In my own life I have found that there are periods of darkness preceding new growth or moving to a deeper level or understanding. I have found that it is true that it is often darkest before the dawn. I don't remember which existential psychologist said "when the skies grow dark, the stars come out to shine", but I love the image. When we are able to enter the dark hidden places within, the light of our awareness is able to shine, revealing the gifts, and illuminating the truth. While maintaining equanimity in the midst of suffering or pain is difficult, the more I am able to embrace the darkness, and ask for its message or teaching, the more peace and serenity I find within.
Winter is the season where we are given support in going inward, meditating, reflecting, exploring any darkness we find inside, and letting go of the things we no longer want to carry or are holding us back from living our most fulfilling life. If we can avoid judging or criticizing ourselves, or thinking that there is something wrong, or we have lost our connection to the Divine, we can receive the benefits and gift that are being offered to us. There is hidden treasure in the darkness. The gold is found beneath dark states of fear, sadness, anger, guilt, shame, and feelings of worthlessness or badness. Each dark emotion is carrying a message that it wants to share with you for your growth and expansion.
Do not be afraid! Take courage and go within!
Rumi wrote a poem about this:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.