“Love and light” is a common refrain in the spiritual and coaching communities. It presents an ideal that everything should be love and light all the time.
It’s dangerous, because it’s unrealistic and sets an expectation that nobody can adhere to.
It also seems to invite spiritual bypassing — when you look at your situation and dismiss any bad feelings you have because “it was meant to be” like this.
“Love and light” is presented the opposite of darkness. It’s an example of how our culture tends to view everything in polarities, or opposites. Some other examples:
Positive vs negative
Optimism vs pessimism
Right vs wrong
Democrat vs republican
Liberal vs conservative
Feminine vs masculine
Us vs them
Good vs evil
Healthy vs sick
In vs out
Yin vs Yang
Open vs closed
Look around and you will see polarities everywhere. It’s embedded into our cultural thinking.
It’s an illusion. Nothing in life is black and white. Nothing is all good or all evil.
Everything is contained in its opposite. There is darkness in the light, just as there is light in the darkness. There is joy in moments of grief, and grief in moments of joy. To believe in abundance means you believe in scarcity. Everything is contained in everything else.
This is illustrated in the Yin/Yang symbol:
This myth of duality pushes us to the extremes; we can see evidence of this in our society. At the extremes, that which nurtures us can become deadly and that which is toxic can become therapeutic.
Fire and water are two elements essential for life. Fire gives us warmth, light, and a way to cook food. But unrestrained, fire destroys.
Water hydrates, cleanses, and gives life. But too much water drowns and destroys.
Medicine can heal. In excess, it can kill.
Poison is generally bad. But we use chemotherapy and radiation to treat cancer.
Our role is not to choose one or the other but to mediate, moderate, and modulate the polarity to find the middle ground where the two extremes create a third thing.
There is no love and light without fear and darkness.
Darkness plus light gives us a day.
Love plus fear yield courage.
Yin plus yang create wholeness.
By embracing all the parts that we see around us we also embrace all the parts within us.
This is how we come to healing and to wholeness.