Coming Home to Our Light by Embracing the Dark

“Turn you face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” ~Māori Proverb

I am looking out of the window of the airplane. We are above the clouds; the evening sun is just setting. There is a glow all around me. I am lost in this moment. I feel like I’ve never been closer to the heavens. I can stay here in these clouds forever. I am at peace.

I am returning from my first trip to Jamaica.

I went to this island paradise on what was supposed to be a fun, party trip. Yes I had fun and I partied a lot. But I also discovered my heart and the truth of my soul.

I have been running for a long time. Not physically, but emotionally and mentally. I was running from the grief and sadness I feel about my mother’s death. I was running from the fact that I was eating ice cream everyday to deal with this loss.

I was running from feeling pain. I recently ended a “relationship” with someone who was emotionally unavailable to me. I was running from the truth about that situation. I was running from the boredom I feel at work. I hate corporate life. Sleep wasn’t forthcoming. My mind was too busy running from itself.

I was running from this person who felt trapped all the time. I felt like if I stopped and faced this hurt, pain, frustration, sadness, and disappointment, I would shatter into a million pieces and I wouldn’t know how to put myself back together. I didn’t like who I had become.

And then I got to Jamaica, and I had space between me and all the crap I was running from. I was so damn tired too. I finally felt like I could stop running. I felt like I could just be, like I could breathe. I felt like I left all the crap that was my life back in Trinidad and I was free.

Free to just be. This freedom brought clarity. I realized that, in my running, I was running away from the light, and so the shadows had swallowed me up.

When I thought I was running away from the negative emotions, I was actually running toward them, running into them, surrounded by them—the sadness, grief and pain, disappointment and loss were like a heaving, swirling smog of grey, all around me, suffocating me.

But I continued to run, and the more I ran, the deeper into them I got.

I let the darkness consume me and I let it smother my light. The thing is, light and dark need each other. There will always be shadows where there is light. Until I was able to stop running and embrace the dark, I couldn’t find the peace my soul craved; I couldn’t change. I could not begin to heal.

The grief I feel about the loss of my mother to cancer two years ago comes in waves. My mother was my home. Now that she’s gone, I feel exposed and raw.

This kind of loss, we might learn to live with it, but overcoming it is a whole different story. I am learning that I have to feel it in order to heal it, let it go, and move on. I carried around an ache in the pit of my tummy for a long time. I tried to ease it with ice cream. Fifteen pounds later, it still ached.

The hurt and disappointment I felt when my “relationship” ended felt like loss on top of loss, to which I added feelings of unworthiness, questions about my judgment, and the fear of the unknown.

I was frustrated at work because I was no longer happy or motivated to be there. I continued to show up because they paid me just enough to keep me coming back. But I died a little inside every day.

I was in desperate need of some soul light.

My soul needs the light. My soul is the light.

I am learning not be afraid of the dark and the shadows. There is good in it.

It is in the darkness of the womb that new life is created. It is in the darkness of the earth that diamonds are formed.

I am embracing the light and the darkness inside of me; they are part of who I am. This was the epiphany I had in Jamaica. This was the first step in the soul work I needed to do.

When you turn away from the light, all you can see is the shadow, the shadow that you created. When you turn toward it, shadows become smaller and eventually disappear. How do you turn back toward the light?

For me, it was literally soaking up the sun in Jamaica. Every day, I let the sun heal me, through my SPF 45. I would place my palm over my heart and one on my tummy, because it still ached, and just breathe in and hold for three counts and exhale. Those breathing exercises helped me so much.

I surrounded myself with my positive friends and I belly laughed as often as I could. I could feel love giving life to my soul light.

For you it might be simply committing to smile more every day, soaking up some sun by taking a walk in a park somewhere, or treating yourself to some “me time,” but it all starts with first allowing yourself to feel.

Only when you acknowledge the truth about what you feel can you start to heal.

Jamaica was a time-out of time, and then it was time to leave for home. There was a moment of panic, when I boarded the plane. I was consumed by doubts about my newfound clarity. What if it didn’t last? What if the darkness was waiting for me when I got home?

Then we got into the air and I saw the sun. I was reminded that it is always there, shining above the clouds, through the clouds, despite the clouds. And I was ready. After all of my running, I was finally ready to come home to me—home to the real me.

That’s what coming home is—coming home to what’s in our hearts.

Photo by h.koppdelaney

About Vernette Superville

Vernette Superville is a Trinidadian blogger and tiramisu lover. She believes that love is the only currency we have and that it should be our sole motivation for the exchange of our time. Her blog is her journey of love, walking in light, and sharing it with as many people as possible.

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  • Nat

    Very well put. That’s exactly how we all need to embrace fear. Fear of feeling, fear of hurting, fear of the darkness, fear of everything… The more we turn away from these fears, the smaller and darker our world gets. With a peaceful mind, and strength from the sun, it’s amazing what we’re capable of. Thanks for sharing!

  • Guest

    What we do not acknowledge has power over us. It just hurts to hurt so much…yet going towards those feelings and embracing them is the door to everything.

