BE THE DARK: HOW TO EMBRACE YOUR SHADOW SIDE

We are bombarded with messages urging us to “be the light” – but what if true healing means embracing the darkest aspects of ourselves, asks Emily Tepper. Images: Andrew Robinson via Behance.net

Be the dark. Walk boldly through the unknown reaches of the soul.

This year, I am embracing my inner “dark worker,” because I’ve come to realize that actually our dark side is the most creative place to be. It is in the fertile void, in the dark, underground, where the seed germinates.

There are aspects of our creativity, our courage, and our power which, like a seed, can only incubate in total darkness. This is why my darkness has become my favorite place to be.

I have spent so much of my life trying to improve my dark moods, to lighten the dark humor that might provoke or offend the polite, and soften the sharp opinions that are often hard to hear and accept – even when getting right with them can be the most crucial step to getting out of denial. It’s meant denying the darkness in me that also translates as a low tolerance for bullshit, a quick temper, sudden rage, and profound grief.

It’s ironic though, that since I decided to accept my darkness, my moods have improved considerably. Like it was the constant pressure to “be the light,” the constant cultural shaming of the dark, that was half the issue. The dark is immensely powerful, and yet we are afraid of it.

But think about where the dark exists in our language: pure creativity “rises up,” from “the underground.” The answers to our most profound existential crises often lie buried in our “sub” conscious.

But the dark is where shame is lifted and new truths are actualized – as seen and witnessed only by those who are also willing to stray far enough from the safety of the will lit path to witness.

Every fairy tale Princess walks a dark night in the forest on her way to healing and reclaiming her majesty. To grow, she is made to face the utter fear of the wild and unknown. In the dark, and usually alone, it is through this journey that we find ourselves.

We’ve all heard stories of the Dark Night of The Soul, and how powerful it is to pass through it to the other side. We go on to heal others in our ascension to the light, but we become who we are in the dark.

So now consider this: maybe “black magic” isn’t evil at all, but actually where the alchemy happens. Perhaps there is a tremendous, almost disgusting, amount of power available to those who are willing to go there. Maybe that’s what makes the practitioners of the “dark arts” so frightening to the rest of us.

And before you villainize the villain, consider that in some countries it is dark for most of the day, most of the year even. What if your natural state of being is more Norway than Florida? My moods are like the weather of Siberia – cold and dark, with occasional bursts of incredible, irrepressible light. And I’ve decided I’m good with this version of myself. She doesn’t need improvement.

Our emotions are like a weather system. They are shifting constantly, and the seasons of the soul they represent are the very essence of change and manifestation.

If the spiritual “industry” is full of Light Workers – this year I am declaring myself a Dark Worker. And I urge you again to Be The Dark.

How will you honor your dark side in 2015? Connect with us and share your story on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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