Noticing and Honoring Your Darkside

  The dark side of our being is an element most are not comfortable with. It contains thoughts and feelings that we may not quite understand. It’s unpleasant and suppressed because an exposition of what’s buried beneath may frighten us and others. Negative feelings, pain, and suffering are deemed as brokenness in our society. To be broken means there is something to fix.

But, there is nothing to fix. This is all a hoax.

The goal of a constant state of happiness is not as it seems. The girl you envy on Instagram with the perfect body, job, partner and lifestyle struggles with her dark side as you struggle with yours. We all cast a shadow that we cannot escape from, so why do we continue to try and camouflage pain and grief with a lackluster smile?

We lose touch with our essence when we stifle parts of our being. Rather than embracing the vulnerability that makes us all human, we wear a mask that shuts out others and ourselves from fully coping and cultivating a full life. True happiness comes with acceptance of who you are, and it’s important to recognize that without the balance of sadness, anger, or grief, we would not know “happy”. Or, it would not be as wonderful as it truly is when we feel it. There is a necessity for integration of the two sides in order to fully appreciate and be present in either.

When we look at happiness as a goal, we’re defining it as a destination and as if there is a specific prescription in which we must follow in order to achieve happiness. However, there isn’t one set way to be happy, and as we go through life what makes us happy is going to adopt and change. What is constant is the ebb and flow of emotion, so being able to accommodate your mind and body when emotions arise will allow you to move closer towards contentment.

How To Embrace Your Darkside

By sitting with our emotions and granting them permission to run their course, we are telling our dark side, “you are here, you are worthy, and I respect you.” You move away from resistance and towards release. Doing so, you are creating an awareness of what you’re feeling and can respond rationally. On the other hand, if you suppress what you’re feeling, over time you begin wearing your body and mind down. This can take the form of tension, chronic pain, depression, and other physical or mental disorders.

When you feel yourself creeping towards your low, take time for yourself to practice self-care. This could be in the form of meditation, a bath, or even a walk in your neighborhood. The me-time is essential to flood your mind and clear it in a swoop. It’s key to let emotions come up as they want to and see them through. If you start crying, don’t try and stop yourself. Let it all out and don’t ever feel as if what you’re doing isn’t “normal.” Be honest with yourself and the rest will follow. It may not be easy, but over time your system of handling pain will mature and the dark won’t be quite as dark as it once was.   

Honoring The Journey

Allowing your authentic self to shine can be daunting to others just as it is daunting to you. Your frequency is shifting and those in your current circle may not understand. They’ve known, as you’ve known, the goal of happiness. Your honest approach to emotion may make them uncomfortable, and that’s okay. Know that the path of embracing and accepting your dark side is one that you must travel and your people will find their way one day.

Our path of enlightenment, spirituality, or whatever you’d like to call it, cannot simply be filled with peace, love, and joy. It takes vulnerability, tears, and honesty. The balance of our two feet that help us walk our path hold happiness and pain, and when we can honor and respect both ends of the spectrum, we can curate a fulfilled life of authenticity.