Albert Einstein said that darkness does not exist. Darkness is merely the absence of light.
I know that darkness exists. I have lived with it. And in it.
I know what darkness is. I know how darkness feels. I know its blindness. I know its aloneness. I know its eerie silence.
It exists. I can say that as an absolute fact.
Nothing exists without its opposite. The yin does not come without the yang.
And opposites don’t exist merely because an opposite must exist. An opposite exists because one completes the other. They are not separate. They are one. They are only whole…together.
You cannot have one without the other.
Light would not be complete without darkness. It doesn’t exist without darkness.
So there is no light without darkness.
There is no hope without despair.
There is no love without hate.
There is no joy without sadness.
There is no gain without loss.
Charles Dickens opened A Tale of Two Cities with, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
I don’t remember if I even read this book. But I’m pretty sure Dickens wasn’t just referring to the differences of London and Paris. Or two different groups of people. Doing opposite things. Going in opposite directions. But that he was referring to all of these things happening together. To all people.
I am hopeful that the reason this quote became so popular, is that the world sees it that way too.
I couldn’t have written more appropriate lines, than Dickens wrote in 1859, that would describe my 2015 any better.
But when I think about where I am. Where I’ve been. And where I am going.
I wouldn’t change a thing about this past year.
Without intimately knowing despair, I wouldn’t know what a driver that hope can be. I didn’t even believe in hope, before this year started. Without experiencing hate. Both internal and external. I wouldn’t know the strength found in love. Without having gone through sadness. I would not relish in joy. Without knowing deep sadness. I would not appreciate every single ounce of joy. Without halving felt true loss. Without having things I truly care about. Slip through my tightly clenched hands. I would have no idea. How much I should appreciate. Even the smallest of gains.
And without having had to crawl my way out of darkness. One small agonizing, hopeless step at a time. When I was barely able to see even the tiniest glimmer. I would not know how amazing it is to be in the light. I would not be able to love its warmth. And its glow. I would be oblivious to the total joy. Of basking in the sun.
When I think about the year ahead. 2016. I know that all of it will come again. The best. And the worst of times.
It will feel like they come separately. But they will be coming together.
For me. For you. For your loved ones.
For most of us. It’s easy to love the best of times. But when the worst times fall. We lose ourselves. And our minds. We feel like we lose all hope. And all love. And all joy. And all gain.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way.
Embrace these hard times. Appreciate them. Know that they are teaching you. They are readying you. They will force you to appreciate all the good that is coming.
Know that any time that you feel the darkness. That you will then be able to see the light. And feel the light. Know that you will be able to be the light.
The deeper the darkness, the more light you will see. The warmer the light you will feel. The brighter light you will be.
Yes. Some years are better than others. There are years filled with more light than darkness. More hope than despair. More love than hate. More joy than sadness. More gain than loss.
My hope is that all of you. Will have one of those years.
But I still I wish for you. In 2016. That you feel despair. So that you can find hope. I wish that you experience hate. So love can touch your heart. Sadness. So that the smile of joy comes from all the way inside. Loss. So you can finally and truly appreciate every gain.
And I wish you darkness. So that you can bask. Even in quickest flash of light.