"Go to the light, Carol Anne, go to the light" we heard in a popular 1980s movie. People with near-death experiences describe going to the light and coming back again. They were turned away at the cross-over point because it was not yet their time
We use light as a representation of all that is good. It's a symbol of what we each hope to reach in our lifetime. Yet, each winter we reach the darkest day of the year and began that return back to light.
When you experience that each year, is the dark so bad? If so, why?
Growing up in Maine, I associated the dark days with cold weather. The darkness also limited my after-school playtime. Winter was a time of less fun and more serious pursuits such as learning (not so bad), testing (moderately horrible) and definable sentences (grades) suggesting how smart you were.
Of course, some people are "snow bunnies." They enjoy skiing, snowboarding, skating and other winter sports. After the shorter days, they look forward to cold weather. I have even heard people profess that winter is their favorite time of year. They do not mind the darkness.
That's made me wonder if maybe – just maybe – the darkness has just as much to offer as the light, if we use it right.
Winter, with its increased darkness and cold, is a time of reflection and hibernation. It's a time to rest and allow ourselves to be some what dormant, like the land. Sure, there are still things that need to be done. However, winter is a great time to catch-up on one's sleep. It's a time to review, renew and plan changes. As the days get longer and the weather becomes more gentle, spring is there to help us with new beginnings.
Despite Nature's obvious message, to rest and review, many of us fight the darkness. We go against the rhythms of nature and life. To maintain our hemicace, we fight the elements and use stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine to keep going. We use artificial lights and try to act as if the days are not really shorter or darker.
We fear the darkness. The question is: Why?
"Night time sharpens, heightened, each sensation." Darkness wakes and stirs imagination. " Those open the song "The Music of the Night" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, The Phantom of The Opera.
That song reminds me of how easy it is to fall in love with the night.
Other lyrics in that musical refer to the power of the night. Truly, there is power in night, in darkness, and even in the void. It's a place that strips away illusion. It allows us to return to a pure self … a self we can not find in the brightness of daylight.
Our annual plunge into longer and darker days is an opportunity. We can rest the mind and body as well as detoxify the heart and soul. It's a built-in time of renewal, given to us by a generous God who understands us better than we understand ourselves.
Sadly, we throw away this opportunity each year as we are motivated by needs around approval, acceptance, perceptions of being better loved or even liked. Add to that are the fears of silence, death and what we may hear in that silence. A fear of what we might discover about ourselves, loved ones or even in the world in general if we allow ourselves to surrender. Release all we know as truth to see what truth comes back to us at the end of the journey.
Later in Webber's musical we are told to close our eyes and give in to the power of the night.
In my classes, I often use this music as a teaching tool. I tell my students not to hear these words uttered by the phantom but by their own quiet inner voice of guidance and intuition. It's that inner voice that gets drowned out in the hustle and bustle of daily living.
Hear the words as if that were triggered by your own inner voice. The music that sets you free is the music of divine flow, collective consciousness, and your soul's purpose.
The darkness of winter is an ideal time to disconnect from the Borg, step out of the Matrix and get off the race track. Allow yourself to drift into the void of your own unconscious.
Will you take this inner journey to see who you are, why you are here, and where your next step is? Or, will you continue to flee the darkness and the important insights it can offer you?