This weekend I had a very hobbit-like energy, causing me to shut out most of the world and shuffle around my home finding menial tasks to do and, most importantly, taking naps. The weather outside was beautiful (one of the benefits of living in California during the winter months) and although I made it to the beach everyday with my dog, Diego, I just wasn’t feeling the normal energized self I’ve come to know and love. Every time my mind thought of an errand to run or a friend to call, my being-ness shut down and I would slump down onto the couch to watch another episode of “Fuller House”. The more my mind would create reasons to get me out of the house, the more my energy would drain, ultimately keeping my butt on the sofa. I felt bad about all of this somehow, I felt I should be out enjoying the day instead of letting it pass by and curling up with my dog.
It was almost like I was entering a dark side, my conscious mind pushing me towards the light but running into interference from some dark energy that was ruling me throughout the weekend. This isn’t the first time I’ve let the darkness take over, in the past I’ve let sadness, laziness, jealousy, greed and gluttony rule my actions for a period of time. However this was one of the first times that I worked on embracing the dark side and letting it run its course. And you know what? It did run its course, and left me feeling happy, energized and light.
Typically, we are taught not to dwell on things that make us unhappy. Most of the motivational messaging emphasizes not focusing on the negative, on letting things pass through, on ignoring the dark side in us all. Most days, it works well to suppress these dark thoughts and carry on with our daily tasks and responsibilities. Yet at some point, the suppressed darkness emerges again even stronger than before and we run into all kind of difficulties—illness, depression—that manifest into problems with our jobs, families, partnerships and relationship with spirit. Ignoring darkness only acts as a band-aid, a superficial protective layer which eventually falls off, revealing a larger wound underneath.
“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost
Embracing and welcoming all unhappiness, sadness, anger, fear in our lives is the only way we can let go and move past it. We have to let out the full expression of the darkness, allowing it to reveal itself fully to us so that we understand exactly where it’s coming from. That realization allows us to address any problems at their root, and also recognize when we just need a break from something for a little self-care. Welcoming the negative feelings also helps us to learn about ourselves more and more, until we walk around comfortable in our own skin and firm in our values.
Here is a short meditation to help embrace the darkness:
“It has come to my attention that I must work on my acceptance of the negative side of me. The dark side that constantly tries to balance all the light which enters my life.
If I try to ignore the darkness, it only manifests itself further into my existence.
For now I realize the only way I can work through my karma is to fully accept all aspects of my being. All that exists around me has a dark side. The moon shines brightly, creating a glow that entrances the obscurest of forests, only to retreat back into itself, creating a shadow that instills darkness in the world around it and on itself.
I will work on being more like the moon, letting its waxing and waning be a constant reminder to welcome my darkness with the same hospitality as my light.”