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The Dark Side Of Being Full Of Light

"Evil is a source of moral intelligence in the sense that we need to learn from our shadow, from our dark side, in order to be good."
-John Bradshaw
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The Dark Side Of Being Full Of Light

Postby Christine » Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:14 pm

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Guiding yourself

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There’s a point at which you begin to feel like the enormity of things is so unbelievable, you wonder how you’d ever been walking around at all, with your eyes held so tightly. Slivers, before. How on earth did the light get in? How did you ever arrive where you are?

Perhaps, in being led towards the heat.

The practice of developing any kind of spiritual practice, anything that brings you greater awareness of yourself and your relationship to the world around you, is a process of stepping into a fire and allowing the flames to eat you whole. It is not gentle. Often, it even seems unkind.

There is rage, there is fear, there is fury. There are days when you may feel unable to move or, sometimes, breathe. In these moments, one can’t help but fathom how there is anything left to do but let go.

And that’s exactly when it begins.

It’s a beautiful thing to see spirituality flooding into the media en masse. Great spiritual teachers and seekers are rising up in profound, modernized, and thoroughly authentic ways.

For so many of us, seeing these lighthouses appear is a welcome sign from our seemingly endless days at sea.

We are often brought to creating our own spiritual practice, whatever that may look like, by a period of inner and outer turmoil so unbearable we believe we are being torn very slowly into fragments.

Part of this is true, we are being torn, to be fed to the fire. Part of this is not true — it’s not unbearable, because we only receive that which we need to grow and expand.

The contrast is that in our seeking, we believe we have found wholeness. As if it was outside of us all along. The answer. We think, great, I can meditate and have conscious sex and drink green juice and I will slowly diminish my experience of negativity and pain.

I will forget about my secret impulse to self-destruct. I will forget about my insecurity. I will disregard the truth about my identity.

Forgetting things doesn’t make them disappear. Pretending to not feel doesn’t mean you can’t. Someday, you will, and you will feel everything. It will not stop. It will not cease coming, it will only grow in intensity, and it will beckon you to the edges of your sanity.

And that’s exactly when it begins.

After an initial period of flocking to the light like a moth on a warm summer evening, we tend to realize that no matter how venerable our guru or preferred practice, much of this path is to be walked alone.

When we fail to realize this, we are often catapulted into situations which isolate us, exactly for this reason. Life won’t baby us. She’ll demand that we show up.

The process of being led to the light, of waking up as so many of us like to say, is not simply becoming more luminous. I’d love to see that idea detonate. It is also the process of getting very intimate with the dark, ravenous, insatiable heaviness inside of you.

Freud’s death drive. The Kali aspect of your Shakti. The brink of your humanity which wishes to experience it’s temporality in all ways — blissful and devastating.

The more we practice, the more we realize that the more we let the light in, the more the darkness will arrive, exist, and grow to bring contrast. Denying it causes a lot of mania.

Underneath a façade of purity there is always a deeper story. The whole point is to experience balance, and we can’t get there by sweeping our old stories under the rug. They have to be transmuted. Alchemized. Used as kindling. The darkness. We have to look at it.

When we continually push it away, judge it, or believe it to not be aligned with our path (often read: who we think we are) it only grows in power and presence. A real-life example for me was reconciling my sexual energy with my yogic dedication.

In retrospect, it’s hilarious to me that I ever believed I would subdue a part of myself that is not only not dark but also entirely yogic. And also, a core part of me. I let go.

And that’s exactly when it began.

There is a long history of study of the shadow self. This subject often gets a lot of flak, and likely because people want to focus on the positive aspects of growth. Can’t blame them.

What happens when we ignore the parts of us that we are afraid to look at, is that we become slaves to that master. We hide a secret that we think no one can see. They can.

It grows and grows, and becomes fear, guilt, shame, terror, anxiety. The pangs of which you may not wish on your worst enemy.

I have this vision often, when I am facing something truly terrifying, of being just above water, and consciously, making the choice to submerge. Dark, choppy, ocean. An adventure to the depths. It guides me in these instances.

I remember how small whatever I’m up against is in contrast to the vastness of my life. I remember that my darkness intrigues me, because I allow it to. I want to know myself fully. I want to love every corner. I want to meet people who love every corner.

