Were you ever (or are you still) afraid of the dark? Ever wonder why? What is it about the dark that emits sensations that range from eerie to terrifying? Quite simply, it’s because we can’t see. We are conscious that there is a world of events going on, for better or for worse, but we are disconnected, unknowing, and helpless. When someone “leaves you in the dark,” he or she leaves you guessing and unsure. And I think we can agree that the expression is never used positively.
We never really feared the dark; we feared ignorance. The dark is a neutral circumstance, a mere condition, whereas ignorance we know from experience can produce dangerous results. The obvious cure is to step into the light. Our minds crave knowledge just as our eyes crave vision. In fact, our minds and bodies rely so heavily on sunlight that going too long without it can have serious repercussions. Lack of sunlight can cause problems with serotonin (a brain chemical that influences moods), contribute to sleep disorders, and even trigger a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder. Point being: Just as we physically can’t function when we spend too much time in the dark, we mentally can’t function if we remain in ignorance too long.
Before continuing, I should clarify that when I refer to ignorance, I do not mean any form of insult. All I mean is the strict definition: “lack of knowledge or information.” Sometimes ignorance can be a good thing. After all, ignorance is bliss, right? Childhood games sometimes involve blindfolds because it adds suspense, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Plus, we have to remember that, without experiencing the dark, we would never appreciate the light.
Naturally, it’s really hard to evaluate a situation and see what is missing (how can you see something that isn’t there?), including when we look at ourselves. Maybe that’s where your super (sometimes brutally) honest family member or friend comes in. Or maybe you are aware of exactly what you want to know more about – health, cars, finances, news, others, etc. That’s great. The key is to come up with at least one area that you want to focus on, and go for it.
Once you know what you need to work on, it’s your responsibility to do so. But have no fear - no goal is too big in this case. Being just a few weeks from 2017 makes now the perfect time to uncover the dark parts of your life and to head towards the light.