Darkness gets a bum wrap.
Many are afraid of the dark.
All too often we describe the tough times in life as the dark times.
The Dark Ages is a term assigned to the days after the fall of the Roman Empire and the years of struggle within the church for guidance and acceptance because of the uncertainty and haphazard rule of warring leaders. People felt lost, scared, and hopeless.
Even Star Wars warned us to not got to the “dark side.”
If it weren’t for the dark, the stars would not shine.
When life hands us lemons, we say, “Make lemonade.”
So why not do the same with tough times?
If you are going through some dark times, it’s okay to recognize the darkness. It’s okay to say, “This stinks.” It’s really okay to feel sad or mad or frustrated. Once you’ve acknowledged the darkness, you can find the bright spots.
Our local library offered a constellation creation station this summer. Kids were invited to sketch a dotted outline of any constellation they could imagine. My daughter designed a horse constellation and my son created at robot. As they poked their holes in the “sky” with thumb tacks, the flashlight beam prevented them from seeing the darkness and appreciating the brightness of their work.
Once the holes were punched and the flashlights extinguished, the darkness was welcomed.
It took our eyes a moment to adjust, but once we had time to accept the unlit canvas around us the sight was incredible.
My daughter had clearly created a horse constellation and my son’s robot shone brightly.
The coolest revelation we made though was that of the other constellations made by children who had been in the tunnel before us. The most powerful was an image of two people holding hands. It was so sweet. There in complete darkness we didn’t have to have light to see the smiles on our faces. We could feel the joy brought on by those pin holes.
“Stars can’t shine without darkness.”
If you are going though some dark days, please know that the darkness won’t last forever and there is always hope shining somewhere to help you through. The whole darkest before the dawn adage can be true, but that dimness only adds to the power of the first light and its ability to energize and break through bleakness.
If you know someone who is going through a tough time, please put energy into being a star for them. Shine support, hope, and positivity their way. You never know when you are going to be the one who could use a little light and it’s easiest to spot when you know what to look for.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. This is totally one of those “This Little Light of Mine” posts. Please sing accordingly.