I hate the dark. I hate being in the dark, walking in the dark, waking up in the dark…yes. I hate the dark. There’s something so utterly unnerving and vulnerable and helpless about the absence of light. At least for me, the absence of that light stirs in me a strong feeling that I have no control; it’s rather hard to control what your eyes and mind and heart cannot grasp.
Especially when thrust into darkness or night suddenly, my first reaction is to, put mildly, freak out. You know, run around screaming, flailing, desperately trying to push the darkness away and get back to the consoling light, the warm sun. However, as time goes by I’ve begun to realize that by immediately rejecting the darkness and doggedly scrambling for the bright light so familiar to me, I can miss something. Actually, a lot of “somethings”. It’s funny how, when experiencing night-time in the soul, we often wish so stubbornly for the return of the sun, which is NOT present that we completely miss the stars which ARE present.
If you’ve ever seen a shooting star, or had fun finding planets and constellations with a handy dandy “sky app”, (which, by the way, is simply stellar. Pun intended) then you’ve experienced that unforgettable, chilling awe and serenity that almost makes you forget altogether the darkness which still encompasses 99 percent of your field of vision. Time flies, and so soon you realize that you need to hit the hay before the sun starts rising again!
Interior darkness isn’t much different. So often we spend so much time staring into the darkness, trying to push it away, and wishing for the one great light we desire, that we fail to distinguish all the smaller lights that precisely pave the way to the dawning of the one great light. To stay up all night, groaning and counting the seconds until sunrise, would be sheer torture. (Not only for us but for everyone who has to deal with us the next day!) Time seems 1,000 times longer when this attitude grips our hearts.
On the other hand, if we are able to look up in the midst of the darkness and behold the stars, and focus on them instead of trying to fight the darkness with sheer willpower, then somehow all else fades, fear and anxiety slowly transforming into awe, gratitude, and hope. Time passes much more quickly. The crazy part is that THE DARKNESS IS STILL THERE! The only change…is where we fix our eyes.