Even the Light Can Be Misused

Savannah tree and dark skies with light shining throughWe’re moving toward the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year. The day filled with the most light. As we do, it serves us to keep our minds, our eyes, and our hearts open to the fullest truth possible about the light.  I hope this will help.





We reach for the light, longing for it to shine down on us,
longing to live in it
as though it were something outside us.
While inside us, each one of us,
there is a light that already shines
. . . though we may have covered it over with our wounds,
our buried pain and our defenses.

We reach for the light, hoping it will drown out the darkness.
So afraid of the dark are we!
But there is a light within us that lights up the darkness within
so we can see what within us needs to be discovered, held, healed.

We reach for the light, being silent about the darkness.
Idealizing the light and demonizing the darkness.
Hoping to never pierce the idealization of the light.
Praying to never meet the demonized darkness.
Yet haunted by both ends of the spectrum,
Haunted by our creation of duality –
the duality of perfect light and evil darkness –
unable to hold dark and light together in truth.

We reach for the light, turning our backs on the darkness.
Telling ourselves and each other that if you focus on the darkness
you’ll feed it, you’ll empower it.
But if you ignore the darkness instead of transforming it,
that is when you truly free it to haunt you.
That is when you, individually, give it the power to drive you from your own underground caverns within.
That is when we, communally, give it the power to drive our world from our own underground internal caverns.
The light well used shines in the darkness to show us what we need to heal and transform.

We reach for the light, wishing it would eradicate the darkness.
But it never eradicates the darkness.
It is not the light’s job to eradicate the darkness.
Only to bring into the light of day
the darkness within crying out for healing.
Only to bring into the light of our own consciousness
the darkness within needing to be seen, needing to be known,
needing to be worked with, healed and transformed.

We reach for the light, cursing the darkness.
Believing only good can come of light and only bad can come of the dark.
While forgetting . . . that’s how misuse and abuse of power are birthed.
By splitting ourselves, others, the world, and life apart
into polar opposites.
Then we disown parts of the spectrum alive within us.
Look at but one example here:
Once we reject the part of us that hates, we see only love within us
and only hate in the world outside us.
The hate in us exists deep within and drives us without our knowing.
And we do terrible, destructive things under the guise of love.
That’s how war crimes can be done under the guise of peace-loving.
That’s how donating millions to the environment can be a cover for destroying the rain forest.
That’s how a parent can beat his child while believing he’s sincerely claiming “for your own good.”
That’s how a Nazi Germany could occur.
That’s how a country can torture while claiming not to could occur.
That’s how a society rampant with sexual abuse and sexual wounding could occur.

We reach outside us for the light,
and soon the Summer Solstice will be here.
Will we be so delighted by the light outside
that we forget the next day will be
a little bit darker than the day before?
Will we be so thrilled by the light outside
that we ignore the delicate dance between
light and dark within our very selves?
Will we be so fixated on the light outside
that we neglect the inner journey –
the one with the light and dark that lives inside us
day in and day out?


As we continue toward the Summer Solstice,
Let my words above sink deep within.
Let them teach you.
Let them inform you.
Let them assist you.
Let them help you.
Let them support you.
Let them inspire you.
Let them move you.

Let them help you grow in wonderful ways
you might not have otherwise grown.

There’s a beautiful saying:
Help us always to be
The hopeful gardeners of Spirit
Who know without darkness
Nothing comes to birth
As without light
Nothing flowers.*

*May Sarton, Invocation to Kali, http://languageisavirus.com/may-sarton/read_invocation_to_kali_excerpt.php

Related articles:
When the Blossoms Are Full and The Fear Is of The Light
Part II: What Are We Gonna Do With All This Hate – Live With It Or Heal It?

© Copyright 2012 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Judith Barr, MS, LMHC, therapist in Brookfield, Connecticut

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • clive


    June 18th, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    that was wonderful! it’s so true that we always try to seek positive things while ignoring the negative ones.wecannot just wish them away they need work.and the quicker we understand that the better it is.



    June 18th, 2012 at 4:55 AM

    “But if you ignore the darkness instead of transforming it,
    that is when you truly free it to haunt you.”
    So true!
    It is fine to reach toward the light and long for it in your life but you also have to be willing to face down the darkness and bury those demons properly before you can truly receive the blessings of the light and really allow it to shine on you and others.

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