You can sort of sense it, when you meet someone authentic. They’re tapped into this. They’re unafraid of being a hot mess. Of being too much. Of having a vulnerability hangover.

They really don’t give a fuck, because they recognize that darkness is part of being human, and they are okay with baring their humanity to the world. In a society focused on continual upward mobility, it’s no surprise that so much success is built on artifice and lack of depth.

The more we reject the notion that it is okay to have darkness, and that these part of us are not less likeable, loveable, or spiritual — in fact, they make us more so — the more we venture down the path of being half-human.

The darkness is real, it’s not going away, but once you look at it, it becomes something else: the canvas upon which the cosmos are born. Choosing to be half-human means denying yourself the possibility of exploring the furthest reaches of the universe.

I’m not sure about you, but I came here to be full-human.

And that’s exactly where it begins.

via Robin Lee

http://www.rebellesociety.com/2015/12/10/robinlee-darksideoflight/
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Re: The Dark Side Of Being Full Of Light

Postby Blue Rising » Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:08 pm

I wonder how much it says about me that I hear that. I could have written that one. Obviously I actually couldn't have...not eloquent enough. Lol....eh.

Powerful message, so the thumbs up wasn't enough this morning.
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Re: The Dark Side Of Being Full Of Light

Postby Willow » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:50 am

I see the post is old but I would like to post on this.
I have been though the dark night of the soul and at times still find myself back in the hole. The most important thing I learned was darkness is not evil. Darkness is only darkness. I felt like a child put into her own room and bed for the first time....and the lights turned out. The monsters arnt under our beds or in the closet or peeping in the window. They are in our head. I was always afraid to step out of the light because I was part of the light. Then , one day, for no reason I went into a spinning out of control into darkness. It was not depression or any other medical term for mental illness. I was thrown into darkness and I fought it for months feeling every emotion so intensely day and night. It felt like a five point restraint with all abalities of psych removed. I finally got exhausted and gave in and stopped fighting the darkness . I decided if darkness was here to take me then I guess it won because I'm too tired to go on fighting it. I found that I had held my eyes open for too long afraid the monsters were going to get me so I closed my eyes and there was my light. It was there the whole time. I was just afraid to let my guard down. My experience gave me a whole new perspective of darkness. Conscious and subconsciously. I no longer feel I have to stay in the brightest rays of the light even though that's my comfort zone , I balance the darkness and the light. Without darkness we could not appreciate the light and with out light there would be no darkness.

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Re: The Dark Side Of Being Full Of Light

Postby Naga_Fireball » Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:48 am

Wanted to bump this great thread of Christine's because of how good it is. Like wine, truth does not become less valuable over time.
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: The Dark Side Of Being Full Of Light

Postby Spiritwind » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:03 pm

I’m going to add this here, as it’s kind of an extension of the original topic. I grapple with my own negativity all the time. It is tempting to just try to turn up the love dial, but to do that without taking a peak at where those not so happy and not so loving thoughts are really coming from, is kind of like sweeping the dirt back under the rug so you can’t see it, but it’s still there.

The Danger in Fake Positivity and Spiritual Bypassing
Negative emotions and experiences allow us to grow

https://humanparts.medium.com/the-dange ... 02040b8dd3?

These days, the realm of spirituality (and sometimes psychology) can feel fake. Instagram and other social media are jammed with influencer posts about positive vibes, about not allowing negative energy or thoughts to get to you, about surrounding yourself with only supportive, positive people.

Unless you live in a bubble or on Mars, this is not only unrealistic, but also a recipe for never growing or truly learning who you are. If you attempt to transcend or avoid difficult experiences, you can remain emotionally stunted.
Spiritually minded psychologists and teachers refer to this as spiritual bypassing. Like it or not, the ugly parts of our humanity are where growth can occur. In the words of Buddhist teacher, author, and nun Pema Chödrön:

Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear… are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They’re like messengers that tell us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck.

