The Darkness Doesn’t Have to be Cold

We moved from northwest Minnesota to southwest Florida almost two months ago. We made the move after spending the entire month of July living here to see if we could stand the heat and humidity.

Heat and humidity.

Those are the two things the northerners always ask about. We all love to go to Florida, if we can, in the bleak midwinter. But the summer? “I couldn’t stand the heat and humidity!” No way!

After being here for three of the (six) hottest months of the year, I can honestly say that the hot humid days have not been the biggest adjustment.

It’s the nights.

You see, in Minnesota we would have some hot and humid days. In fact, the weather in Florida was not all that different than Minnesota last July — in the daytime. But it’s the nights that really take some getting used to.

Up north, you could hit 90 during the day and the temperature would still drop down into the 50’s at night. Even in the dog days of summer, you would likely need a sweatshirt or jacket if you were outside between sunset and sunrise. Even now, in the fall season, the temperature could hit the 60’s during the day and drop down below freezing at night. (Don’t even get me started on winter).

That’s life in the north. No matter how warm the days get, the nights are almost always cold (or, at least, “chilly”).

For my entire life, I have associated darkness with coldness.

If the sun isn’t shining, I just know I am going to need a jacket or coat or snowsuit.

But not in Florida.

This morning when I walked out on my lanai (that’s Floridian for “patio”) at 5:30 it was 75 degrees! It’s like that every morning. To walk outside of my house in the darkness and have it be warmer than inside has rocked my entire worldview! (Well, not really, but it has at least been a paradigm shift).

Here’s the thing:

Your experience of the darkness depends on where you live.

If you live in the north, the darkness is almost always synonymous with cold.

If you live in the south, the darkness is a warm welcome reprieve from the heat of the day.

You may be going through some dark times.

Maybe it’s been a long time since you have felt the warmth of the sun on your soul.

Perhaps you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Does your spirit feel starved? Your heart, cold?

Do you feel alone? Depressed? Afraid?

I’ve been there. I’ve lived a good portion of my life there, honestly.

I have always associated darkness with coldness.

When times are tough, I retreat. When things look bleak, I isolate. Darkness descends. Coldness grips my soul.

But now I know that my experience of the darkness depends on where I live.

Where do you live?

The early October snows up north triggered the circulation of my recent favorite meme (mostly my favorite because I’m not up north experiencing early October snows).

The truth is that if you choose not to have joy in your difficult circumstances, you will still have the same difficult circumstances, but less joy to help you get through the difficult circumstances.

If I live in a state of self-pity, self-doubt, anger, envy, guilt, shame, etc. my darkness will feel very cold indeed. But if I choose to live in a place of love, peace, joy, contentment, kindness, etc. my darkness will look and feel very different.

It may not change my circumstances, but it will change my perspective on the circumstances, my attitude in the situation, and possibly even illuminate a way out of the darkness.

The darkness doesn’t have to be cold.

Your experience of the darkness depends on where you live.

Where do you live?

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