As a child – and, let us not mistake, a highly concerned child – I was terrified of the dark. I would sleep with a lamp on, shut my eyes tight, and wait anxiously for morning to come. As soon as that first hint of sunrise would come slanting through my window I felt safe again. Protected by the light.
Now I’m all grown up and, what do you know, some things haven’t changed.
Don’t get me wrong, I sleep with the lights out now. I even prefer it.
But when I look ahead and I can’t see things taking shape clearly – I’m afraid. When I look into the future and it looks like the impenetrable darkness of the unknown – I’m terrified.
That’s life, though, right?
And I’ll overcome my fear of the dark. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. Just like that defiant girl who refused to be afraid of the shadows in her own bedroom anymore. I’ll turn off all the little night lights I’ve plugged in to make that great big darkness less threatening – my expectations, my refusals to “let that happen,” my belief that I can turn uncertainty into certainty, and even the worries that make me think I can somehow preempt the worst by merely expecting it to be so – and let the darkness be exactly what it is. I’m going to embrace it until I love it. Until I prefer it. Until I need it.
I will go bravely into the dark.