Today is the Autumnal Equinox — a day of transition of seasons — and a day of balance, where there is as much day as night. Today is a day where the world experiences as much light as there is dark — and many on a spiritual path are celebrating this balance today, but fighting it every day of their lives.
As children, we are told to fear the darkness. It’s a place of bogeymen and monsters and things that can hurt us. We attribute anger and pain and sadness and frustration to the darkness and are taught to minimize the expression of these feelings. On the converse, we are told to “go toward the Light” both literally and figuratively. And while we’re actively embracing the Light and giving the Dark the cold shoulder, we live in an age where we are constantly questing for this elusive thing called Balance. And most of us can’t seem to find it, because seriously, how the fuck are we supposed to find Balance when we’re rejecting half of what we need in order to create it?!
On my meandering spiritual path, I have often met people along the way who focus exclusively on walking a Path of Light. While many of them have seen dark times or have done dark things and are seeking redemption by trying to distance themselves from their past and those feelings and emotions, just as many seem to have always lived in the Light and feel a strong aversion to darkness because it is “evil” or “bad” or some other label of negativity.
Some of these people punish themselves when they feel the darkness “winning,” rather than paying that shade the same homage and respect that they pay to the light. They learn to push away what they have been told is negative, not giving themselves space to experience and learn from the darkness. Not giving themselves the opportunity to be a balanced being of both light and dark.
Because being a balanced being means letting the dark “win” just as often as the light. And that, to many, is fucking scary. And to just as many, it goes against everything we’ve ever been taught.
But we were taught wrong.
Darkness does not have to be all of the negative labels that we’ve slapped on it all our lives. It holds a power that we can harness to become better, more understanding, more resilient beings. It provides perspective and shape to the world and gives us the wherewithal to find a harmony with others and within ourselves that cannot exist if we reject half of what and who we are.
I have (almost) always tried my best to dabble in the greys and the in-betweens and the shadows that only exist because of the light. Because as much as possible, I believe in balance. And balance means that there must be darkness.
As much darkness as there is light.
And so the next time you’re walking that Path of Light and meet a being of Darkness, whether it’s a feeling we’ve been taught to reject or an Intelligence we’d typically label as not-of-the-Light, don’t immediately push it away. Give yourself the opportunity to (safely) learn from it and use it to expand your understanding of this universe.
Everything in moderation, they say. Because even too much Light can burn.