Charita Goshay: In days of darkness, light finds a way – Canton Repository

Posted: December 23, 2019 at 10:45 am

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You dont hear much these days about Advent, the 40-day contemplative period leading up to Christmas.

Kinda hard to craft a peppy, boy-meets-girl Hallmark movie from traditions that harken back to the Middle Ages.

Besides, were growing increasingly adverse to contemplation. Quiet has become a source of discomfort, a problem to be solved with ceaseless entertainment and distraction-on-demand.

During Advent, light is in its shortest supply. In this part of the country, most of us we wake up in the dark and go home in dark.

For Christians, the darkness ends with Christmas, as light re-emerges in the world in the form of the one who made it.

Dying from despair

It has become second nature to fear the dark. Darkness can fuel our imagination like nothing else. Our popular culture has taught us that those things that go bump in the dark never turn out to be good.

That fear of the dark is being manifest in an increasing number of Americans who are dying from despair because they cant see even a flicker of hope. Earlier this year, the Journal of the American Medical Association published findings that show that decades of increased life expectancy have begun to reverse, as more people have begun to succumb to suicide and substance abuse.

In the wealthiest, most powerful and most connected nation in human history, increasing numbers of its citizens are suffering from economic worry, social isolation, anxiety and psychological distress.

In a state of hopelessness, even Christmas can add a burden of guilt and grief, especially if you cant afford to keep up with the madness.

Keep looking

Its being suggested, through our entertainment and through the flood of tragic stories that saturate social media, that darkness is a power that cannot be overcome.

But it is in those moments we must remember to keep looking for the light; to remember even the smallest spark forces the darkness to flee.

Even in the dark, there is value to be found. Being in the dark often forces us to focus. It heightens our self-awareness and strips away the pretense we wear like armor.

Nature and the heavens themselves teach us that, unlike some beings, we cannot exist apart from the light. Because of the warmth and joy it brings, it is the thing that makes us feel most alive. It connects to the divine spark within.

The story of Advent and Christmas is the story of light re-emerging to take its rightful place in the world.

It reminds us that no matter how deep the dark, it cannot stop the light.

Reach Charita at 330-580-8313.

On Twitter: @cgoshayREP

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Charita Goshay: In days of darkness, light finds a way - Canton Repository

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December 23rd, 2019 at 10:45 am

Posted in Self-Awareness