“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
This scripture pulls me through the darkest of nights and the loudest of storms, where the darkness of PTSD attempts to take over any light and joy in my soul. Some days and nights, PTSD seems to pull me into an swirling tornado of pitch black noise, with depths that are unseen and unknown.
The brain’s response to trauma does not always automatically win the battle of the neverending rabbit-hole fall; instead, it’s been automatically programmed to fall back into the despair of the dark.
If our stories and programmed brains were to end there, we would be left in a constant state of uncertainty, darkness, and anxiety; rapidly pulled downwards by the memories we wish to erase, the faces we want to disappear, and the body sensations we wish to numb.
The beauty of light, however, is that darkness can never fully encompass it. Light, by definition, is “the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible,” and darkness is essentially “the absence of light.” Even pitch black skies with thundering clouds can not overtake the smallest flicker of a flame. Light always wins.
So what does this mean when we find ourselves spiraling deeper into the tornado of seemingly never-ending darkness? Light is the certainty that can bring us out. Darkness by definition has no power to win.
Therefore, let’s choose to surround ourselves with light. Bring light to mind when the darkness begins to kick in. Allow yourself to be surrounded by the many sources of light around you- a faithful friend, a snuggly pet, sunshine, a favorite song, a joyful memory. Turn to the ultimate Light, Whose presence does not even depend on our own ability or strength to fight.
The darkness will still call our name and push us to places we wish to forget, but we possess what it takes to fight. And when the darkness calls back even louder, like a thief in the night, let us not forget that darkness will not last forever. Come out of the pit, and cling tightly to the light that will always be stronger. Let’s face this battle of darkness with strength, persistence, perseverance, and most importantly, with light.
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