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The art of… dark days.

A sun setting over a lake

I know what you are thinking- what could possibly be redeeming about “dark days”?  It doesn’t seem conceivable that the murky, gloomy mood we each find ourselves in sometimes has anything encouraging to offer.  Each of us seems to trip over them occasionally; nothing seems to go right, everyone we encounter adds fuel to the already flaming fire and it appears we are entrenched into the black hole. It’s almost like we willingly steep in our “mood” rather than recognize the potential positive.


The thing about darkness is that we literally experience it in a physically way- EVERY SINGLE DAY! Sometimes the dark can literally engulf you, swallow you up. Those days feel hopeless, perhaps even despondent. However if you think about it- the light wins every SINGLE time.

If you make that extension from the metaphor of our daily lives to our spiritual and emotional well being, I would suggest that in spite of the darkness, or even more boldy, BECAUSE of the darkness, we are blessed by this journey.

In art, lights and darks or rather contrast is a key design element. The eye appreciates and even understand the piece to a greater extent because of the contrast involved.

Without dark one cannot appreciate light.

Darkness – dark moods have something to teach us. Often the stresses of life culminate until we crash, physically, emotionally, or both – (you choose.) Dark times can be desperate times; we are clouded by fear or negativity. We forget, or maybe refuse to see the light.

Darkness is an opportunity- to step back, to evaluate and to work through the source of negativity. Researchers have even suggested that a mildly bad mood even helps us to think better. It promotes the ability to critically contemplate about our external world and even facilitates communication. Go figure!

Darkness seems to enable reflection in a unique way. We want to explore the seed of our darkness and expel it. Humans do not seem to generally find comfort in the deepest of darks but seek the light.

It is interesting when we actively embrace darkness-for example at a child’s birthday party; we invite the darkness while a few delicate candles illuminate the honoree as we celebrate with song. The darkness makes the moment more special, the illumination highlights the glory of the moment. Once the lights have returned the general reaction (when our eyes adjust) is a sort of relief. The light fills the room and the merriment continues. That seems to be certain proof that darkness isn’t a bad thing.

Like the moment at the child’s party when darkness can be completely uncomfortable and encompassing, it seems evident that we not only will survive the darkness we might even embrace the opportunity within it. Bad moods are not the last word on our lives, but perhaps an invitation to pause and reflect, take a time to evaluate the moment. Perhaps there is a stress that we can let go of or a situation we can begin to rectify, regardless I suggest that darkness is a gift, an invitation. I think the point is you absolutely have countless opportunities even in your darkness!

Darkness is an invitation! Dark moods are a cause to reflect, to better our own lives. So the next time you experience one, I invite you to embrace it, understand it and grow from it. I promise you, the sun will rise out of the darkness and the day will be born in new light.

In peace-