We develop in the dark
...that is where our vulnerability stands in its own nakedness.
Do you remember? If you're old enough you do remember, how the mysteries of a photograph are uncovered. One must go into the dark and process it. It is laid in liquid, gently being stirred into life. The magic begins to unravel from the anticipated but utterly unknown future. It all depends on how we responded, or reacted to the occasions that led us into the dark. Did we do our best? Did our efforts add up? Did we let go too soon? Did we stay too long? Will we have to go back and continue the practice? (Yes).
In that dark room, whatever is being unpacked, is not being unpacked in a vacuum, not in isolation, not by itself. There are certain elements required for anything to develop. Pure will won't do it. Having all the technology in the world will only uncover parts and pieces. Hope is not an action. Force is not enough. But just the right amount of all these ingredients together brings about transformation. Entering into the process to begin with (courage), the temperature (emotional environment), the stirring around in liquids (supportive and creative relationships), the emerging theme (creativity), the dark (standing in ones own integrity), and the hanging on the line to dry (vulnerability and permission - or not- to be who one wishes to be), all come together in creating that which leaves the room, that which is put on display. It didn't happen on it's own and had any of the required approaches, attitudes or actions been altered along the way, that would have brought about a whole different set of results and following actions.
We develop in the dark. Some might take this as meaning in solitude, others might say it's about the famous dark night of the soul ... I find the dark room to be the space where the heart and mind attempt to make sense of the total sum of our experiences. From the depths of this churning, this unknown, untethered Reality, a new being surfaces. This is where we are tested and tried, on the outside, in the world out there.
I have been in the darkroom so many times. As I come out and rejoin the world, I find more of mySelf fitting less into this world, and at the same time (in the midst of the frustration) I am more at ease with who I am. I sometimes even long to the dark, knowing I'll come out brighter than before. Stronger, more authentic.
Don't fear the dark. Step into it, allow it to embrace you and uncover your uncertainties and strengths. Allow yourself to go out into the world and shine, stand in your own integrity. Exhale into freedom.
Love // Alex