Embrace your dark side
This is what I read on FB the other day.
Embrace my dark side? WTF?!
It certainly sounds pretty kinky I must admit – but what if my dark side has less to do with a deep voice and a black cape and more to do with getting mad at a postal worker in broken German over a broken box? It happened on a day when I was planning on feeling my feelings and you know, breathing through it and stuff, and then I was given that silly box to construct and ended up tearing it and having to buy a new one and all the while the glass window that protects the workers from the crazies kept automatically shutting over my package and the box I was trying to shove and explain away. What if that’s my dark side?
Sometimes dealing with my silly self feels like trying to hold together the pieces of a busted up ship and make it go. Can you relate?
But that postal worker, man, she was one cool cuke. My shit was not ruining her day. She was obviously an enlightened being or an experienced postal worker at least.
Me, on the other hand, I’ve been researching this Dark Side or Shadow Self as Mr Jung christened it. And here is what I’ve learnt in the last 20 minutes…
On one website I was advised to ‘try to break the bad habit of smiling, laughing or giving any other signs of credit to anyone not deserving of your mirth.’ Clearly there are a lot of people embracing their dark side around town.
But seriously, let’s get spiritual guys… From Warriors of Love… summarised in bullets…
- We are all that is. We are both the light and the dark.
- The light refers to the aspects of ourselves that we see as positive and the dark as those attributes or emotions we see as negative.
- It is our mission to see the power and purpose of everything and to not polarise our attributes into right and wrong.
- With compassion we can love both the dark and the light in ourselves. We can recognise the dark parts, like the naughty child, as needing love, healing and compassion.
- To deny or repress the darkness within is to deny a divine part of Self.
Yahoo! Bring it on… I love to love me!
Last night while we were cleaning M asked me if I was ever a bully when I was young (I don’t know where this question came from, dear me).
“Well yes, when friends spent the night at my house and couldn’t escape. I could be mean. I had my dark side.”
Later he said he couldn’t imagine me being a bully. It just wasn’t in my nature. How sweet (and unexpected).
But probably I really was.
Because sweet boys and girls can be mean too. Right?
Let me bring exhibit number two into the light:
There were a few controversial episodes when it came to the cat. I used to dress Pussy Poppens up in dolls clothes and push him round the house in a pram (as if his name was not degrading enough). Invariably he’d flee my clutches and escape to hide in terror behind the TV, at which point I’d poke him with a pool cue till he had no choice but to make a dash for freedom. You can imagine the rest (and no he didn’t die I just put him back in my pram). I experimented too with my next cat’s agility, throwing him into the air to see if they really do always land on their feet. He did … until that time he didn’t (that cat was fine too after may I point out). I stopped then. But have you heard that cruelty to animals is a pattern of behaviour in future psychopaths? Just saying. Now I am stuck in this cat ownership purgatory so there is some justice in the world. And I guess I have found my dark side.
But nobody is perfect right? Well, maybe Deeprak Chopra is. I know the secret to his enlightened state though. The other day I was watching this episode of the Metaphysical Milkshake and in answer to a question he said,
I die in every moment.
How deep is the Pak!
What a great motto for life! Each moment is a chance to spin the bottle. You know how much I love this. Don’t you?
But now I’m getting off topic. Dark Side. Dark Side.
He also said that,
Happiness is divine discontent
and explains that if we were blissed out all the time, we’d have nothing to do and would be ‘doomed to eternal senility.’
So that’s why just as I was ready to enjoy the peace of my newly cleaned flat, I found the overdue speeding fine from France! It is a chance to surrender further to the future. It is a chance to let go. It is a chance to find peace anyway before bedtime. It is a chance to still my mind despite the new noise.
And I am writing this now because although I like to practice gratitude on a regular basis, there are always unexpected callers waking my dark side up at all hours of the day and night.
Chopra says that without discontent there would be no creative impulse.
How simple and true. Look all around you right now – everything man-made was created because someone was not happy to be sitting on a cold dirt floor in the dark with nothing to do.
Yogi Bhajan agrees of course (because he’s a Yogi!)
Pain is a part of life. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
We need our ego as much as we need our soul. We need the ego to have the human experience, to experience love and pain and fear, and to feed the soul. How nice!
So if the darkness is inevitably arriving, how can we make him feel welcome but not so comfortable that he wants to move in and stay the week?
Debbie Ford shines a light,
When uncomfortable emotions emerge we should just allow them to be as they are – without trying to fix, change or deny them. Then they will pass through us.
I read this on Saturday and so I was trying to sit with it, letting the Sunday evening feelings of homesickness move through me. Such a good little student I was…
When you resist your emotions … you have to find ways to indulge yourself in quick fixes.
After the post-office on Monday (there was a whole other part I left out) I came home swinging between guilt, embarrassment and denial. When M didn’t pick up the phone, I blindly checked FB to take my mind off things. This is how I resisted my feelings. But I didn’t know what else to do with them!
Debbie Ford says, ‘If you feel angry, you might tell yourself that something is wrong with you or that you are mean…’ or worse, you might blame someone else.
I didn’t blame the post-office lady or myself or even Switzerland (finally). But I won’t be going back to that post-office like an escaped mental patient in a hurry. Am I denying my feelings? Hmm what would Deepak Chopra do?
Chopra says not to take yourself too seriously. He also says our real home is behind the curtain (up there in the sky). I love Deepak Chopra after watching this interview. I never really got the Chopra thing before. Now I do. Again I am getting side-tracked…
Oh yeah, about the dark side … Ford says it’s the story around the emotion that causes the problem, not the emotion itself.
‘If someone leaves you, it’s normal for you to feel sad. When granted a right to exist, you melt away these interpretations.’
Toxic emotions can be transformed into evolutionary food for the soul.
So notice what happens when you choose to embrace rather than reject each feeling that arises within you today.
But you have to be fast because these emotions can be slippery suckers. You may find yourself finishing that packet of chips before you have exhaled. You may find yourself suddenly waking up like a drugged hostage on the FB newsreel and wondering how you got there. You may find yourself reaching reflexively for the remote or the phone or the mouse or the whisky…
Before you even realise that you’re bored.
But that’s okay because you can die a thousand times tonight.
The evolution of the soul is our life’s work.
So just breathe.
And start again, loving, crying and laughing as you go.