The concept of darkness has been historically, socially, and culturally associated with evil. All the aspects of darkness, including color, people, and even animals are known as unsacred. As a black woman living in a religious and catholic society like Colombia, I was thought that blackness is a representation of poverty, ugliness, and the devil himself. God, divinity, and goodness were the light/white aspects of everything.
For the church, Satan will be found in the darkness by anyone who dares to disobey the rules and be a rebel. Thinking outside the box, following your instinct, loving unconditionally, and demanding accountability to those who set the rules is all that is required to be considered unholy and rebel. This and owning the darkness found in my soul, in my emotions, and in my skin is an act of rebellion and therefore sin. For the Catholic Church to have a body is all you need to be a sinner, but having a black body seems unforgivable.
Traditionally, we can see that religions tend to create conservative and close-minded societies especially if there are playing the colonizer role. Let me put things in context. I grew up in Chocó — Colombia, a black region located on the Pacific Coast. It’s a beautiful and humid place; the jungle surrounds us as does the music inherited by our ancestors. Another fact about my region is that it is extremely catholic and what made me aware of my condition as “a sinner” from a young age. Guilt was sown in my mind since I was a little girl; I built my personality and perception around shame, complaisance, and fear.
As a teenager, I moved to Bogotá and the notion of sin was amplified because I discovered what means to be black, a black woman in a white/mixed-race society. Being far from home and living a new reality sharing with non-black people gave a different and even more painful perception of the meaning that was given to my existence. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and less deserving of love, respect, and attention just for being black.
A lot of failure was needed for me to finally see the roots of these false and limiting beliefs. When I started my spiritual path, three years ago, I was forced to look at my darkness, the unknown aspects of myself, hidden in my subconscious. I started visiting the place where the forgotten memories, pain, and trauma live in the company of our true power. I got in contact with the spirit’s essence, the fountain of true abundance and infinite love. Now I can say in the darkness I’ve found the roots of my personality, the power and wisdom of my ancestors, and freedom.
It took me years of consistent work to realize darkness was not all the things I was told. That Divinity is light and dark, white and black. That light cannot be appreciated without darkness, that duality finds balance through the existence of both. It took me years to recognize that the darkness is sacred too. Blackness is what we see when we close our eyes, we need it to rest. In blackness every human life is created, there is no light in our mother’s womb. The only way we can see outer space is because most of it is black which allows stars, planets, and the Milky Way to be seen. Every seed that it’s sown in the ground grows in the middle of the dark.