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  • Writer's pictureColleen Nelson

Step Into the Light, Let Go of The Darkness

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Life often presents us with a profound realization – one that resonates deeply within us. Watching TV one night, I stumbled upon a sentiment that felt like a revelation, "You cannot be in the light if you are holding somebody in the darkness." Let us unpack this and explore what it means for our personal growth.

Understanding the Darkness Darkness is not just about tangible actions; it is sometimes hidden in whispered gossip, spiteful remarks, or pent-up resentment. Every time we entertain negative thoughts or speak maliciously about another, we not only overshadow them but also cloud our own path. When we keep this negativity, we anchor ourselves and them in a negativity.

The Essence of Light

True peace is not just about escaping external conflicts; it is about finding serenity within. Many of us seek this solace, a respite from internal chaos and exhaustion that even the deepest sleep cannot cure. Being in the light means achieving clarity in our mind, heart, and spirit, leading to a life of fulfillment and freedom.

The path to the light requires releasing the shadows we cast upon others.

Steps to Release from Darkness

1. Accept the situation.

2. Stop the pain.

3. Forgive yourself.

4. Absolve them.

5. Give grace.

The path to the light requires releasing the shadows we cast upon others. Journaling throughout this journey will help work through your thoughts and help you to see your growth over time.

How do I accept the situation?

Start with just the facts. Write out in a list the key points that have put you and the other person/people in a dark place. Then, go back and write how each of those facts make you feel. Once you have the full list of facts and feelings take a minute to review the page(s). Your story of what has happened and your feelings about the situation are real. That is your situation. Sure, there are other sides as each of us has our own perspective. But this page is in YOUR situation. You cannot change it, but you can choose to accept it. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

There is no intention to place blame here. It does not matter who was at fault. It does not matter if was in or out of your control. There is no reason to justify your actions. There is no reason to persecute the other’s actions. It is simply the raw honesty. When you can look at this version without it eliciting emotion, you are starting to reach the point of acceptance.

How do I stop the pain?

Working through this step is not going to erase your emotions. The intent here is to stop creating more pain. This starts with defining your boundaries.

Begin to write down what you are and are not willing to accept when it comes to interactions with the person you are sharing the darkness with. Step back and look at this page. Allow yourself to feel the emotions. Take the necessary time to acknowledge your role in creating the pain. Next, write down new boundaries for your interactions with this person. Write down what you expect of yourself. Make a commitment to yourself to adhere to those boundaries.

How do I forgive myself?

This is not about blaming yourself. This is about taking your power back. This is about giving yourself grace in moments that you may be taking more than your share of the accountability. We are human; flawed, amazing, naive, and wise conundrums. We are emotional beings.

Some people find their forgiveness in confessional, some find it with a prayer or conversation with God, some find it through journaling. Whatever it is for you, start the process now. You cannot light your flame if you are holding yourself in the darkness.

How do I absolve them?

Closure is important for healing. You do not have to make contact to find that closure. You do not have to forget to forgive. Absolving a person does not mean what they did was okay. This stage is about letting go. This person has now shown you who they are and that is information that could protect you. This is why we set up boundaries in stage two. But it is time to lay it all down and move on without it.

Sit with your journal for a few minutes and think about this person. Let the emotions come in. As the feelings of hurt, anger, fear, etc. come in, shift your mind to their actions or words that made you feel this way. Then, write those actions down. Stay in this activity until you have it all out on paper. Then, one by one picture yourself saying to the person, “You did ____, it made me feel ___ and I forgive you.” And is important in this statement, it keeps your experience true while also absolving the other person. It may take time to say it and mean it but once you do you may feel the whole burden lifted from you. This stage is about YOU. The person you have been holding in the darkness never needs to know you have forgiven them.

How do I give grace?

As we are humans and that comes with being emotional and flawed creates, you will have setbacks. Give yourself grace in these moments. You are going to have setbacks. You may have forgotten or even ignored your boundaries. The other person may play an active role in your life and done something new that drags you both back to a dark place. Take a deep breath.

When you find yourself shifting back to the darkness come back to this section of your journal. If necessary, add to the sections and work through that stage. There is no reason to beat yourself up, instead guide yourself back through the process.

If you make the commitment to this process, you will find you are living a lighter and free life. Your flame, once dimmed, will now blaze brilliantly, becoming a beacon for others.

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