February 13, 2014

Darkness is My Candle.



“If you build castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

I, the healer.

Lately it is I that needed the healing.

I think most people I’ve come across who have worked in healing are the ones desperately seeking healing themselves. It’s the most important part of their lives, so they make it their life’s work, to heal. They find something they think works for them and then share it with others.

Until one feels “whole and complete”, one is always seeking healing. Until one accepts responsibility for one’s life, one is always seeking external validation. Until one is able to stand naked in the mirror, and say “I love you” from the deepest place of one’s heart and soul, one will always be searching for something to fill the hole, in order to feel “whole.”

It can be a lifelong quest—or, ignored and suppressed, one can easily turn to other distractions.

There are many theories why people get sick. Sometimes perhaps reasoning with the unreasonable serves no purpose, other than dragging us down further into the mud. I, for one, know that I am doing my best—I do not consciously choose to get sick.

As a sensitive person, I’ve concluded that I experience the extremes of darkness and light; I seem to be more prone to picking up viruses, to feel fatigue. As much as I want to be strong, sometimes I feel weak.

I absorb and explore other energies and in my work delve into light-dark territory. The deeper I go, the deeper I am able to go. I must be willing to go there, to feel the pain, in order to uncover the butterfly within. As much as I am open, my openness leads me to open myself up to the underbelly. The more pain I can feel, the more compassion I have for others and myself.

Why are we so afraid to reveal ourselves? Why are we so afraid of what we hide away, what is within? Why are we terrified to be real—naked? What is it in the darkness in our shadow that is so unconscionable? What will other people see when we are naked?

Our deepest fear is that we are unlovable.

Our deepest need is for love and acceptance.

We don’t get sick just to reveal the darkness; we get sick so that we can learn to love, accept and embrace the shadow. We live in a world of polarities. Illness must exist for there to be wellness. Darkness must exist for there to be light.

How can we love the shadow?

I’ve wondered a lot about this lately, as I’ve spent a month in the darkness, sick and not feeling good. I’ve explored how it is I’ve created this, without any wondrous epiphanies to share. It sucks! I felt like shit! And shit stinks! I cannot say it in pretty words.

Why do I feel shame?

I’m supposed to be healthy and happy—right? Aren’t I supposed to reveal a positive side to people to inspire them? Surely I am the one, with all my healthy food, yoga and meditation, that “should” be healthy?

A Naturopath, Nutritionist, Life Coach—shouldn’t I be the one who has it all together?

What am I suppressing? What is so dark about myself, that I don’t want to look at? Am I still loveable when Bali belly has removed all normality from my digestion, until it seems water flows from my mouth through my colon and out the other end?

Am I still loveable when my head aches and I don’t have the energy to get up?

How have I created this?

“To be whole, let yourself break.
To be straight, let yourself bend.
To be full, let yourself be empty.
To be new, let yourself wear out.
To have everything, give everything up.

Knowing others is a kind of knowledge;
knowing yourself is wisdom.
Conquering others requires strength;
conquering yourself is true power.
To realize that you have enough is true wealth.
Pushing ahead may succeed,
but staying put brings endurance.
Die without perishing, and find the eternal.
To know that you do not know is strength.
Not knowing that you do not know is a sickness.
The cure begins with the recognition of the sickness.

Knowing what is permanent: enlightenment.
Not knowing what is permanent: disaster.
Knowing what is permanent opens the mind.
Open mind, open heart.
Open heart, magnanimity.”

~ Tao Te Ching


The Japanese Buddhist monk, Nichiren (1222-82), established Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō to awaken Buddha nature within. The chanting is a way to directly experience essential and existential truths that delve into the deepest levels of the universe. The signal is an intention to bring forth our highest potential and achieve elevation in our life hence raising the melody of the whole universe. Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō  sends out a message of personal responsibility, drawing on one’s own wisdom, whilst at the same time acknowledging that every person is an entire universe within.

In the chanting of Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, there is a saying…“suffer what there is to suffer and enjoy what there is to enjoy and regard these both as facts of life.”

So—I go on.

I got better. That’s a blessing.

I ask—“who am I?”

I am a light and a shadow, a yin and a yang, a happy and a sad, a healthy and an unhealthy. How I choose to express myself may change according to the seasons, according to my mood—yet my nature doesn’t change. I remain who I am, my essence is unchanged.

As Rumi said, what hurts you also blesses you.

So here is my blessing—
I am vulnerable.
I am not perfect.
I am weak.
I am human.
I am me…

“How does
a part of the world
leave the world?

How does wetness
leave water?

Don’t try to put out fire
by throwing on more fire!

Don’t wash a wound
with blood.

No matter how fast you run,
your shadow keeps up.

Sometimes it’s in front!

Only full overhead sun
diminishes your shadow.

But that shadow
has been serving you.

What hurts you,
blesses you.

is your candle.

Your boundaries
are your quest.

I could explain this,
but it will break
the glass cover
on your heart,
and there’s no fixing that.

You must have
shadow and light source

and lay your head
under the tree of awe.

When from that tree
feathers and wings
sprout on you,
be quieter than a dove.

Don’t even open your mouth
for even a coo.

~ Rumi

Relephant reads:

Why Sensitive Souls Need Rituals. ~ Kathryn Nulf

The Power of Vulnerability.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Editor: Bryonie Wise

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

David Starlyte  |  Contribution: 16,600