Accepting your dark days as an essential part of life

IMG_2137We all have a dark side. Yeah you do and so do I. I call it this because I don’t want to use positive psychology to try and mask it. That would be like demanding daylight 24/7! It is painful and sometimes ugly in varying degrees of intensity, but very much part of you and every bit as necessary at your Light side. Contrast is life.

What I mean by your dark side is those hidden bits of yourself you don’t like and you think others don’t too. Those bits that are deep and get trigged by lovers and others and the bits you defend heavily but actually deny, push away, squash or medicate away with booze, drugs and rock and roll in an attempt to deal with it.

My dark side looks like this. I am a big personality and very vocal. I take after my dad, who was a large and tricky character. His PTSD from World War 2 damaged him so badly bless him and it only served to bleed into our family dynamic as I was growing up. Dad would lash out and hurt himself and mum and I, often. His dark side was intense and he medicated it with booze and gambling. We are similar characters. Emotional, changeable and sometimes out of control. I get dark days where I feel myself sinking down a well and I feel raw. All that feels unhealed rises up. I can’t speak sometimes and I feel worthless. And this is what happens even now after 15 years of self growth. I feel men have left me because of it. But it is just part of me and I am learning to love it, not loathe it or question it.

These bits of me I have healed largely with self growth over the years primarily to make my life and other’s lives easier. Now don’t get me wrong I am far from perfect, but self growth has helped enormously to soften, educate and help me learn to love my dark side a whole lot more.

But what I get after years of self healing is the knowing that my dark side is a part of me that will always be here in some form and that feels so much easier.

The misconception is that doing self/spiritual work means you can eradicate dark side suffering. I just don’t believe that actually. I think you can lessen the impact but your dark side and lets call it the contrast to your Light, if you don’t like the term ‘dark’, will always come in some form or other.

Question is, does it run your life? If it does, read on.

Reading books and going on courses to deal with your dark side is totally fine and awesome but in simple essence, here’s how you can begin to allow your dark side it’s place as a fully paid up part of you.  And you don’t need to do ANY self growth to do the following.

Steps to loving all of you

  1. Get curious about your reactions to things. Spend next week learning about you. What triggers your anger, self loathing, insecurities and your darkness? Even little annoyances can be your dark side ‘utterings.’

  2. When you get pissed off, the very best things you can do are:

    Breathe and notice how you feel right now. Explore and be with it all. You may be surprised by what comes up. Revelations perhaps.

    Give yourself time to calm down. Cortisol and adrenaline surge strongest in the body for the first 20 minutes when you feel your pain rising. Move away from the person who triggered you, if the feelings are strong. It serves to help you the most.

    Don’t give the other person/situation a defensive mouthful. Not their fault. Not saying they are perfect but what you feel, they didn’t make you feel. Just saying.

  3. Instead of judging, berating or slating other people, LOVE that they are bringing you another opportunity to LOVE your dark side. Others will keep on bringing things to you, until you look at it and oh boy some people go from birth to death and never see this! Say thank you. This takes a little practise believe me, but this is where you can love you more!

  4. Find a space to be FULLY with your pain, darkness, anger and LET IT THROUGH no matter how long it takes. No booze, no crap food, no drugs, no shopping, only stopping. Be brave. Let it purge itself naturally. Cry, thump the duvet, scream at the top of a hill. Love yourself enough to let the blocks become the flow once more. Thats how it works. It’s all energy and it NEEDS to move.

  5. Everything you feel has an origin but I don’t actually think it matters to search for ‘why’ unless you feel it helps. All you have is right now and the sensations in your body. Can you leave the story out of if? Stories of why you are dark just NEVER help (LOADS of self help on that subject!).

  6. In the teachings of Vipassana meditation, as you allow your darkness to arise and release, it eradicates deep impurities in your subconscious, leading to more flow and ease. It works, honestly it does!

  7. It’s ALL about you. As Matt Kahn says, ‘How will you respond?’ to anything/anyone in life. This is a lifelong quest, but you know, I feel it’s an arrogance to just expect other people to love your dark side when you can’t. Sorry but tough love here.

The dark comes with light, it’s ALL ok, try to accept that. Don’t push away the darkness, be with it. It wants you to see it and love it.

If you do nothing you don’t learn ever to accept your darkness as another beautiful part of you and you may feel splintered and attract people who will keeping showing you (often not kindly) where you have not surrendered and accepted all of you.

Good luck, please help us all by helping you. We are in this together.

I love you

 

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Gina
Yoga teacher at Gina Hardy Yoga

I am a Yoga guide, relationship coach and therapist. I focus on teaching Yoga these days and love to teach in class, on retreat and in a 1:1 setting with clients. My motto for life is ‘Live, Learn, Love, Pay it Foward’ Pay your wisdom forward, tread lightly on this earth and leave footprints of love. Thank you, you are always loved no matter what. Gx


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