When the Dark is Home
19 years, that is how long I lived in Arizona. I reflect on this as I sit among the mossy forest of my new-ish home in New York. I remember the old familiar earthy, and magical land from long ago before I was lost and completely cut off from my soul.
Interestingly, although enormous shifts occurred from those times, revisiting circumstances, people, and places activated buried feelings and thoughts. The person I am today will not run or hide from discomfort. Therefore shit got really hard, and deeply unearthed the hidden places I had yet to revisit from an inward perspective.
I found myself in a complex, uncomfortable place of healing, in depth psychology we refer to this as entering the underworld, encountering the various aspects of self that were hidden beneath he threshold of awareness. Some moments call us, or drag us there, so we may face various layers of self, known and unknown.
In these times, some experience an ego death, the archetypal death of the old dates and worn-out constructs tethered to our identity and a barrier between us and the outer world. I lived in this space for about a year until recently. A continuous cycle of healing, releasing, and surrendering over and over again without a hint of what is to come, The frightening and exhilaration space of not knowing and having a blank slate to work with.
I found myself coming home…to who I have always been, yet I tried desperately to suppress these aspects of my being because of the discomfort I sensed in others around me.
I have been studying darkness my entire life.
From a young age, I was fascinated by weird, unusual, and bizarre people and experiences.
I loved the quiet of the night; when the entire house was asleep, something within me would stir and awaken.
While my family slept, I sketched images and wrote short stories throughout the night, into the hours of early morning.
Sometimes I went to school after spending the entire evening lost in a creative frenzy.
My stories and imagery embodied a macabre intensity, sometimes off-putting to others. I was told to draw prettier things, and write more age appropriate stories.
Maybe watching The Shining, Poltergeist, and a barrage of other psychological thrillers at a young age set the tone for my interests… or perhaps they liberated something else from deep within me.
Film, art, music, and storytelling are vehicles of psychological expression. They unlock hidden dimensions of psyche, offering healing and integration for deeply disturbing feelings or emotions. Especially for those who were too young for words to describe their traumatic or impactful experiences.
The arts can lift our shadows toward the light, allowing us to be in proximity to disturbing contents without causing harm to self and transmuting psychic debris.
This may not make sense to everyone, it is not necessary for everyone to participate, yet darkness has sacred relevance for our individuation- the unfolding of self.
A few decades later, not much has changed besides my acceptance of this part of me. The part of me that researches the dark side of the psyche and soul, the part of me that watches psychological thrillers, intense crime documentaries, and disturbing interviews with humans who have committed acts others label as evil.
Darkness is not evil; it is the repression of our inner impulses that lends to evil actions.
Yes- people do bad, inexcusable, unforgivable things and we should not glorify individuals in the media for the horrendous choices they have inflicted on innocent people AND some of us are meant to work in the shadows to mitigate the damage.
Some of us are meant to stand in the face of darkness, and draw out our own and transmute it over and over again- helping to shift the collective shadow of humanity deep within the unconscious.
Don’t get me wrong, lightworkers are needed and valued beyond measure…..
yet acknowledging the shadow is what has broken apart my illusions. It’s what has developed my inner healer.
It forged a new depth within me to hold space for myself while confronting the parts of self I resisted.
If it repulses or disturbs you- it’s teaching you.
If it makes your skin crawl or stomach turn- it’s teaching you.
If it is drawing something uncomfortable forward- it’s teaching you.
What we label evil has power over us- yet what we learn to understand as disembodied, disconnected, fragmented, and has separated matter and soul….. we can then transmute.
Dark matter is not for everyone; I’m certainly not suggesting you force yourself to watch triggering or disturbing things… but if you are drawn to those things, perhaps you can embrace this aspect of self and know there is gold in the shadow, too~
Stay wild, untamed, unruly, and authentically you,
Melissa Kim Corter