Many emotions serve as flags indicating an opportunity for us to learn. Challenge, sorrow, change, discomfort, conflict, hatred, depression, and anxiety are paths to growth and change. We can explore and accept the parts of ourselves society urges us to keep tucked away. Painful or uncomfortable experiences enable us to grow past our current emotional and spiritual states.
Fake positivity can perpetuate a lot of the stigma around mental illness.

Encouraging someone who has clinical depression to focus on the positive is not helpful and can actually do more harm. This advice can bolster the feeling that they are at fault because they cannot simply pull themselves up by the bootstraps. I tell people struggling with depression that they are more tuned in to real human experience and emotion than those pushing the positive-vibes-only agenda.

Clients don’t come to therapy or seek life coaching because everything in their lives is going wonderfully. They are stuck in a pattern chock-full of negative emotions, and they cannot seem to break free. Sometimes we need an unbiased third party to help us see what we are running from or challenge us to face what we are unwilling to feel. Friends and loved ones can’t do it for us; we have too many emotional ties. Doing this difficult work can lead to lasting change. It takes real courage to stop pretending you have it all together and shake hands with deep sadness or childhood trauma. (Yes, this is a plug for going to therapy. I can’t help it. I’m a therapist.)

The path of individuation asks for total integration of all facets of the self: good, bad, and ugly.

Sometimes there is nothing to do with or about these emotions. Sometimes we need to simply acknowledge these feelings—to sit with sorrow, resentment, or jealousy without trying to change the experience or pick it apart. We have to allow ourselves to unfold, to witness emotions flooding our system, to breathe into the places in our bodies where we are stuck. We experience a softening when we allow space for all emotions, not just those that feel good.

If we can allow ourselves the space and acceptance to be multifaceted, we will experience life to its fullest. Being human means facing suffering. There is no light without dark, no joy without sadness. If we don’t experience all feelings, we have no basis for comparison. If we run from certain emotions by staying busy, expressing fake positivity, or abusing mood-altering substances, we are cutting away half our existence. When we stop and honor difficult emotions, we have the opportunity to live fully and integrate all parts of ourselves. These feelings will torment us until we stop running from them—and from the truth of who we are.

Next time you feel a sense of anger, fear, or sorrow, I challenge you to pause, get still, and remain quiet. Notice the feeling in your body and take a deep breath into that space. You might even place a hand on the spot—the chest, the stomach, the throat—where the emotion seems to reside. When you recognize these feelings, you truly honor your humanity. You may feel a loosening or a challenging emotion washing over you. But it will fade, like a wave that crashes on the shore before receding into the ocean.

It’s also important to own your feelings. No one can make anyone feel any particular way. It may seem like someone else is triggering us, but the source of discomfort is always within. Blaming your anger or resentment on someone else is a very easy way to bypass the inner work.

The path of individuation asks for total integration of all facets of the self: good, bad, and ugly. Don’t get discouraged by the difficult moments and emotions, and don’t push them away or diminish someone else’s experience by encouraging fake positivity. Uncovering and understanding the self is a lifelong journey that demands rejection of conventional attitudes and the mask of positivity. June Singer, noted American psychologist, put it this way:

It is an easy thing to say “be yourself” but quite another thing to know who you truly are. How can you be yourself if you do not know that self? Therefore, the process of individuation becomes a seeking after self-knowledge.
I’m not myself today, maybe I’m you
lsthompson711@yahoo.com

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Re: The Dark Side Of Being Full Of Light

Postby Moonlight » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:33 am

Spiritwind wrote:I’m going to add this here, as it’s kind of an extension of the original topic. I grapple with my own negativity all the time. It is tempting to just try to turn up the love dial, but to do that without taking a peak at where those not so happy and not so loving thoughts are really coming from, is kind of like sweeping the dirt back under the rug so you can’t see it, but it’s still there.

The Danger in Fake Positivity and Spiritual Bypassing
Negative emotions and experiences allow us to grow

https://humanparts.medium.com/the-dange ... 02040b8dd3?

These days, the realm of spirituality (and sometimes psychology) can feel fake. Instagram and other social media are jammed with influencer posts about positive vibes, about not allowing negative energy or thoughts to get to you, about surrounding yourself with only supportive, positive people.

