Embrace Your Dark Side, Face Your Monsters
If you never embrace your dark side, your suffering will never end. Stop hiding from your monsters. Face them and find the path to enlightenment.
Find a quiet place and sit down. This moment is for you, only for you. This is the time to embrace your dark side. Forget about the noise and your unfinished to-do list. Let that negative voice in your head fade away, little by little. Enjoy the silence.
For those who don’t know how to appreciate it, silence is bad company. But if you’re capable of discovering its essence, silence can be incredibly gratifying. Listen to it.
Maybe you think it’s impossible for silence to communicate anything, but give it a try. Silence is often the path to connecting with ourselves. In this case, to connecting with your inner self. Don’t be afraid of it nor run away.
There’s nothing wrong with looking at yourself in the mirror. Touch your skin and brush your fingers over the wounds and scars that you usually avoid. Don’t look away nor close your eyes and pretend that it’s nothing. You know it hurts. Embrace your monsters and embrace your dark side. Connect with yourself.
Looking at suffering in the face is not a pleasant experience. The ghosts that haunt your memories can be intimidating and overly hard on you. They know exactly which paths are unbreakable, which ones are less stable, and which are the dark ones that house the roots embedded in your skin.
These ghosts are prints of your past, the anchors that enslave you to the pain of what you’ve been through. They feed that pain sometimes to remind you that it’s still there and that you haven’t overcome it.
If you don’t stop them, they become the monsters that you’re so afraid of such as fear of rejection, of being alone, or of failing. They’re just different disguises and masks that cover the false belief that you cling to so tightly: the inability to be happy.
Wounds have their dark side as well, did you know that? From here, all you can see is the grey sadness and the pain from the thorns that prick you. It’s a dangerous zone that’s easy to fall into. If you don’t prevent it, your life will end up revolving around that suffering. It’s a subtle spider web that enmeshes you little by little.
Wounds have their dark side as well.
Free yourself from your past
It isn’t easy to free yourself from the broken pieces of your past. This is especially true if the shards are deep in your skin and you pretend not to see them. Pain has a thousand and one ways to express itself. Even if you think you’re free from it, you might not be.
This pain and suffering can manifest itself in your body as well. David Alexander, professor, and director of the Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research, states that people who have suffered emotional damage often translate that pain into something physical.
This is why it’s best to embrace your dark side and your wounds and their influence on your world. Your dark side can be tricky. If you don’t tend to it, it can change the way you see reality. If you don’t tend to it, you’ll be stuck in an endless cycle of suffering.
“There is no scar, as terrible as it seems,
that doesn’t contain beauty.
The scar tells a story,
some kind of pain.
But also the end of that pain.
Scars, then, are the seams
an imperfect closure that heals us
while damaging us. That’s the way
time makes sure
we never forget our wounds.”
Just as your dark side can break you, it can also help you grow. It’s contradictory, but that’s the way it is. The sea of suffering is immense, but not endless. If you look to the other side, you’ll see solid ground. The key is finding balance.
It’s a question of going beyond the painful experience once you identify and understand it. In spite of the pain in your heart, you can value everything around you. Your world isn’t completely full of suffering, though you might see it that way sometimes. If you only focus on your wounds and your pain, your mind will believe that that is all that exists.
There will always be suffering. You can either decide to give up and drown in it or mature and grow. How can you do that? You have to embrace your dark side, your monsters, and your demons.
Swiss psychologist Carl Jung called the dark side of your personality the Shadow Archetype. It’s the basement where you hide your most repressed instincts. Your greatest selfishness and your uncontrollable urges live there.
If we want to see the light, first we have to submerge ourselves in our darkest depths.
Embrace your suffering and your dark side
We all experience suffering at some point in our lives. The important thing is to be able to recognize it, accept it, and feel it. Do this with kindness and don’t be so hard on yourself.
Once you do this, observe why it happens. What’s the cause of your suffering? What’s its true nature? Which of your thoughts feed it? What actions empower it? What feelings make it come back to life? Sometimes we throw gasoline on the fire of our words, actions, and thoughts and we don’t even realize it.
The next step to freedom is to try to avoid causing suffering. How? By avoiding everything that might provoke it. This step requires patience, effort, and practice. You have a thousand and one ways to hurt yourself rooted deep inside you. Almost all of them are related to your thoughts and unconscious actions. The key is to identify them and understand that nothing is permanent. What’s more, you have the ability to transform your life. You’re not a puppet.
We recognize that this isn’t an easy or simple process. You’ll have to overcome a lot of obstacles and break a lot of shields. Nevertheless, this is the only way to enlighten your life and find the path to well-being. This change won’t be sudden, it’s a gradual process.
Transcending your dark side requires time, but this is the only way to end your suffering and make peace with it. Sometimes the monsters that control you are no more than your deepest fears, crying out for help.
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”