Everyone has a path they must walk upon to become who they are.
Every path has light and darkness. When we see the light in our life, we feel hope, inspiration, love, acceptance, growth, and belonging. The darkness creeps in and tries to steal everything that is good, because that’s what darkness does. But our darkness can only evade the parts of us that we let it take over. How powerful do you think your darkness is?
Everyone’s opinion of their own darkness is usually that theirs is the worst kind anyone could imagine. More intolerable, more threatening, and more unforgivable than anyone else’s. Sometimes, people view their darkness as disgusting, embarrassing, and a reason to consider themselves worthless. For some people, their darkness defines them. For others, the dark part of the path is just a tool for the bigger picture of their lives; its only purpose is to guide them to the light in themselves—meaning, the truest version of themselves.
Which of these is your view of your darkness? Does your darkness define you, or simply point to the part of you that you’re most proud of?
How important is your darkness to you? Do you cling to it like oxygen, or do you only reflect on it during introspective moments, using it as a reference point? When a person’s darkness consumes them, it becomes their identity: There is no “them” without their darkness. They are permanently what their traumas have them made to be, and without it, they would be weak, shallow, and fallible. In that type of mind, darkness equals danger, and gives that person a sense of power or entitlement, believing their darkness is something like that of a superpower. But even that perspective (let alone the feeling) is a defense mechanism, and it only works on the outside. Inside, feelings get bottled up– rather than being expressed in healthy ways. Darkness, when caged, eventually erupts like a volcano. A person may claim they are more “powerful” because of their darkness, when in fact they are falling into isolation more than ever before, shutting down their vulnerability and closing the door to trusting others with their openness. They tend to think that obscuring who they really are makes them stronger, but what is actually happening is they are tearing themselves down.
After living in darkness for so long, a person may either tire of that mentality, or they may become so convinced that their darkness makes them impenetrable that they turn bitter. The ones who tire, a lot like me, need someone who knows what life looks like away from the ropes of darkness—away the threat, the destruction, the lies. A person who jumps into the deep end of darkness may need their own personal version of an eye-opener. They need to see how much worse it gets, and they must see how good their life is, with everything considered.
I can tell you right now that at the end of my darkest tunnel, I found Jesus. There are still traces of my darkness everywhere I go in life, and I notice them with open-minded awareness, knowing that I have been there before, but no longer need to go there. In other words, my darkness is not my identity. When I reminisce on what I went through, I am very grateful l am not going through that anymore, and I’m more confident that whatever comes my way, I will face with a much more mature, developed, and wise mentality.
I have learned a lot from going through very difficult traumas; the divorce of my parents probably the most difficult, along with my battle of finding purpose by spiritually suffocating on disbelief. In learning, I am less surprised by what comes my way now. It may still hurt, and it may even provoke shock and certainly deep pain, but nothing like what I experienced as a child. I can refer back to how hard those experiences were for me, and look forward with more assuredness in myself. But that mindset is only possible because I believe in Christ! Christ allowed those traumas to happen to me, knowing how they would help transform me into a stronger person in the long run. And indeed, they have!
All the credit of my wisdom, strength, knowledge, and reasons for my gratefulness all go to Jesus. My darkness is something I consider a gift now because of what I’ve learned from living through it. Like a blessing in disguise.
What does your darkness tell you about yourself? How do the words here help you see others with their darkness? We all have it, just as we all have light; whether or not we decide to access it and use it for the betterment of ourselves and others. How do you view your darkness when you consider the ways you could use it for good? How have you learned to say ‘no’ to the parts of your darkness which no longer push you along in your personal growth? If you haven’t yet reached a point in your life where that is possible, how might you consider what unhealthy ways your darkness is leaving on your life? In which relationships is your darkness making the heaviest impact, and are those the type of relationships that make you feel validated, accepted, and loved? Does your darkness demand attention from people who aren’t responding to you appropriately? If your darkness demands attention, then y0u may want to consider how important it is for you to be defined by your darkness.
I decided when I was 22 that I wanted to change my life and give it to Jesus. The reason is because He was sinless and yet, while all of us were still sinners, He died for every single person ever to exist. And He did it out of love. That’s the kind of God I want to follow. That’s the kind of God who understands darkness; One who has been to the gates of Hell itself and taken the keys so I never have to go there. My darkness is not important to me other than in the sense that I may reference it in order to relate to others who still live with theirs. I know my story, and I’m glad to share it with those whom it would help, but it doesn’t do any good in my life anymore. Darkness is a lesson to be learned—not a lifestyle or mentality to live into. My lesson was that I am not worthless, that I am loved, that I am worth the love of God through Christ; and that no matter what I experienced growing up, the love of God is permanent, overcoming, transcendent, everlasting, unconditional, unfathomable, and pure. There is no reason for me to return to my darkness because the God of creation loves me more than I could ever imagine.
The darkness in my life had its time. I learned my lessons. Now God resides where that darkness was, and though I can still speak for it when needed, God is so much more important and invaluable now than my darkness ever was. I hope that this is hopeful news for you, and that you, too, can be encouraged to bring your darkness to the One who saves, Jesus; and that you can embrace that friendship of all friendships– the most intimate bond of all bonds—releasing your darkness to Him, allowing Him to use you for the betterment of the world.
That is why we’re here; to be a light. Shine your light and point straight to Jesus, and watch Him change lives.