What were you scared of when you were little? Were you scared of the dark? Don’t be ashamed, many of us were. But, isn’t it funny that we never questioned this particular fear? It seemed natural to be afraid of the dark; it seemed to be full of scary things that were just waiting to hurt us.
So, we learned to associate darkness with all things scary and unknown; even if those things were of ourselves. In this way we learned to avoid and suppress our dark thoughts and emotions. However, suppressing this darkness doesn’t cause it to shrivel up and die; it resides in our souls and it is powerful.
Understanding Our Inner Darkness. As we got older, our emotions become more complex and our fear of our darkness became our shadows. Unfortunately, many us are unaware that this hidden part ourselves is still able to influence our lives.This dark side, or shadow, is the part of ourselves that we are ashamed of and don’t want anyone to see. We don’t know that it is in this darkness that our strength lies. Our past experiences have taught us to hide from our dark side and avoid exploring its depth.But, all this does is keep us from truly expressing ourselves.
In many ways, hiding from this part of ourselves is the highest form of betrayal. When we conceal this part of ourselves, we are saying that our authentic selves are unworthy. As a result, secrecy, pretending, and manipulation become a natural part of our lives in order to avoid being rejected and exposed for being our true selves.
When repress the dark corners of our being, we welcome face disorder in our personality; this manifests as anxiety, addition, bad relationships, self-sabotage, and other behaviors that cause harm to us as well as other people.
On the other hand, when we become aware of ourselves in totality, we welcome opportunities to express our strengths. To become aware of our shadow and to embrace it is to shed light on our deepest wounds and to give ourselves a chance for transformation and healing; ignoring it is akin to letting it decay and poison our lives.
To deepen out spirituality, we must pass through the shadow. For spiritual work to be effective, it must expose the shadow so that it can be understood. When we focus only on finding our light, we are kept away from places of shame, guilt, jealousy, greed, aggression, lust, and competition.
However, it is these very emotions that must be worked in order for us to embrace our light. Hiding from our inner darkness can even cause meditation to be difficult. It is when we are alone with our thoughts and feelings that it rears its head. But, as with all strong emotions, what we avoid keeps us in rejection. In this way, we begin to overly identify with the façade that we’ve generated to fit in with our own sense of reality.
We shape our personalities so that we are deemed worthy and lovable in the eyes of other. For some, this plays out as being driven, successful, powerful, and intelligent and there are also others whose ambitions lay on the opposite side of the spectrum. No matter how we allow our personalities to control our lives, its manifestation is still another attempt by our inauthentic selves to get others to love us.
Embracing the complete you. The way to our light is through darkness; no matter how much we try to fight it. Even when we suppress this part of our souls, it remains active; always seeking our recognition. It takes guts to finally embrace our darkness and this practice should be performed in a loving and safe environment; otherwise we risk further isolation However, when we take time to truly look at ourselves, we are able to reveal strengths that we’d kept hidden from our awareness.
Taking this step is huge, but it will take you on a path towards self-love and healing. In the beginning, it may hard to figure out who you really are but this is to be expected. We are so used to our masks that expressing our true self is like meeting a familiar stranger. Soon new choices, possibilities, and perceptions will appear and all the apprehension will fade. We will be able to answer the questions that keep us in a place of weakness and inauthenticity. The answers that we receive on this journey will strengthen our capacity to be in this world more completely and fully. Are you ready to take the first step?
By: Eldrina Michel
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