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  • Mj Pettengill

When Fear Swallows the Light: 
Seeing in the Dark


Woman in the Moonlight

When old systems dissolve and illusions fade away, we may find ourselves in a place of uncertainty. Along with the world that we knew and loved, we wonder if we, too, are falling apart.


We begin to question core values once upheld. So-called civilized society transforms before our eyes as it appears to become more unstable each day. So, where do you go? What do you do? What do you say when fear swallows the light?

A swift awakening often results in viewing our environment from a much different perspective. We may question if this is indeed the world that we live in. Something is amiss, and we feel isolated or adrift. What was once concrete and clear is suddenly unimaginable and unrecognizable. Everything that we thought we knew is but a fading dream. We may long for that place that we left behind, or that comes up now only in fragments of waning visions waiting to be gathered and pieced back together.

At first, our instincts may bring us to a place of grief and loss, only to realize that we have strayed from the ability to comprehend and express what we think we mourn. We only know that anything of authentic value, what we believe is gone, is merely waiting to be rediscovered for release. It no longer serves us, and we must take the time to see it.

We may realize that what we wish to convey has been washed away on our descent into darkness. Because of fear, shame, or insisting on appearing flawless, the many times we have suppressed our anger or rage has taken its toll. When this happens, fear has the upper hand.

Now it is time to go back to an earlier version of yourself. If you can, go way back, even back into the womb, before coming into the world, into the light. Can you still see in the dark? Or do you always rely only on what is on the surface amid the chaos?

When I was a little girl, I was afraid of the dark. At times, I almost think that I still am. And then I remember who I am. I call upon my senses, knowing, and intuition. You cannot see in the dark if you are too busy to pause and know your place. You cannot see in the dark if you have removed yourself from knowing—your point of believing, belonging, and being. You cannot see in the dark if you rely on others' eyes to tell you what is out there.

Where is the truth? Is it swirling somewhere within the madness of our unraveling? Or is it mixed in with what was once your assumed identity? If you flee from the madness, you risk falling and coming apart even more. You become the madness. We have been taught to deny our fear, rage, and sense of self. We have been wired to abandon the wilderness where we came from. We no longer recognize the pathways that lead to the unknown where we can come to terms with our essence. Instead, we sit. We wait, wondering if what we are being told is what we live or die for. We look at others with suspicion, knowing that it is easier to conform than to rattle our attachment to the systems in place.

We have been trained to ignore our internal voice. Going along without questioning what is being shown to us used to be more comfortable than it is right now. Then, one day, when there is no escaping it, your inner voice has had enough of being ignored or stuffed back down inside of you, and it screams. This is not a shattering scream from a horror movie. Only you can hear it, trapped beneath your skin and cutting to the bone.

This soul-silencing message that rings out from your core is begging to come up and out. You cannot fare well if you fear life and death at once. You cannot thrive and transform if you are merely operating from a waking dream.

We cannot live and breathe through hate. We cannot embrace the light if it has been swallowed by our fear, and we have forgotten how to navigate in darkness. To do that, we must cast aside what is being told from the outside and stand firmly in truth. We have to be prepared and open to pain from many sources, allowing it to come up and out.

It is vital to oppose the urge to stay firmly rooted in a victim role, remaining helpless and blaming others. It is time to practice stillness through meditation or other practices that bring us into quietude. Insight is born in the dark when we can listen, see, and be one with it. This does not occur when we run from darkness—self medicate, avoid, or rush into a perceived solution.

It is time to clear a pathway to discovery and rebirth. There is no right or wrong, no perfection in suffering. It is messy and often feels directionless. It may be new, or you may have been waiting for this. It's time to see yourself and others on the earth plane without fear and with clarity. Trust yourself, operate from your heart space, and return to your long-awaited wholeness.

"We are all just walking each other home." —Ram Dass. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Image: CCO

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