Exploring the Darkness to Be the Light
Happy Holidays! Celebrating the return of the light with you in so many different ways and traditions.
Here in the northern hemisphere, the darkest day of the year is just past. That means we have entered the yin/yin time of the year, where days are short and our internal body rhythms lend themselves to more sleep, going inward, resting, and nurturing ourselves. Instead, our calendars proclaim that it’s party time. Holiday events, gift-buying frenzy in person and online, end-of-year deadlines at work, and so on, crowd out the internal pull.
It’s quite an enigma: Your internal body clock is begging for you to slow down while the external culture demands that you speed up to “get things done!” And then there’s the disconnect between rose-colored-glasses, Hallmark Channel expectations, the reality of everyday family life and challenges, and the 24-hour news cycle that brings anxiety right to your door. No wonder many feel a little schizophrenic and uneasy.
Exploring the darkness
Brené Brown writes, “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” Given all that is happening around the planet, it is truly a season that requires you to be brave enough to look closely at your shadow. This season calls you to see where you have contributed to death-dealing decisions and to do your inner work so you can be the light that is needed.
This season also calls us to be grateful for ancient traditions—the practice of celebrating both the darkness and the return of the light at Solstice (December 21), the Jewish tradition of Hanukkah, and the Christian traditions of Advent/Christmas, to name a few. Most cultures around the world have some sort of celebration of the longest night. They provide an opportunity to experience things differently – to take time for both the introspection that our souls crave and to honor the darkness and the return of the light.
Honoring the darkness AND the return of the light
More than that, this time of year gifts you with the opportunity to look deeply inside yourself and do your inner shadow work in order to make necessary changes. The first priority is start with yourself, as Brené Brown reminds. But don’t stop there. Your voice and your actions are essential to shine light in all the dark places.
As Martin Luther King, Jr., writes, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” We are summoned now, more than ever, to deal with our own inner darkness so that we can be the light.
Be a Beacon of Light
As we celebrate the Solstice (and Hanukkah, and Advent/Christmas, and Kwanzaa, and…), the call is clear for all of us to do as Julie Andrews says:
Use your knowledge, and your heart,
to stand up for those who can’t stand,
speak for those who can’t speak,
be a beacon of light
for those whose lives have become dark.
May this holiday season bring you many blessings. May you also be a beacon of light to others as Julie Andrews suggests.
PS: If you feel yourself drawn to the inward journey, to working through your shadows, and/or you want to bring more light in your life, I have a couple openings for new clients. Check it out here. Or book a free Discovery Call to explore working together.