light. It is the unexplored terrain. Some Freudians like to call it the subconscious, or Jungians refer to it as the shadow self. The beauty of this dream is that you cannot visibly see anything. Essentially, your mind is alluding to the fact that what you experience in that moment of your dream is something within your unconscious mind.
Most people go their whole lives without ever truly uncovering or exploring who they are. I think that most people have a fear of the dark. The dark is the unknown, and ignorance leads to fear. The universe has a very dark sense of humor; ultimately, you cannot run away from yourself. She’ll drag you through hell and back, until you notice parts of your hidden personality. You can run thousands of miles away from home, and She’ll bring the darkness.
When you think about Plato’s allegorical cave, your perception leads you to believe that light is the truth. However, what this story doesn’t teach is that the light has to come from somewhere. The light has to illuminate the cave. The light uncovers truth, because the darkness is where it begins. The dark cave appears to be symbolic of ignorance and manipulation, but we’ve been deceived.
The most important things that anyone can ever learn are inside that cave. Darkness preludes light. The darkness are those aspects of yourself that you try to hide, but they don’t ever truly disappear.
Once you have traveled to the furthest and deepest part of the cave, light is simply an instrument to be used. Chasing light is irresponsible. Living a life of light is ignoring everything that you were meant to uncover. Some readers may stop reading at this point, but know that I was once closed off to the idea of a shadow self. I shunned it. I shamed it. I fled from it. I didn’t want to believe that my existence is also contained within a dark essence. The “left-brain-me” blocked my knowledge of understanding true personhood. I was shunning parts of myself. I was attempting to live life by choosing those things that appeared to be truth and goodness. But like I said, the Universe has dark humor.
She will continue bringing you a lesson, until you finally decide to look within yourself and do the work that is needed. The work that needs to be done is in a confined and extremely dim lit space. Once you find it, you grasp a hold of it. Then you pull and pull and pull; sometimes the string seems never ending. Finally, you pull it far enough to where it reaches the light. Then, and only then, do you see it for what it truly is.
Society is fixated on light. It fosters an idea that light is the pinnacle of all existence. I implore you to face that which you fear the most, and try to accept all parts of yourself. Some of what you will find should be purged and destroyed, and others will be some of the best parts about yourself.