When I suggested “Giving the Devil Back the Darkness” as the title of a coaching client’s book, as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I wanted to stuff them back in.
I was incredibly curious about the idea of giving the devil back the darkness! I could feel tears welling up in my eyes as if those 6 words were like an arrow to my heart. I half hoped the title wouldn’t resonate with my client and, eventually, when another title was chosen, I was thrilled.
Whether or not I believe in the devil (I don’t) seems immaterial. It was the concept that intrigued me. Giving the devil back the darkness.
To begin, let’s align around the perspective that there is such a thing as the Devil (now a proper noun for the sake of this conversation) and it’s the Devil who gives us the darkness in our lives. Why, though? What does the Devil hope that we do with the darkness?
The answer comes back that the Devil hopes we use the darkness in our lives as it was intended: as shadow, gloom, blackness, joylessness, intense hopelessness; evil, even. When you use the darkness in these ways, the Devil knows s/he (Anthropomorphizing, now) made the right choice. A big thumb’s up to you from the Devil, by the way.
Time out for a quick perspective check: If this resonates at all with you, how do you feel knowing that you’re using the darkness exactly as the Devil intended it? Let’s add, that if you use it really well, the Devil may just give you more darkness. Oh joy ... uh, joylessness. How does that feel?
What if you were in choice about how to use it? What if, instead of becoming like the darkness, we engage it with the intention of finding the light, the brilliance, the joy and hope, and the compassion and humanity? What’s possible then? Not an easy task, I know, and yet a choice we are always free to make.
What if we gave the Devil back the darkness, like the peel of apple, savoring the juicy, ripe fruit for ourselves?
I make up that this ticks off the Devil. You’re not using the darkness as s/he intended it to be used. “You just don’t get it, do you?” S/He asks.
And in that moment that you give the darkness back to the devil, the Devil has no more use for you. You are ‘unfriended’. Perhaps another perspective: the devil cannot exist in your light. S/He is reduced to dust, crumbling away without your energy.
So, the next time, you’re offered darkness, imagine yourself giving it back; handing it over to the devil, saying, “You just don’t get it, do you?”
Giving the devil back the darkness.