What to do with all that darkness?
What do you do with the dark times? You know, like visiting a house of mourning? Or when September the 11th comes round? Or hearing of some human tragedy – (even the ‘UK Riots’) on the news?
Well now, some people lap it all up. They love a bit of tragedy. I think in a way they kind of get high on it. They’ll be the first to call you and say “Did you hear what happened to …. isn’t it sad?” Isn’t it miserable, hard, deliciously depressing… Then you’ve got those who feign complete composure. You know, the ‘pass the salt’ types. They’ll sit there and say things like “Well it was par for the course, wasn’t it really, I mean what did you expect?” Sometimes they’ve gotten so cold in the practice of not feeling, that I think they actually don’t feel it anymore. Then you’ve got the channel switchers. You know, the people who change the channel when the ads about abused or starving children come on because they can’t bear to watch. And here I have to put my hand up and admit: That’s me. Well at least it was…
I know this one from the inside. I do watch the news, because I like to know what’s happening, but I’ll never read sad books and hate watching drama. Don’t talk to me about horror movies – even the film ‘Titanic’ kept me awake for a week, thinking about all those people dying. Funny disposition for a life coach/hypnotherapist. I get to hear about a lot of the dark things that have happened in people’s lives – sometimes things that they themselves haven’t faced up to in years. And it grabs me by the throat every time. I don’t think I’ll ever be immune to feeling it, and I don’t think I want to be. Lucky for me I’m adept at ‘turning down’ the sensitivity enough at least to help my clients get themselves out of the pit, but I feel it first. I’ve always got time to ‘feel’ along with my clients, but when I get home, you’ll never catch me chasing the misery shows – life’s serious enough!
So what do you do with it? It seems I’ve not been alone in trying to ‘protect’ myself from the dark side of life. There are plenty of people – some of them pretty big in the personal development world – who actually don’t watch the news at all because they don’t want to be brought down by the world’s misery. There are therapy techniques that have you ‘rewrite’ your past so that the dark things supposedly never happened or so that people apparently didn’t hurt you. And there is some pretty powerful evidence that ‘what you focus on, you get’, so there’s a growing industry out there to help you focus on the good things, so that you get more of them. It’s powerful stuff and I believe in a positive focus with all my heart.
But here’s the sting in the tail. In ‘trying’ to protect yourself from the darkness, what are you doing? YOU’RE FOCUSING ON IT. Think about that. I’m not talking to the misery wallowers here, you’re focusing on it and you know you are, so you’ll get plenty of it to keep focusing on, if that’s what you really want for yourself. I’m talking to all of us personal development junkies who read all the positive books, and laugh with all the funny people, and wake up and tweet “It’s a beautiful sunshiny day!!!” How many of us can’t face the darkness, and run from it? Well guess what baby, you better never look back, cos it’s right there chasing you!
What’s the answer? I’ve just read it. In a book by Gregg Braden, entitled ‘Walking between the Worlds’. I’m probably still not going to watch the tear jerkers, but I won’t be switching channels every time the sad ads come on any more. I’ve found a better way to deal with it and I’m ready to share. Here it comes: Accept the Darkness.
‘Watttt?????” You might say. “You mean I have to like the dark side??? You mean I have to want it?? Why did I just spend all those years training my brain to ignore it??? Don’t be silly, the dark side is bad, its evil, it pulls you down, it makes you sad, why would I want it???”
I didn’t say want it. I said accept it. Allow it. Maybe forgive it. Mr Braden even has us bless it.
To quote Gregg Braden:
“To live in the absence of fear and pain, you must allow for their possibility. That is it. Simply allow for their very existence. In the “allowing” for the possibility, is found the removing of the charge. Please be clear regarding this subtle yet powerful chemo-behavioural code. Allowing for the existence of something does not mean that you are choosing for something to happen. It does not mean that you condone it or like it. It does not mean that you would ever wish that something upon someone else. Allowing simply means that you acknowledge its existence and the role that the “something” plays within the overall context of life. That is all, no more and no less.”
Why allow it? Because then you can leave it behind. Once we accept that these things happened, that they exist, that they play a part in life, once we find a way to truly make peace with the dark side, the fight is over. It can’t chase you if you don’t run. It won’t suck your energy anymore every time you strive to ignore it. And then you’ll finally be free.
Once you’ve made your peace with the darkness and found a way to view it with compassion this allows you to deal with the situation compassionately and successfully, ensuring the best possible result for everyone involved. And so we see that acceptance does not mean impotence. Far from it. Once you accept, you are no longer compelled to a ‘knee-jerk reaction’. Instead, if a response is possible, you will be able to respond in a measured, appropriate and compassionate way – and you will be far more effective.
Furthermore, the power that you’ve freed up through no longer being obsessed with heavy feelings you can now put to use to accomplish everything that’s important to you. To really live a life of abundance, and blessing and brilliance. Then we can fully turn to the brighter side of things, with all our newfound vibrancy and zest and drink in deep!
Ps: I’m now starting a running collection of useful information, both on resolving our issues with the dark and of course on the all important positive focus side of things. You will find these in ‘Newly Added Resources’ to the right of this page, and in the ‘Resource Bank’ page – link at the top and to the right. Please do contribute, and here’s to all of our brilliance – go forth and shine bright!
Posted on August 10, 2011, in a positive focus, acceptance, compassion, Difficult Times and tagged acceptance, compassion, dark times, difficult times, fear, London riots, pain, positive focus, UK riots. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.