My friend shared with me a couple of days ago about a solstice event she attended. It was all about embracing the darkness. Embracing the grief. Embracing the fear. Embracing the broken places inside us.

The moment she said the words ‘embracing the darkness,’ something really resonated inside me.

I’d been struggling with a number of broken places inside me: feelings of unworthiness, resentments, grief over the past. And it really felt like those things needed to be gone to be able to move forward with my plans and my dreams.

When I heard those words, however, something shifted. I felt like Spirit had just sent me a gift, an answer: embrace the darkness.

It was another profound reminder to me – a reminder I definitely needed – that, as long as I’m still wearing this mortal coil, I will always be living with these kinds of things. I will never shed my humanity as long as I’m here in human form. That means as long as I’m alive.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to grow, but simply that that growth requires an acceptance on my part of my own humanity. Acceptance that there will always be layers of the onion underneath.

I realize today that when I don’t recognize that, I don’t even get to enjoy my own growth. And the truth is, I’ve had miraculous growth.

But when I’m too busy focusing on the problems that are still there, I don’t get to appreciate, let alone own, how far I’ve actually come. And I gotta tell ya, I don’t know about you, but not allowing myself to appreciate my own growth and successes fells A LOT like the abusive environment I grew up in. I’m always amazed at the ways I keep perpetuating that in my own head.

I mean, it’s a perfect set-up for perpetuating those fears, those feelings of unworthiness, those resentments. Don’t ya think?

So what if I embraced the darkness instead?

Well, my Higher Power gave me the opportunity to do just that today.

I’d created a number of digital products to support people in recovery, and I was originally going to launch an ad campaign to market them. Then, all of a sudden, I decided, no, I can’t do that yet. I need to launch this webinar series so I can increase my exposure. It just felt very clear that I needed to do that webinar.

However, this was an absolutely crazy thought since these digital products are very timely to the new year. And I even kept having questions about the timing of the webinar since it felt like the holiday season and the new year might make the webinar less effective if I launched that right now.

So I started journaling about that. In my journaling, I was committing to the ad campaign to market my digital products and imagining the feeling I would have to actually be making sales with them.

I felt sick.

You’d think I’d be jumping up and down, screaming “Woohoo!” “You go, girl!” “You got it goin’ on!”

Nope. What I felt was a sick feeling of fear.

Recognizing that feeling, however, sure got my attention.

I was afraid to succeed.

And as I was thinking, “Oh man, holy s#*t! I’ve gotta fix that,” I remembered, “Embrace the darkness.”

And then I looked over at the top card in my vision card deck, and it says “Do It Afraid.”

OK, so maybe that’s part of embracing the darkness.

Honor that fear, not by letting it make the decision, but by recognizing that I actually came by it honestly.

I grew up in an environment in which it was not safe to stand out. (I have another vision card which says, “Stand Out,” in fact.)

Embracing the darkness means that I recognize that this was a behavior that I absolutely needed at one time, and therefore it served a useful purpose. Understand that.

Love that place in me. Give it to my Higher Power and trust. (This is big time Steps 6 & 7 work, in fact.)

My spiritual practice is very earthy, so the Solstice is very meaningful to me.

So here’s what I’m going to do. If it inspires you, great. If not, take what you like of this post and leave the rest.

I’m going to create an altar. I’m going to write on pieces of paper all the dark places in me. And I’m going to set them on that alter with love.

And then I’m going to record my growth. I’m going to write on pieces of paper all those things I have a new perspective on. How resilient a person I must be to have overcome all that I overcame. My intelligence. My creativity. My ability to communicate difficult emotional and spiritual concepts. And I’m going to place those things there lovingly, too.

And then I’m going to burn them all as an offering to the Universe. As a gesture of turning it over to my Higher Power and recognizing my HP as the source of my growth

And then I’m going to move forward with this digital product launch both afraid and grateful. And probably tearful, too. (If you’re curious, you can check my digital products out here.)

So, now I’d like to hear from you. How can you embrace your own darkness?

Let me know in the comments so we can all embrace our darkness and welcome the return of the light together!

Madeleine C.

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