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What I Learned From A Walk In The Dark!
Lessons from a walk in the dark.
Meandering out on a moonlit night,
avoiding the lanes with neon light
Feeling the cold against my cheek
Gathering strength for another week.
Mind crowded out by trouble's the norm
But Jesus slept through the storm
I look at the moon and the world at large,
and try to remember who's in charge.
My life is so transient next to a star.
The heavens so high, yet God not far.
As dark surrounds each forward stride
So God does catch each hurt I cried.
Examples of artificial lights
Come inside! It's getting dark!
“Come inside! It’s starting to get dark!” Do you all remember that yell from a parent, usually mother. If the street light going on when the sun is going down doesn’t scare us into going inside, that booming voice echoing across the dusk is enough to put the fear of the darkness into us. We come running inside. The porch lights are switched on. The curtains are drawn. The doors are locked and we are now safe “inside.” All the artificial lights are turned on to drown out this darkness. We have the ring of light overhead. We have the light from the reading lamp in the corner….not as bright, but still useful to overcome the darkness. There is the light in the little diffuser in the outlet in the corner. Then there is the light over the stove that we turn on so we could see to cook better. In the event that there is a power outage, even more artificial lights come out in the shapes of candles with little flames burning on top. As if that is not enough, there are those battery-operated mechanical objects that, with the flick of a switch, produce light….flashlights, yes! And there is the soft glow of the television that pales the darkness, and even those little night lights that are strategically positioned throughout the home to guide us to our destination, (like the lights on an airstrip guiding the planes in for a landing), should we need to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or to the kitchen for a midnight snack or drink.
Why is it that we grew up with such an innate fear of this “Darkness?” Our parents loved us enough to call us inside so that nothing would happen to us in the dark. What is it about darkness that scares us so? Nobody really knows, but it’s like gravity. We don’t know how it works. We just agree that it does and that it exists.
Mom there's a monster under my bed....and in my closet!
Mom, there's a monster under my bed......and in my closet!
How many of you remember going to bed, and there are two places that we have to check before settling down to make sure that there is nothing in that darkness….under the bed and the closet? What did we expect to find there exactly, and what would we have done if we did find some horrid creature in it or some strange life form? Those two areas just seem to get even darker when we are ready for bed, don’t they? Yet, if we were ever afraid of the dark during the night we would be “reassured” with words like, “There are no monsters under your bed. Now go back to sleep!” Or that special spray would be used that would extinguish all the monsters that could be hiding in the darkness in the room. As we got older we realize that that special spray was nothing but water, but as a youngster, it worked!
Growing up, I developed a “fascination” for scary movies. The first real “horror” movie that I ever saw was one called the Burning Hell. Images from that movie are forever burned (pun intended) into my subconscious. The second one that I saw was called “The Howling,” about a woman who was recommended to attended a retreat to deal with her own inner demons, only to discover that this camp was a park of werewolves.
The Burning Hell
Examples of animals and places associated with darkness.
Associations with darkness
Although I went on to watch all the Howling sequels after this, the original one stuck with me as it featured, in my opinion, the greatest werewolf transformation of all times.
As I grew up I realized that there were so many associations with darkness or fear of the dark.
Check out this list of animals associated with darkness:
- Werewolf, but ironically only turns when the moon is full
- Black cats
- Black Birds
Places associated with darkness:
- Graveyards (link hub about graveyard art here)
Ideas associated with darkness:
What does darkness mean to you?
Anything that scares me.
Most people do not consider a night walk relaxing or invigorating, but I do. It is a very transforming experience in many ways. Our sense of sight at night is diminished and the other senses become more enhanced. Our skin feels the change in the temperature. Our hearing becomes more acute, and sometimes this is what causes that sense of anxiety to build up in us as we walk a dark path. We hear the sounds of the night…the chirping of the crickets, the hooting of the owls, the flapping of the bats’ wings. Our noses pick up aromas never imagined..
Lessons from a walk in the darkness!
There is so much that I have learned about darkness, as I have grown. Here are just some of the lessons that I believe the darkness teaches.
We cannot have light without darkness!
1. We cannot have light without darkness.
We cannot have light without darkness.