Unless you live in a bubble or on Mars, this is not only unrealistic, but also a recipe for never growing or truly learning who you are. If you attempt to transcend or avoid difficult experiences, you can remain emotionally stunted.
Spiritually minded psychologists and teachers refer to this as spiritual bypassing. Like it or not, the ugly parts of our humanity are where growth can occur. In the words of Buddhist teacher, author, and nun Pema Chödrön:

Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear… are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They’re like messengers that tell us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck.

Many emotions serve as flags indicating an opportunity for us to learn. Challenge, sorrow, change, discomfort, conflict, hatred, depression, and anxiety are paths to growth and change. We can explore and accept the parts of ourselves society urges us to keep tucked away. Painful or uncomfortable experiences enable us to grow past our current emotional and spiritual states.
Fake positivity can perpetuate a lot of the stigma around mental illness.

Encouraging someone who has clinical depression to focus on the positive is not helpful and can actually do more harm. This advice can bolster the feeling that they are at fault because they cannot simply pull themselves up by the bootstraps. I tell people struggling with depression that they are more tuned in to real human experience and emotion than those pushing the positive-vibes-only agenda.

Clients don’t come to therapy or seek life coaching because everything in their lives is going wonderfully. They are stuck in a pattern chock-full of negative emotions, and they cannot seem to break free. Sometimes we need an unbiased third party to help us see what we are running from or challenge us to face what we are unwilling to feel. Friends and loved ones can’t do it for us; we have too many emotional ties. Doing this difficult work can lead to lasting change. It takes real courage to stop pretending you have it all together and shake hands with deep sadness or childhood trauma. (Yes, this is a plug for going to therapy. I can’t help it. I’m a therapist.)

The path of individuation asks for total integration of all facets of the self: good, bad, and ugly.

Sometimes there is nothing to do with or about these emotions. Sometimes we need to simply acknowledge these feelings—to sit with sorrow, resentment, or jealousy without trying to change the experience or pick it apart. We have to allow ourselves to unfold, to witness emotions flooding our system, to breathe into the places in our bodies where we are stuck. We experience a softening when we allow space for all emotions, not just those that feel good.

If we can allow ourselves the space and acceptance to be multifaceted, we will experience life to its fullest. Being human means facing suffering. There is no light without dark, no joy without sadness. If we don’t experience all feelings, we have no basis for comparison. If we run from certain emotions by staying busy, expressing fake positivity, or abusing mood-altering substances, we are cutting away half our existence. When we stop and honor difficult emotions, we have the opportunity to live fully and integrate all parts of ourselves. These feelings will torment us until we stop running from them—and from the truth of who we are.

Next time you feel a sense of anger, fear, or sorrow, I challenge you to pause, get still, and remain quiet. Notice the feeling in your body and take a deep breath into that space. You might even place a hand on the spot—the chest, the stomach, the throat—where the emotion seems to reside. When you recognize these feelings, you truly honor your humanity. You may feel a loosening or a challenging emotion washing over you. But it will fade, like a wave that crashes on the shore before receding into the ocean.

It’s also important to own your feelings. No one can make anyone feel any particular way. It may seem like someone else is triggering us, but the source of discomfort is always within. Blaming your anger or resentment on someone else is a very easy way to bypass the inner work.

The path of individuation asks for total integration of all facets of the self: good, bad, and ugly. Don’t get discouraged by the difficult moments and emotions, and don’t push them away or diminish someone else’s experience by encouraging fake positivity. Uncovering and understanding the self is a lifelong journey that demands rejection of conventional attitudes and the mask of positivity. June Singer, noted American psychologist, put it this way:

It is an easy thing to say “be yourself” but quite another thing to know who you truly are. How can you be yourself if you do not know that self? Therefore, the process of individuation becomes a seeking after self-knowledge.


This must be important... you posted it twice :D (I know the internez...) Three time's a charm :D
If you feel that you can’t smile, stand before a mirror and with your fingers pull your mouth into a smile. It is that important! Yogananda

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Re: The Dark Side Of Being Full Of Light

Postby Spiritwind » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:50 pm

Thank you Moonlight! I did not realize I did a double post so removed one, LOL! Yes, important maybe, but not THAT much!
I’m not myself today, maybe I’m you
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