Often in our society people over-focus on the "positive' and of course, I'm a silver lining kind of person. However, there is much need for the dark as well. It scares people to look at their shit. And I get it. It also takes special kind of people to truly be there and not fix, judge or give advice. The lighter you want to be, the more essential it is to navigate through the dark and shed some of that heaviness.
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men and women are afraid of the light".
—Attributed to Plato
Now I'm not sure it's always easy to tolerate our kids' fears, however what stops us from truly being there for them and being the kind of parent, spouse, friend we want to be, is that we are actually getting in our own way. Maybe not always. But often. I've done a shit ton of inner work and it's ever-evolving as new storms come and test the skills I've learned (awareness, compassion, trust, surrender, acceptance, empathy, boundaries to name a few).
So if you're still reading, good for you! Have you noticed that I love introspection and depth. As we start winter and the holiday season, you may also have other stuff simmering beneath the surface. Irritation. Blah. Overload.
And another layer deeper. Grief, envy, shame. Conscious or not. We all have it.
Here are five ways of thinking about the dark. Whether for a moment or an extended time.
1. Everyone has shit to work through.
That's not to minimize or compare our own experiences. Simply, there is comfort in knowing you are not alone even though your shit is unique to you.
2. It *can* be transmuted into medicine.
Know that there is more than one way to look at things. Often we think of dark as being 'bad/negative/wrong'. It's not. At least not until you shift things.
3. Use your allies.
Often we avoid looking at our shit because it feels uncomfortable, unsafe and frankly not somewhere we want to be. Nor do we know how to change old habits and generational patterns. Or understand why it's important. Until you find something or someone that can reflect the light you have within so you can find your way.
4. It's cyclical.
The dark is less scary when we know there will be light. And there will be dark and light after that. Obvious, I know. And sometimes we forget. Especially when we can't "see".
5. Facing the dark has its benefits.
When we go deeper and shine a light on all the thoughts, feelings and patterns we'd rather keep hidden, even though not always fun, we unlock a power within and lessen the control it has over our lives. Think more calm under pressure. Permission to be you— imperfections, failures and all. Being less triggered and overreactive.
Of course, two steps forward, one (or three in my case) steps back ;)
Maybe you know this or you have no idea what I'm talking about, either way, I'm sending you loads of light and love as we celebrate the first day of winter.
P.S. Simplicity group starts Jan 11-Feb 1 (4 week series)!
You can register here.
A perfect time to talk about "getting back to basics and focusing on what really matters".
Folks who have completed simplicity series will be invited into The Gray Mothering Collective deep dive that starts in February. More details to come. How does Triggers + Trust sound for a title?