I sat on the wooden steps of my back porch. Though the day was sunny and warm, the feeling of darkness inside me was consuming. The feeling was that of anger, fear, and hatred, but mostly hatred. I wondered if the darkness was the influence of some evil spirit, or if it was a part of me, so I asked the darkness a sacred question, “Why are you here?” Then I surrendered all thoughts and went to nothingness to see what would come to me as an answer.
The darkness said, “I’m here because I make you feel strong.”
‘That’s true,’ I thought, ‘I do feel strong when I am full of hatred.’ Again I asked the darkness, “Why are you here?” I surrendered for the answer.
The darkness said, “I’m here to protect you.”
‘Hmmmm,’ I thought, ‘that’s interesting, I do feel safer. When I feel this way, no one can get close to my heart.’ I asked the darkness, again, “Why are you here?” I surrendered to see what would return.
The darkness said, “I make you feel powerful!”
‘Yes, yes,’ I thought, ‘you do.’ I asked again, “Why, are you here?” and surrendered for the answer.
“I’m here to protect you because you won’t protect yourself!” The answer was strong, emphatic, almost annoyed by my ignorance.
‘Yes, that’s true.’ I admitted, ‘ I don’t protect myself,’ I began to realize that this darkness was not such a bad thing after all. It was keeping me safe.
Then I asked a different sacred question, “How can I heal this?”
When I surrendered for the answer, I saw pink flowers. ‘OK, I thought, pink flowers . . . I like flowers.’
I asked again, “How can I heal this?”
I saw an alligator.
‘An alligator? Really? That seems odd, but OK.’ I asked again, “How can I heal this?”
I heard the darkness say, “Understand me.”
‘OK,’ I thought, ‘I’m beginning to understand.’ I asked again, “How can I heal this?”
I surrendered and heard, “Love me.”
I thought that was an unusual answer. Why would the darkness want to be loved. That was new to me.
I was beginning to understand that the darkness that surrounded me was a buffer of anger to keep others away. For the first time in my life, I began to understand that there was more to anger and hatred that I had ever imagined. Things inside me shifted. My perspective was changing. I was growing. I felt grateful for the the darkness that protected me, and in that gratitude I felt love and appreciation for the darkness and all the feelings that were within that shadow. To feel anger, fear, and even hatred is not bad, it is a part of life and our experience here on earth. I had no clue, before, that those feelings existed for important reasons. I had always thought those feelings were bad and I should not feel them.
Then I had a new thought and I asked the darkness, “What if I do protect myself?”
Immediately, the darkness began to dissipate, leaving behind a clear energy surrounding me, just as powerful as the darkness but without the feeling of hatred. I perceived that if I would protected myself I would not need anger or hatred to protect me.
The next day I went out and bought myself pink flowers, and a little plastic alligator to put on my mantel. Those feelings, anger, fear and hatred, which were once very confusing, had become clear and beautiful to me. My curiosity served me well that day. Asking the sacred questions* and knowing how to listen, to go to nothingness and surrender to the answers, taught me to understand and love a very misunderstood part of myself.
————————————————————————–Is all darkness as wonderful as this “protector” darkness turned out to be? Is there darkness that is really evil? What is the source of negative emotions? Why is hatred so destructive? Is there a good time to feel hatred? The questions about darkness, emotions, and mental health, are endless. Learning to ask yourself “sacred questions” and surrender to the answers inside yourself, being still enough, going to a state of nothingness and letting the answers come to you without controlling what the answer will be, is a skill that can be cultivated by anyone. I have to thank Tom Brown Jr. for this technique.
*Asking the sacred questions and surrendering for the answers is something I learned to do in a philosophy class at Tom Brown Jr.’s Trackerschool (see resources).