Light and Darkness

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I spent my birthday morning on a warm sunny spot on that rock cliff behind me, thinking about everything I am grateful for.

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

Mary Oliver

For most of my life I struggled with feelings of anger, fear, and shame. I sought to suppress these feelings because I considered them “bad.” Then on days when I felt weakest, when I couldn’t take it anymore, I let them rush out of me like a stampede of wild demons, hurting anyone they came upon.

It took me all these years to realize that in order to have mastery of my feelings of anger, fear, and shame, I had to see them as a map to a better life. These feelings are trying to tell me something. The questions are difficult. Why am I angry? What am I afraid of? What am I ashamed of? The answers show the way.

Being a whole person means owning our light and our darkness.

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There is nothing sexier than our darkness.

Our shadows are unpredictable, untamed, ruthless. Within are our deepest desires, the ones we may not feel we are worthy of, the ones we may think are too taboo, the ones we are afraid to utter for fear of losing love and respect. We hold our darkness tenderly and whisper as if to a wounded lover.

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In these photos, I love the raw sunlight that touched upon my chest through an opening in the oak, maple, and poplar growing around me, but also I love the dappled shadows cast upon my skin by the leaves above. If you were with me in this moment you would feel the warmth of the sun when you step into the light and the coolness of the autumn afternoon when you step into the shade.

If you stick around till after sunset, do not fear the dark. I’ll start a fire. You are not alone.

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Lilith Queen of the Demons by May Ling Su
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