Erik Gordon, founder of Carabiner Coffee, wrote these words entitled “The Importance of Sitting in the Dark”:
“There comes a point in the night when the flame of the fire is on its last light. We’ve spent the last few hours sharing our stories and our dream of what we would do if we could do anything. Those conversations seem to always end with the same few words “if only there was a way…”.
Often that is the hardest part of all of this, finding our way down a path that on one has been before. It’s like we’re heading into the darkness. We know where we’re trying to go but we have nothing and no one to light our way. In the end it will always come down to this moment and this decision.
Do you turn on your headlamp and find your way back to the place that you know, or do you stay and sit with the new found darkness? Your headlamp is going to show you the small patch of glowing earth in front of you leading you back to where you came from. The place that you were talking all night about not wanting to go back to.
Let this time be different. Your light stays off and you wait. At first there is nothing but black, no idea what is around you or how you are going to find your way forward. As you wait though, the sky begins to fill with stars and the space around you starts to get a little brighter and in a matter of minutes you can see everything around you. In the end all you really had to do was embrace that darkness for a short period of time and in return you are given the ability to go anywhere you want.
There are so many dreams that are possible in this life that simply take a little time spent sitting in the dark and trusting that those stars going to show up. Once you can see through that darkness, there is no where you can’t go and nothing you can’t do.
We all want to know where we’re going before we leave the light but sometime the importance simply lies in sitting with the darkness. Being bold and trusting that the path of your passions will take you where you want to go.”
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I read these words for the first time in January of this year. I cried the ugly cry for a good long time. Then I printed two copies of the words: one for my wall at work and one to keep at my bedside at home.
I’m pretty quick to turn on a headlamp when The Dark closes in. First in line to start trudging the known pathway back to “safety”. This time, I chose the path less traveled by.
I sat in the dark as winter wore on. I sat in the dark as spring fought her way back and gave birth to summer. That’s not to say I didn’t endeavor; I bent the sunrise with exertion, effort, determination.
The reality of it is, we are forever ‘beginning again’. Perpetually growing, changing, evolving, risking our hearts, reckoning with hardship and facing difficulty… these are the hallmarks of living fully. It’ll leave a mark.
I’m sharing Erik’s words today on the offchance that I’m not the only human who needed reminding of the importance of sitting in the dark. Making friends with uncertainty.
Today, whether your world is bright with promise and your journey is carrying you forward with powerful momentum- or whether you are becalmed, floating quietly on a waveless, windless expanse of unknown ocean- BE where you are. Choose to thrive. Sit with the emotions that arise. Welcome each of them as guests. Gather strength for your next step, your next jump.
Whether you go,
Go with all your heart.