Light Brings Up Dark: Growth Periods
When we notice more darkness on the planet, in our immediate environment or in our personal lives, it’s easy to feel like things are getting worse. It’s common to view all the overwhelming violence, division, or change as evidence of this. But actually the opposite is true. Because there is more and more light on the planet or within us, we are aware of more and more dark. A dark object in the black of night is invisible. That same dark object on the horizon at sunrise commands attention. The darkness has not changed, but our backdrop has.
Personally, you’ve probably noticed something like this when you make a change for the better. Say you and your friend used to go out for drinks together, then you stopped drinking. While before he was fun to be with, suddenly now your friend seems like an obnoxious alcoholic. Or perhaps you used to cater to your mother’s every wish, but then you decided it was draining and stopped, hoping also to empower her by letting her solve her own problems. Now that you’ve called your energy back to your own life, you are acutely aware of your mother’s helplessness and demands on you. Neither your friend nor your mother has changed: you have. Life is not getting worse. You are just getting more aware.
Any time there is contrast, we see more clearly. Anytime we are attached to our position, whether that’s one of spiritual righteousness or pain and suffering, we are easily disturbed when the opposite energy comes along. What happens if you love someone as they try to attack you? Unless they are open to change, they get even angrier. What if you are beautiful and thin in the middle of a Weight Watchers meeting? And, imagine laughing and having a great time while sitting next to someone who’s stuck in seriousness. Your laughter is actually painful to them. They were fine sitting there in the dark; but bathed in your light, they couldn’t stand themselves.
This happens amongst strangers, but it especially happens amongst members of groups. There are powerful unspoken agreements amongst cultures, organizations, families, or groups of friends. In groups like this, people tend to match vibrations, so that everyone has a similar level of consciousness, thinking, etc… This serves a purpose in society, but can make it challenging if you want to un-match and do your own thing. As you increase your vibration, those around you that are used to a lower vibration may protest—even if they don’t personally know you or consciously understand what’s going on.
Once when I returned from a spiritual retreat, feeling wonderfully clear, a couple of my neighbors got very angry at me for no apparent reason. One suddenly demanded that my dishwasher kept her awake and that my cat had tracked in fleas. She insisted that I shampoo the hall carpet and stop running my dishwasher after 11 pm. I didn’t see any fleas, and my dishwashing habits hadn’t changed in months. Why were these things suddenly a problem? I had to laugh, because I knew my neighbors’ anger was not for the reasons they claimed. Of course, I realized that they did not know either why they were upset. They just suddenly felt uncomfortable around me, because I had stepped out of the group consciousness in the building. Fortunately I understood what was happening, so I took their behavior as a compliment.
Have you noticed how the light unveils the dark within yourself? Have you ever broken free to a new level of happiness, success, or clarity when suddenly problems, setbacks or confusion seem to emerge out of nowhere? For instance sometimes when people first enter stable, loving relationships, they start to deal with a lot of old problems. Because they finally feel safe, all their old stuff that was too scary to look at before comes out of the woodwork. Then, they think something is wrong in the present. It’s not; it’s old stuff coming out. It’s a good sign.
There is a saying: “Love brings up anything unlike itself.” Whenever we grow and become more whole, whatever is divided will become apparent. It’s natural. The trick, the very temptation we must avoid—is not falling into the division and crying, screaming, and blaming ourselves or anyone else. The trick is not allowing the protestors—whether they are our neighbors, our own fears or seemingly new problems—divert us from the flourishing path of light we’re on, or persuade us that we’re going backwards.
The more light we embody, the more dark we will see. The more we try to fight the dark, the more power we give it. But if we simply shine our light into the dark, the dark dissolves. Everything becomes light.
copyright 2006 Ann O’Brien- All Rights Reserved