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  • Mj Pettengill

Do Not Fear the Dark


Everyone has their own sky. Everyone has their own trail.

—Daur Mongol Saying

Now, more than ever, we must remember to allow space for ourselves and each other. This has always been essential. However, as many are aware, we view world events and our surroundings through our own distinctive lens. I have mentioned this before and will likely repeat it. What I am focused on may be very different from what you are seeing. This is the beauty of free will, sovereignty, and the overall human experience. When we lack tolerance, refuse to acknowledge our intuition and logic, resorting to a battle stance, we lose the opportunity to grow and learn. We often miss the point. To some, it—learning and growing— may seem applicable to children or younger versions of self, but we should never believe that we have outgrown seeking and learning. No one has all the answers. Very recently, my aversion to the news was so powerful, I nearly sprinted out of a room when I heard it blaring in the background. I preferred to get random news bulletins on my phone or in bits and pieces online. Even then, I was protective of myself, often quickly dismissing it. No matter which source, the news came across to me as toxic. It felt as if I may become ill or greatly shaken should I consume more than what I deemed a safe dose. Not now, not ever, do we have to prove anything to anyone but ourselves. We are our own guides; should we allow ourselves to step into our own personal power. I have learned so much over the past year. If someone told me what we, as a species, were to undergo, I would have thought them to be a bit off. I may have even laughed. If you pull back the curtain and look down on the Earth, what appears to be sheer madness may come to the forefront. We are like the frog in the pot of hot water. It has been getting hotter and hotter, almost boiling. We must keep an eye on this and not become a heedless stew. So, where is the silver lining? For me, it has emerged amidst the shakedown of ongoing revelations. It has been watching the Matrix for the fourth time, reading the Ra Material, losing my sole in the thick muck of a pond, fighting and beating Lyme disease, and making friends with a beautiful gray fox. Where do the mysteries begin and end? The answer is nowhere and everywhere. With unlimited possibilities before us, we are offered the choice to be told what to think and do, or we can think for ourselves. Does the latter make one a bad person? Is critical thinking akin to misbehaving? When we ask questions, making decisions based on our own judgment, logic, and intuition, are we rocking the boat? If so, then be prepared to swim. Take a huge breath, hold it, and dive deep. Make your way down, far beneath the surface. And do not forget to open your eyes. This is necessary for seeing, and seeing is believing. Question everything, but give yourself the benefit of the doubt. This deep dive into truth and knowing will bring up old emotions, dreams, and beliefs from earlier editions of self that you may have outgrown or forgotten. These views can manifest in the form of physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. It is common for us to experience aches, longing, and sadness, not knowing where they originate. Be gentle and patient with yourself. And remember, do not fear the dark. You have the tools to navigate these pathways and conquer lingering fear. If you are triggered, which is a typical response at this time, examine the source. This process might be a blur, or it can be straightforward. It is beneficial to pay close attention to your dreams. What are they telling you? What are you telling you? Whether you choose to paint, play music, write, dance, or re-decorate a room—create. When you can, continue to flow with all that you do. If you are lingering in the void, that’s okay too. In fact, it’s vital. We need the in-between spaces to catch up with ourselves. My existence is bound with an authentic connection to the natural world. I have long reclaimed this, my sense of belonging. I know my place. You and I—we are fierce, should we decide to remember. Sing. Dance. Show up like you mean it. This essay is just as much for me as it is for you. With my rigorous therapeutic routine and ongoing awareness of my own healing potential (beyond my wildest dreams), I am blazing a new trail. Nothing is the same, nor should it be so. Embrace the journey of finding the path, even when the ground shakes and moves, threatening to swallow you whole. Find and honor your own deep sense of silence while paying attention—not to the noise and clutter. Be strong and give yourself permission to see what is left behind after the crumbling away of that which no longer serves us. Don’t get stuck in giving or receiving, right or wrong. For once, just be.

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