New life starts in the darkness.
2. New life starts in the darkness.
- New life starts in the darkness:
- A seed that is planted in the ground
- A baby in the womb
- Jesus in the tomb
3. Anxiety and excitement are all a matter of perspective.
Anxiety and excitement are all a matter of perspective…..resulting from whether we let go of the fear or not. A night walk may be frightening. I remember growing up in Cayman. Between my home in Savannah and my best friend’s home was a very sharp corner, filled with trees and dense brush. During the day, we had to be careful when walking around the corner because cars sometimes drove rather quickly around it. The night was another type of terror. I remember distinctly every time I wanted to visit my friend at night, I would have to walk around that corner. There was no street light. It was just a very thick blackness, with creepy sounds of critters emanating from it. Whenever I got to that corner, I always hesitated, then stopped, wondering if I really needed to see my friend that night. Was the fear I was feeling as that dark corner approached really worth it? I can distinctly remember taking a deep breath and running for dear life through and past that corner. I was on the cross country team and track team at school so I mustered up every bit of energy and dashed around that corner, prepared for something to jump out from the blackness and grab me at any moment. I arrived successfully at the other side of the blackness, safe and sound, with a street light ahead to guide me the rest of the way. My rapidly beating heart then gradually slowed down as I saw the street light and approached my destination.
There is a light that shines that is only visible in the darkness.
4. There is a light that shines that is only visible in the darkness.
There is a light that shines in the darkness that is only visible there. One of the greatest terrors I remember as a child was being afraid of the darkness. Today, I believe I have more of an appreciation of the darkness. There is a whole journey of discovery that I have gone through in experiencing different types of darkness. There is the darkness I felt when my marriage fell apart. There is the darkness I felt when someone who had pledged to love me forever put a knife to my throat. There is the darkness I felt when I was homeless for four days. There is the darkness I felt when my youngest child’s father died. The loss and loneliness continues and although it gets easier, the pain never goes away. There is the darkness related to pain of losing my mother, and several family members, and never being able to have said proper good-byes. Then there is the darkness associated with being diagnosed with a chronic illness.
There can be slight changes in the road.
5. There can be slight changes in the road.
Darkness sometimes teaches us that there can be slight changes in the road. This can cause us to trip over a loose stone which can jolt us back to reality. We may sometimes want to pretend that some of our life experiences did not happen to us, but they did happen. We even helped to create some of those bad experiences. However, we can use those bad or negative experiences as a basis for the change we need to make. Those may be the needed road signs we need to build for ourselves. They will even give us the needed direction on our path, to show us where we need to make the change. Our road then becomes brighter and smoother and one path we will enjoy traveling on.
6. During the day it is hard to remember that there are all those stars in the sky.
7. So many people are concerned with keeping the light on.
So many people are concerned with keeping the light on. Many people retain a bit of a fear of the dark throughout life. This fear may be evolutionary in nature, as many predators hunt at night. Consequently, darkness is a frequently used element in horror movies and Halloween events.
8. Our spiritual journey and dependency on God begins when we have hit rock bottom, complete darkness.
Our spiritual journey and dependency on God begins when we have hit rock bottom, complete darkness.
There is actually tremendous power in hitting rock bottom or a low-point in your life.
This last year has been one of dramatic positive changes for me because my life more or less fell apart in front of my eyes, to a certain extent.
Having been unable to work due to illness for over a year, I was living off my retirement account, what little there in there. After about a year,
- I literally ran out of money and my bank balance was ZERO.
- I was going through the disability process
- I found out what it was like to go to several food banks
- I applied for assistance while the disability process was going through.
This was most certainly a personal low point. The great thing however was there was nowhere to go but up. I also had several affiliates that I was working on. My blog, also served as a great personal development tool to make changes in my life and continues to do so today.
9. The darkness blooms and sings a song all its own.
The world loses all meaning under the canopy of the sky.
10. The world loses all meaning under the canopy of the sky.
The world loses all meaning under the canopy of the sky.
