I shared a bed with my grandparents until I was eight years old. My grandfather died and only my grandmother and I shared a bed. I slept with my grandmother until I was thirteen years old! This means that my grandparents had to teach me how to be okay with the darkness.
My grandfather took a more reassuring approach and convinced me that ghosts were not real. With his husky minister voice, he would explain why we needed the lights off and how God would never allow anything bad to happen to us in our sleep.
My grandmother took the logical approach. For her, it was a matter of economics. She would annoyingly reason that sleeping with the lights on would make us quickly run out of paraffin for the lights or the candles would burn out and set the house on fire. I learned very early on that if I convince myself of the arrival of the morning, which was a gaurantee, I would be okay with the darkness.
But what about the darkeness that encompasses our souls. The darkness that lingers whether day or night. The darkness of unhealed truamas and unexpected betrayals. The darkness of a life that has been through hell and high waters. The darkness that has you dreading sleep with the same level of dread you have for being awake.
We are never taught about how to be okay with the darkness of the soul. We watch our parents escape it through alcoohol, and other self destructive practices. We are taught in religous teachings that we have somehow brought the darkness into our lives and perhaps repentance will bring us to the light.
I want us to learn to befriend the darkness, that is how we will learn to be in it. We need to be its allies and not its enermies. Befriending it means investigating what we can learn from it, how we can become better BECAUSE of it.