Its dark – that’s an indisputable fact as we look around us. It’s the absence of light as we watch the day trickle away and leave us. As we all know the sun rises in the east and goes down in the west. To be accurate, the sun doesn’t really go anywhere – it pretty much stays where it is relative to the earth. But the earth rotates from West to East so the sun appears first in the East and last in the West…. OK: too much information but you get my meaning.
But that is not the only reference in which this statement can be interpreted. It can be that something is difficult to understand; it can be characterized by gloom about to descend on us. It’s a lack of enlightenment known to us as being in the dark about an act or a fact. This in turn can leave us in a state of ignorance or totally uninformed. It’s a shot in the dark at an attempt to guess at something of which you have no information or knowledge about. It can be secrecy concealment or even obscure. There is the occult where we find things mystical – dark practises or a phenomenon. I’m sure if we were to play around with this word we would find many more ways to interpret the word ‘dark’.
The dark is something that comes around full circle as each day passes returning to the light in the fullness of time – night and day being the only distinction.
But my aim here is to try and explain how the darkness feels to those that have been or are still being abused right now as I type. All of the above of course still holds true, but there is a darkness within us that never seems able to find the light – a darkness that is not so easy to explain or relate to as I have done above. For us the light never seems to touch us as we go through life with a veil covering our head. The dark is somewhere that we often choose to go, when a dark corner seems the only safe place to be. But there’s a conflict, because we are also acutely aware that the dark for us was or is a place of immense pain. The dark is where the monster lives raising his head like a viper from a pit when we were most vulnerable. So we make a choice within the jumble of mixed-up feelings and emotions. Not knowing if the dark is there for us to hide in, or a place that brings on the assault of abuse we have lived thorough or are still enduring. Your anguish can become so great that you even find yourself hiding from the truth within the dark just as we tried to hide from our abusers. Sadly as time passes we start to believe that the darkness is our place, where else can we hide from shame guilt or the embarrassment we feel if not in the dark? So is the dark our salvation? Or somewhere we have grown up knowing we have no escape from?
For us it’s never related to the time of day as we strive to find the light that always seems to evade us; we can be standing in a rainbow of colours whilst we feel the sun’s rays beating down on our bodies. The light we crave for cannot be found by the rotation of the earth; quite simply it’s only ever going to be found by the rotation of our mind set, as we struggle to come out of the shadow of abuse. That statement is so easily made, but where do we look to find the way out? You can’t just open a door and walk through; you can’t even find the door in order to do so. Often people around us open that door wide but it seems even with their help we can’t find the strength needed.
Our minds are very complicated; it seems sometimes demanding that we alone are the right persons for that particular job.
So let’s think a little about all the above – where do we start? We have believed for so long that we are swallowed up within that darkness. But the problem with that mind set is that we will always lose for as long as we keep telling ourselves we have lost. Wouldn’t it be nice to think that in time we will succeed and that the winning post is out there somewhere? If we can’t do this on our own then we need to reach out to those that may become our balance. Once we reach out with honesty within our minds, then we are at last standing at the starting post. With a renewed clarity that we are now ready to walk that road with a new determination.
We start by looking for the support that is offered by others as they are the template that allows growth; they serve as a starting point as we try to begin the arduous journey of reformatting our lives. That support allows us to remould or rearrange our thoughts in a manner that until now we have thought to be impossible. That support allows us to change the pattern of our behaviour, knowing that that template will hold fast below us if we slip. They are the light shining just beneath us, always bright as we move towards finding our own. Once we learn to trust that light we find the strength we need to make upward strides. Make no mistake: we are the only ones that can fully make the real difference on that journey. Whilst fighting for your right to stand in the sun, we will never forget that dark place how could we, but now we have the knowledge that it’s our finger that is now firmly placed on the switch.
There is another distinction between the light and the dark for us; this can’t be given to us even by the most accommodating of people. This gift is the one you give to yourself knowing that only you and you alone can achieve its turn around. Ultimately we are the only ones that can slam shut that door of abuse behind us completely; it’s the one thing that can’t be done for us on this we stand alone. For this we need to believe that we deserve to come out of the shade and face the sun. Even if done so gingerly at first by simply only peeking through the shutters. Strangely this can be conquered no matter the time of day.
It’s not the time of the day or night that we are scared of its feeling that we can stand alone long enough within it to make a difference. Whilst resisting the over whelming urge to run. The strangest thing of all is that we run back to the place that should never make us feel safe – the dark – the quarry it seems always looks for the darkest hole to run into when they feel pursued.
So let’s be honest here together quite simply by remembering that it’s never just dark or light – it’s never just black or white. There are the dusks the sunsets and the sunrise for us to look upon. There are so many shades of grey out there for us to choose from. We don’t have to have both feet planted completely on one side of that line staying within the darkness to feel safe. By which I mean that as a metaphor rather than a vision. We can venture out of our comfort zone by stepping over that line just long enough to take a peek at the sun. As time passes merely by default, we stay a little longer each time we succeed in doing so.
We start to understand that whilst there it feels good to feel the sun’s rays on your face; It’s a place that if we return to it often enough, we find that we no longer crave for the dark and its secrets. I know the question on your lips right now would be – why would you miss the dark at all? I guess the answer to that is that when you have lived in the dark for so long, even the worst scenarios are missed when they have been there long enough. It’s almost like leaning to walk in the sun without the covers over your head lifting that veil just a little at a time. We have to learn a completely new way of living without the structures that have always been there good or bad. But believe me: in time this is achievable as you will see when the light beings to filter through. Although the dark is remembered, there comes a time that it’s no longer missed. That’s when we neither feel the urge to flee for that dark place to hide in or to run for our lives from the dark and its demons.
At the end of this process you will have acquired the complete knowledge within you that the dark is just another rotation of the earth . . .