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Dark of Love

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By Jan Ögren

Does the term “Dark of Love” feel awkward to you? Most people are more familiar and comfortable with the phrase “Light of Love.”

All my life I have been deeply saddened by the continual racism I see in our country. I’m a writer, so I look to words for understanding. I see embedded in our language a basic racism. We talk about blackmail as bad, but white lies are OK. The examples are endless. And spiritually you’re supposed to go to the light and avoid the darkness.

As a person of light skin, I imagine what it would be like to frequently hear people say, “I just went through a really light time in my life and it was terrible. I’m glad to get away from the light. That lightness was truly ugly and disturbing.”

I believe that there is a pervasive “spiritual racism” occurring in this country, deeply embedded in our spiritual communities.

Equating light with spirituality doesn’t even make sense. When I get ready to meditate, I don’t go around turning up all the lights or sit under a spotlight. I turn down the lights, close my eyes and enter a blessed darkness where I can feel a connection with all Oneness.

I feel more inspired and peaceful staring up at the black night sky than staring at the sun.

I believe it is time to “blackwash” our language and avoid the terrible lightness of prejudice. Let’s talk about encouraging love and connection and avoiding disconnection and chaos. I find it a good spiritual practice to be aware of my words and try to avoid the white/good, black/bad bias. As a white person it also helps me stay aware of racism and white privilege as I listen to my language and other people’s use of words.

I wish I had a magic wand to change the entire world but I can change my words and so I invite you to join me in embracing the beautiful dark of love.

Jan Ögren, MFT, works in Santa Rosa practicing Psychological Shamanism. JanOgren.net

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