Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Honor the Darkness

Prompt: Future self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)
Prompt Author: Jenny Blake
Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want

As I sit here on the Winter Solstice, after a much needed good cry, I have been contemplating this question in relationship to my older self and what advice I may give to 33 year old me in the year to come:

Dear Emily,
Honor the darkness.  When it comes, hold it, sit with it, cry if need be, and let it surface.  The soul needs the dark to appreciate light, fully.  These emotions, these raw and sometimes scary feelings, need to be acknowledged, no matter how hard it is to hear them.  Listen, for they have a story to tell.

Honor the seasons; I know Summer is your favorite because darkness scares you, and when Spring's light and warmth touch your skin and seep down to your muscles, joints, and bones, you feel renewed.  Summer follows Spring's rebirth and brings you more light in your night owl adventures.  But after Summer, Fall arrives, to give you a rest.  Flow with the falling leaves and rest your weary bones, for hibernation is soon upon us, and you want to be comfortable.  Comfort comes in many forms.

You have tried to ignore Winter for far too long- most of your life, actually.  But Winter teaches us to care for ourselves in a different way.  The cold air forces us to bundle up and find ways to stay warm; take this opportunity to address the ways in which you need to feel cozy and nurtured.  Stop looking for nurturance to come from outside sources- it's there, within you.  That is why this season comes.

Hold yourself.  Wrap up in a warm, fuzzy blanket.  Drink tea.  Light a candle.  Honor this darkness.  Honor all sides of your soul.  Honor yourself for the courage you have had to bear.  Go, and live your life with grace, dignity, and confidence, for you are a tender soul who can brave any storm and come out shining.  Shine on.

Older, Wiser Emily;)

*I think the letter to myself from now to ten years ago may deserve a separate post.  It will come when I'm ready to go there.

this post a part of Reverb10: Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.


  1. Beutiful, Emily. Just beautiful. Honor the darkness, and yet I hope you feel the light soon, whenever you are ready. Sending you smiles, S

  2. This is really lovely... thanks. I want to post on the Wall of my soul.

  3. Dear Emily, wiser, truer words could not have been spoken. I especially love the note to yourself about winter. If we didn't have all the seasons we wldn't appreciate our gaves as much. Besides, wrapping yourself up + drinking hot drinks + getting cozy is so comforting :) Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
    Tia #reverb10

  4. Emily - this post is absolutely gorgeous and such an important reminder to embrace all of our seasons - the dark and the light. I was reflecting on this very topic earlier today when I found myself in a somewhat meloncholy "winter" mood. But you and Tia are right - learning to embrace it as an opportunity is key. Thank you!!

  5. Shannon, thank you so much- I mean it!

    Elizabeth, thanks for visiting my blog and thank you for the compliment;)

    Tia Sparkles, thank you and I am definitely getting cozy with blankets and tea tonight!

    Jenny B, yes, embracing it is where it's at, I think! Thanks for the compliments:)

  6. That was simply lovely to read. What pictures you paint!

  7. Oh my word, Em. This is so stunningly written. Poetic and breathtaking.

    And boy do I get it. I love to celebrate winter solstice because it means the nights are getting longer and lighter :)

    I loved the words you shared with yourself in the last paragraph. This was one of my favourite posts because it pushed me to say some nice things about myself... out loud. I'm so glad you did too.

  8. Yawps, thank you, girl! Your hilarious tales roll over and over in my mind for laughs all day long:)

    Cali, thank you!

    CS, The fact that the nights just start to get longer is reason enough for me to celebrate it! And I'm so glad you are saying nice things about yourself out loud- you deserve it:)

  9. Emily, this is stunningly beautiful. "Winter teaches us to care for ourselves in a different way." That just nails it.