Why darkness might be our friend and why I’m not afraid of talking about the dark side of life…
We might use the term “negative” to ascribe to those people brave enough to talk about and face the darkness, but I find the darkness and the facing of it rather positive and here’s why:
Running from and going out of our way to avoid the dark comes from a place of unconscious or conscious fear. It’s the kind of fear that we are NOT conscious of that is negative in terms of what it does to our mindbodies and to those around us. Unconscious fear is also a result of our conditioning. This form of fear especially is the lowest energetic frequency in that it is constrictive. It dulls the human spirit and it is almost lifeless. When we are holding on to our social-programming and unconscious fear, nothing positive comes out of that. We are dead people pretending to be alive. And because we go out of our way to avoid pain, we also cannot experience TRUE joy.
“I have heard it said that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. I don’t read that in the positivity vein of ‘you’re choosing to feel bad’, often defined as ‘negativity’. That has never sat well with me. Instead I see it from the perspective of suffering as nonacceptance.
We will all experience hurt and loss – acceptance of this and the willingness to feel and experience it. is painful and also allows the healing to occur, whereas resistance to it (denial, avoidance, judgments, shoulds etc) is what causes us to suffer.
If we had a society that was more comfortable with the expression of grief, we might (ironically) experience less suffering.” ~Leanne Chapman
I have been doing healing work for the last couple decades and as a result of facing my own inner and outer demons, I am learning what it feels like to feel real joy and peace in spite of the fact that I have a long way to go. We can kid ourselves and think we are happy. I used to do that. It’s another mask we wear to keep us from acknowledging all the pain and social programming we carry around.
The more shadow-work/healing I do, the less fear of the dark I carry around with me and the more authentically positive and optimistic I become. While I still hold on to some fears, I allow myself to, little by little, face that fear and the more I face it and talk about it with my husband who gets it, the more it dissolves.
Generally, give me any dark topic…. Go ahead, try me! I can do it!
Life can’t scare me like it used to.
Bugs can’t scare me anymore. The word “incest” can’t scare me anymore. People’s complaints and so-called “negativity” can’t scare me as much. People’s rage and anger don’t scare me anymore. People fighting doesn’t scare me anymore. Talk of the “end of the world” doesn’t scare me anymore.
The more we face and release our tears, our terror, our sadness, our rage, our shame, our feelings of helplessness, our feelings of hopelessness, our feelings of powerlessness, and fears, the stronger, more liberated, and more compassionate we become. We get to the point where we embrace and appreciate the importance and necessity of Darkness and how it plays out in our lives. And so, there is less fear about it.
Sometimes we might identify with being positive or being a pollyanna, but for some of us, it is another form of escape which keeps us dissociated from pain and unhealed wounds. This kind of positivity is fear-driven and therefore, not positive. We cannot handle the slightest bit of adversity. We cannot handle other’s activism on important world issues. Spiritual leaders might market positivity as enlightenment or being spiritually mature, but I have seen it all too often used as a tool to condition us to fear life, to fear ourselves, to fear others or to judge what some might call “negative”. And then inadvertently, we condition others to fear life, ourselves and others all the same. And so we have this vicious cycle. If we truly want to be alive and be REALLY positive, we have to embrace ALL of life — not just that which makes us comfortable. We have to embrace E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, the duality within and without.
Finally, If we don’t know what’s wrong, how are we going to fix it? So yes, sometimes we have to talk about the dark side of life and face reality so that we can create a better one. When you know what is wrong, you make better choices too. You become empowered and stronger. Riding the rainbow waves in a shallow dissociated state on our floaty unicorns mindlessly chanting poetic spiritual catchphrases we learned from viral memes on FB can only take us so far. Then real life happens. Buried emotions surface. Your world turns upside down. If we allow ourselves to emote, that is when we shift from child to adult.
To really live life? Can’t do it if you’re afraid of the dark.