Sometimes, I hate the light.
As a coach and healer, I feel constantly bombarded in my social circles with the message of letting our light shine, being warriors of light, illuminate the darkness with our burning inner star light.
The truth is, I do think we are beings of light. I do think that light represents our expanding awareness and heightened states of consciousness that can lead toward living a more, ahem, “woke” life. But goddammit if I see one more light—I mean life—coach with a stupid amount of happiness telling me they have figured out all the keys to success, prosperity, and an amazing sex life in the light of a perfectly curated self.
We are left starving in desperation for the taste of something real.
Deep within me is a little dark creature in bitter angst—one who thinks all of this is a meaningless joke, anyway. She would rather f*ck off, lay in bed getting high all day, and is completely apathetic toward having any impact or purpose in this lifetime.
This little dark creature has gotten me into lots of trouble in the past, so she doesn’t drive the wheel of my consciousness anymore. But she’s still there, and she ain’t going anywhere either. She is the one who would steal and lie for money when she was 17 just to get a little baggy of coke, and then stay up for days at a time inside a dimly lit house that had its windows duct taped, a surveillance camera on the lookout for potential cops, and the movie “Blow” playing on repeat on the TV.
Little mama prefers to hide in the shadows.
My guess is, it’s because she feels safe there. Something spooked her real bad, and she decided hiding and descending into a dark place of my psyche would be the most soothing course of action. She was passed down wounds that were not even hers to carry, and with no guidance, does her best to treat them.
She is a real part of all of us. The part of us that is terrified of being seen in our ugliness. The part of us that feels forever vile and outcasted in the light of society’s expectations. The part of us that threatens to tear apart the perfected persona we have worked so hard to create. The part of us secretly longing to come out of hiding, albeit terrified of facing persecution for doing so.
When we live in the shadows, the light can feel like a cop’s flashlight shining too brightly on our faces. We instantly need to look away, as we feel blinded and powerless and judged as “guilty” or “bad”—and therefore potentially worthy of punishment. It physically can feel like a burning sensation.
Because here’s the deal: illuminating that little dark creature is harmful and cruel when we do it without love. It pushes her further into hiding, descending deeper into the darkness of her safe cave.
She just wants to know she is safe and loved for exactly who she is—not for her potential, her masked image, her triumphant story of transformation, or the victory of not being who she “used” to be.
Simply, she wants to be loved because of her darkness, not just for who she is when she steps out into the light. She is just f*cking stubborn like that.
She demands real love.
So, she sits in her cave, waiting and finger painting the walls with the blood of her wounds. Not because she needs saving, but because she awaits bravery. Because everything is political, and what she stands for is courage, strength, and love. She waits in stillness and prayer in silent protest to the superficiality of the games the rest of the world plays. She bares her teeth and barks for you to get the f*ck out of her cave with your harsh, exposing light.
For in here, there is nothing to be seen, only things to be heard. So instead of entering in the hopes of gaining greater vision, she asks for you to come in with blind eyes and open ears. The cryptic writings on the walls are to be heard and not seen. She has faith that such a love exists, and she’s not afraid to wait.
But, for what reason should anyone bear to enter such a cave only to face something so frightening?
Because, friends, that’s where the treasure is hidden. She is guarding what is sacred and priceless. She is the priestess and the guardian of the gates between this reality and dark mystery that holds us all. She has the key to unlock the secrets that your soul starves for. What she has hidden will have you rich and well-fed for the rest of your life: precious jewels, silks, warm furs, and divine, savory meals.
Many who are greedy come, but only those with the courage of a lion may enter.
The purity of love that can enter such a cave is extremely rare. Often light comes with a sense of superiority, judgment, and holy-than-thou arrogance. It is a very rare love that can illuminate what is hidden in one’s darkness and truly accept it for what it is. To embody this, not just as mere philosophy, is an incredibly masterful act in being human.
Let me give you an example:
My love came to me. He quietly entered my cave. He sat with me in complete darkness and stillness. When it was time, a small fire was lit—and in the dim light of the fire, he saw the paintings on the wall. With a gentle curiosity, he waited to hear the story the pictures were telling, without saying a word. He could see that the wounds had eaten away at my flesh, leaving much of skeleton exposed. I snarled at him and flashed my sharp teeth and claws. He told me I had a devil in me, but he thinks it’s cute, and gently kissed me.
My love ain’t afraid of no ghosts. The warmth of his kiss began heating my body. Slowly, flesh began to grow and cover my bones. We both waited in patient silence for my wounds to heal.
Then, something unexpected happened. In the glimmer of the firelight, we began to make shadow hand-puppets on the walls. Medicine surprised us both in small doses of play, innocence, and laughter. The light of joy crept in, and slowly the darkness dissolved. Suddenly, what was so frightening became bizarrely funny.
We then laughed in the face of our fears.
From here, we stand to collect our treasure, hidden within one another.
My hope is that this can paint a deeply felt sense of what is possible. That it may speak to the gentle curiosity required to face our inner demons, the tenderness needed to tend our inner wounds. That the messy process of stepping out from hiding in our darkness is something we can honor. That we may trust a light that seeks the full picture of us in honest joy and humor.
My prayer is that the innocent child within you resurfaces and once again believes in a deeply healing and real love. That we may all have the courage and compassion to love what is ugly.
Author: Leah Petrusich
Image: Audrey Reid/Instagram
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis