I still remember the teddy bear lamp that served as my night light when for far longer than it probably should have as a child. I was deeply afraid of the dark & refused to sleep without it.
As I got older my mom would often tell me that I needed to learn to sleep in the dark so I would get better rest. Something about the light keeping my brainwaves functioning more even while I was sleeping. As an adult I think she may have been on to something – I get better rest in the dark than in the light.
Many of us, even as we grow up, are afraid of the dark. Not the physical darkness of the night but the darkness of our world, our hearts & souls. We want to stay in the light where it’s safe & comfortable with very little mystery.
But what was true for my physical rest as a child is true for my soul’s rest as an adult. The darkness, though uncomfortable & at times even painful, is a place of necessary rest. Because in the darkness I am forced to admit that I don’t have the answers, that I’m not strong enough to find my way out on my own.
That point of surrender creates a stillness that only comes in the dark. The key is learning not to fight it trusting that from that place will come a brighter, otherwise unavailable, light.
The next time you find yourself in what feels like a starless night, welcome it as a necessary rest for your soul. Give your heart the gift of resting in it a moment holding onto the hope that it too will end.
This post was inspired by the Luminous Project. Luminous is a creative spiritual event in Nashville May 1-3, 2013. To find out more, check out luminousproject.com. You can use the promo code ‘BRINGitHERE’ to get 35% off the registration price.