  • What we do not acknowledge has power over us. It just hurts to hurt so much…yet going towards those feelings and embracing them is the door to everything. Sometimes I feel Great Spirit is a Great Practical Joker..that which we want to run from, those empty, painful, sad, depressing feelings and state of being are the exact panacea for our growth, transformation, evolution and alchemy of spirit and soul. So the next time you find yourself in emotions – energy in motion that you want to motion away from, remember that they hold the key to what we need at that specific time in our lives. The urge for higher consciousness is nudging us and we are pushing against the gift with all our might. Something is awaiting release, birth, acknowledgement, understanding and attention from us, the phoenix is bursting through to create that which we dream of.

  • Lisa Stone

    Sometimes we have to remind ourselves it’s okay to feel. Whatever the emotion may be at the present moment.

  • Thanks for sharing your story Vernette. These things are very human and very difficult challenges. I think most of us have been through similar situations. While we’re spiritual within our inner beings, we’re all still very human. So many things we have to live through.

    Yeah, acknowledging our feelings and situations is the first step. As you say, face them head on … within running from or fighting them. That’s a great point that when we run from things, turn away, the shadow always follows us. Turn towards them and towards the light. And especially towards the light of our souls which will shine brighter when acknowledged. 🙂

  • Ting

    we need to remind ourselves every morning that this might be the last day of our life and we just can’t let it past without enjoying it.

  • Maple

    Thank you so much for this, wonderful words. Words I needed to hear today.

    An amazing song with some lyrics that have really helped me:
    “to take a light into the dark is to know the light. To know the dark, go into the dark” From ‘The Darkness’ by Rose Cousins. Have a listen, it will lighten your soul.

  • phoebe

    This could not have come at a better time. Thank you so much for reminding us to embrace our pain and letting ourselves heal by doing just that. Love it!

  • JuliaeCalderon

    “Then we got into the air and I saw the sun. I was reminded that it is always there, shining above the clouds, through the clouds, despite the clouds. And I was ready. After all of my running, I was finally ready to come home to me—home to the real me.
    That’s what coming home is—coming home to what’s in our hearts”.
    This is exactly what I needed to read. Right now, I’m going through something like this and I’m learning to embrace the obscurity inside, that sadness and it feels peaceful and I know in my heart that it will pass. thank you so much.

  • Hey Vernette, thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to experience that, and brave enough to tell us about it. It’s interesting how easy it is to face those fears and emotions…but we don’t get to know that until we do it (part of the reward I guess). I hope that you can find a lasting way to heal 🙂

  • lv2terp

    This is a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom! Amazing points!! 🙂

  • vernette

    wow Suzen, you’ve given me some food for thought here. I especially love how you descibe emotions being energy in motion. Thanks for this.

  • vernette

    So very true!

  • vernette

    Thank you for sharing this song with me, the lyrics and that guitar were just what I needed. I’m happy that this came at the right time for you as well.

  • vernette

    I’m glad it came to you at the right time.

  • vernette

    thank you Juliae for sharing as well. I feel for you, because I know this phase in the journey in not an easy one. There is no peace until we embrace all aspects of it though. Yes, it will pass, as I am learning as well.

  • vernette

    Hi Jeffrey, thank you for this. Even though I submitted this post and I knew it was going to be published, when I realised that it actually was, there were at least 3 moments of panic. I still feel exposed to some extent but I’m happy I shared my experience. Healing is a work-in-progress and I’m working on it everyday. 🙂

  • vernette

    and thank you as well 🙂

  • vernette

    Yup Exactly Nat. Being at peace with ourselves is priceless and it is the start of healing and that only comes with honesty.

  • vernette

    it’s hard but that is only road to healing…going towards and through the pain.

  • vernette

    Indeed. This is something we have to remind ourselves every day. There is power in being vulnerable or rather allowing yourself to be vulnerable. To surrender to what is in your heart.

  • vernette

    That’s the thing, we can hide our soul light for only so long. It will not be denied forever. Thank you Carmelo for your kind words.

  • I am all about integrating the dark and light! So refreshing to see a post like this.

    I am sorry for the loss of your mother. I lost my mother to Lou Gehrig’s diseases 1 1/2 years ago. The grieving continues and if I ignore the sadness, anger and the loss, I don’t heal through it.

  • Vishal Bhatt

    Hey vernette very good article, you just gave me a boost for the day, an article very well put. I am just running away from all my problems, you just gave me a hope that these problems are the source of light and i should go towards them so that shadow of fear disappears. Once again a very good post, keep posting..thanks

  • day by day, moment by moment, that’s the way to do it. Little by little we make big changes 🙂

  • Thank you so much for this honest, soul-piercing post, Vernette. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. I know about that wound that re-opens so easily.

    Your words are good inspiration for those who are hurting that we really can come home to ourselves and find something beautiful there.

  • Kirra-lee

    The last line hit me so hard. I’m crying.

    Thank you so much for this.

  • Andrea

    Inspiring…thanks Vernette. best wishes and nice name by the way

  • connie

    This brought me back to my senses

  • Heath

    Lesa Jiles you are the best at writing fiction

  • Mr Q

    very helpful, thank you