A crisis in our lives can cause us to become cruel and bitter, and sometimes it can cause us to do some real soul-searching. Being aware of the beauty that surrounds us, even in our darkest hour, allows our minds to expand, to become more aware, to quest for more of the peace and tranquility that nature has to offer us. “Develop an expanding sense of wonder at the world, at yourself, at God. The world will never starve for wonders….only for the want of wonder.” Bernard S. Raskas
We need to become more curious of our inner darkness.
11. We need to become more curious of our own inner darkness.
What can we learn about ourselves and our reaction to our fears, beliefs, etc? So many of us hide from the world when we encounter a set-back. We become cloaked in the very darkness that we are afraid of, not wanting the rest of the world to see us or know what is going on. We can gain very little from this when we use our problems to hide from other people and the realities of life. We need to develop the confidence to face the darkness, and not hide our real selves from each other. Use the darkness to buoy yourself beyond each challenge you may face each day.
When you cannot see the road in front of you, don't panic!
12. When you cannot see the road in front of you, and don’t know where or when it will end, what do you do?
When you cannot see the road in front of you, and don’t know where or when it will end, what do you do? So many of us harbor fears. How will I get through this? Can I possibly make it through this? How will my family manage? Will my friends and family still love me at the end of it all?
13. Suffering comes from our reluctance to walk in the darkness.
Suffering comes from our reluctance to walk in the dark.
“Night brings our troubles to the light rather than banishes them.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Don’t let the darkness from your past block the light of joy in the present.
14. Don’t let the darkness from your past block the light of joy in the present.
Don’t let the darkness from your past block the light of joy in the present. What’s done is done. Natural disasters occur. Accidents happen. Bad things happen to good people. Life goes on! By letting go or past hurts and experiences, we are able to create our own new well-being, knowing that there is a greater Power than m\us who has the final word.
Sometimes the darkness can overwhelm the light.
15. Sometimes the darkness can overwhelm the light.
Sometimes the darkness can overwhelm the light. “The is a great consolation: by means of it one gets successfully through many a bad night. Friedrich Nietzsche Many of us pretend that the thought of suicide has never crossed our minds, but our thoughts may occasionally become morbid, and we may become frightened as a result. These thoughts may seem harmful, but can also be helpful as they help us to realize just how much we value living. When we are walking along that dark path, our hearts beat rapidly, our breaths become more shallow and we cannot wait until a little bit of light begins to shine through at the end of the dark path again. During those darkest moments we may not be able to think beyond the moment of pain or loss. It casts nothing but dark shadows on everything we can see in the future, but this moment is just a fraction of our time, and we need to remember that light is just up ahead, and we owe it to ourselves to get through the dark path to see the vibrant light waiting ahead, because better things lie ahead. Remember that “sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light.” (Jean Giraudoux)
16. There is no lack of imagination in the darkness.
We all go through rough patches in life.
17. We all go through rough patches in life.
That dark path could represent these rough patches. As we walk through that path we hold our breath in the hopes that nothing or no one in the dark path will hear us breathing. We try to do things on our own instead of reaching out for help.
“The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being.” Pearl S. Buck
Have faith! We need not face the darkness alone!
18. Have faith! We need not face the darkness alone!
Sometimes we face the darkness with no weapons but our own strength and skill, but we really need not do so. God teaches us to have faith.
“Faith has a powerful effect on helping people recover a sense of balance, tranquility and hope.” Robert Veninga When we are well, we accept our dependency on a Higher Power, for me, God, with few second thoughts. However when we go through a period of darkness such as illness so many of us tend to lose that faith for a bit or permanently. Questioning our faith is so common and seemingly natural at that time. However, I believe that going through a period of darkness such as a health crisis, or other loss, should encourage self-searching and a sense of spiritual exploration. I thank God that while I go through my chronic illness darkness I take comfort in knowing that my belief is still there, and I will face my illness boldly, and with faith.
Use your light to brighten the life of those around you!
Although I have seen darkness throughout my life, I choose to see the humor in many of the situations, and to reach out and claim the lightness in my life, while learning from the darkness. I will let this attitude brighten my life and those around me.
When you were younger, were you afraid of the dark?
When you were younger, were you afraid of the dark?
Are you afraid of the dark?
Do you remember this series?
Are you afraid of the dark?
© 2015 Gina Welds Hulse