In honor of the Summer Solstice and the celebration of the longest day of the year, I wanted to kick off a new article series on loving what’s in the dark.
You might think to yourself, what the heck does that mean? Quite a bit, actually.
The dark could refer to what Jungian psychologists might consider the shadow self or the unknown and unaware parts of ourselves. This part of ourselves is often called the disowned self, the lower self, a repressed side, or our id or alter ego. It could also relate to what famous psychologist Donald Winnicott called the dichotomy of the false self and authentic self. Parts of ourselves we don’t want to see. The dark could refer to parts of ourselves that we have sent away or exiled from a desire not to be with or feel them. In the darkness exists the parts of ourselves we think are too painful that we need to rise above or get over. In the dark, we avoid conversations and emotions, look the other way or hide away in shame. Conversations we avoid might be around grief, sex, body, guilt, sexuality, racism, hate, emotions, environment, deepest longings, fantasies, and so much more. The dark is where we enter this world and where we will return someday. There is so much to cover here! I hope you are buckled up and ready to shed some light on the subject!
To start the series off, I will leave you with a poem I wrote to reflect upon:
Solstice of the Self
Wisdom of life is given,
Long before we enter,
This abundant world we live in.
We are born into the light,
Yet our most vulnerable parts,
Begin in the darkness.
Lessons from the cycle of night,
Pregnant with the pain, Growing in the dark,
We’ve labored too long.
Secretly hoping the sensations will wane,
We didn’t notice the swelling,
As they grew and grew,
But our body gave the telling.
It always knew.
Sore, stiff, burdened,
It said enough now. Let it out!
It’s toxic inside here.
We need to sob, scream, and shout.
Ah, the aching!
The feelings alive.
They are rumbling and quaking.
Oceans of feelings,
Hidden away too long.
They burst forth fiercely.
They are raw.
They are real.
They can send one reeling.
A microcosm of all,
Yet we try to dampen and seal it.
The essence of life’s experience,
It’s what it’s all about,
Giving birth to new sensations,
Breathing through the pain,
There’s nothing to do but feel it.
We must get it out.
Bringing new life,
Being with all of it is what makes us well.
Passing forward into the light.
The light from the darkness.
All are seeking the light.
Always seeking the light.
No more shall we bury you in the darkness.
Like the flower to the sun,
Let all our parts come forward,
Integrate them as one.
Our beautiful bodies aching.
Muscled and hustled forward too long.
Heavy to the point of breaking.
Shouldering the weight of emotional past.
Hoarders of feelings,
The defenses can’t last.
Afraid of the light.
The light all life-giving,
Bringing forth fruit,
Feel into what’s there.
Let the seeds rise,
They will break through and dance in the sun.
That’s how you learn the depth of you that’s inside.
Raising your life force,
Clearing your spirit,
Making you whole once again,
With this, you will see, know, and understand more,
Express and come forward,
You are the vessel for all experiences of life,
Your feelings are divine and a gift,
Let them flow,
Loosen what’s tight,
Deepen the well, and the water comes forth.
Thirsty no more,
Living in the abundance of all experiences.
The light and darkness are a constant circle.
The sun will always rise again.
And for all of you, friend, this is what it shines for.