Just say the word "dark" and the connection starts to flow. Demon, ghosts, haunted houses, caves, vampires, cemeteries, bad guys, monsters, devils, etc. And the stories I've heard have been without firm evidence, imagination has been strong in my young mind that often I experience nightmares.
Luckily, reading the stories of the Bible and learning how to pray while we were children clearly made me rise above my worries when growing up.
In the real world, darkness, in its various ways, reflects many of our fears. May it be physical, psychological, mental, relational, metaphysical darkness.
Psychologists refer to any intense fear of darkness as nyctophobia in Greek terms. No matter what it's called, this debilitating illness produces multiple colored creatures in anyone's existence.
When we age, we may no longer be as fearful of literal uncertainty as we dread uncertainties and unwelcome circumstances in our lives. Typically, our fear of shadows is not fear of shadows. Rather, it is the terror of real or perceived threats hidden by darkness.
When we can not grasp or embrace things, or when they go beyond our influence, they inadvertently activate the so-called monsters of the mind. It's not the answer to run away from our terror. We need to face it, reach out, and guide our journey to the light.
Psychological gloom occurs as a consequence of our habits of behavior — i.e. behavioral illnesses that cause anxiety and severe disability in education, at work, or in our social environment.
Unfortunately, many live in the darkness of anxiety and depression, post traumatic experiences, the pressure to excel, and peer pressure. Those with personality dysfunctions such as eating disorders, panic attacks or post-traumatic stress, other neurological disorders as well as drugs and alcohol abuse, describe life in the dark, ironically, in a God-created light and magnificent world. People with emotional and relational issues typically have destructive habits that might spin out of control and lead to intense distress, depression, or anger.
These can involve antagonism, promiscuous conduct, and irresponsibility related to dysfunctional and fractured marriages, health and economic difficulties, and, most specifically, loss of moral and spiritual perspectives.
The enigma of spiritual darkness tells us of the hour of midnight when even shadow does not exist. It reflects total desperation and sorrow. Yet we should dream beyond that, where the bright light of a new day shines and empowers us to win and accept it with a sunny smile on our face.
We can learn to appreciate the darkness. After all, we need darkness in order to see light.