Like many children, when I was young I hated the darkness. I hated everything about it. I loved being outside during the bright sunshine of the day to play and discover new things with friends, but you couldn’t get me to take a walk in the darkness of night to save my life. I loved playing with my toys and siblings in the basement, but you couldn’t get me to be the first one to enter the darkness and turn on the lights. I simply hated the darkness. It scared me more than anything else
I think the biggest thing that bothered me about the darkness was the fact that it represented the unfamiliar and the unknown to me. In the sunlight of day I could see all around me. I could walk and run and explore while seeing all there was to see. Darkness has a way of hiding the potential dangers and scary things in life, and I for one didn’t like it.
Does anyone else relate to my childhood plight? Do any other adults remember being afraid in darkness? After having four children of my own, I have learned that being afraid of darkness is quite common among children. They do not like the unknown of darkness and very literally, they do not like being hindered from seeing what is around them. Of course, as I have grown up, my fear of darkness has subsided drastically as I have learned that the same things I can see in the light are still there when it turns to darkness. I have realized that nothing extra is out to haunt me in darkness.
I have intentionally been trying to help my children overcome their fear of darkness. We have been taking short walks as a family as darkness begins to settle in at the end of the day. They are fine as long as we are talking and as long as they can grab a hand with someone else. There is something profoundly connected between the fear of darkness and the fear of being alone I have realized. So I am attempting to break their fear of darkness by reinforcing that they are not alone. Having my children share bedrooms with each other has also greatly helped them in the process of overcoming their fears of darkness. With two people in a room nothing is as scary and usually one will stand up and be strong in the face of fear.
I write all this to say simply that life is full of things to be afraid of. It is our choice, however, how we choose to let things like darkness or lonliness affect us. We can be overcome or we can learn to overcome our fears. I’d suggest that life is far too short to spend it in fear of darkness or any other thing.