When we ignore our shadow, it gets bigger.
We can not run from our darkness, the same we can not run from our shadow – it will always be there. Why have we become so fucking afraid to look at the uncomfortable? Yes (!!), it can be dangerous. Yes (!!), entering it just might kill you –- literally. You know what else kills us though? Living a live inauthenticity; playing small, never facing our true fears or hearts – that shit will kill you – but the death is slow and numb and melancholy.
We are so accustomed to only seeing the light. We make vision boards, we plan goals, we are trained to see the glass half full, and shamed if we see it half empty. We want to fix people. We cannot handle moods, or tears, or depression. We want to see life through rose-colored glasses -- the problem with this, is that life has an entire dark nature to it and we are diligently working to ignore it. We numb, we distract, we run, we hide; we do whatever we can to avoid seeing the pink elephant that sits right in front of our conscious.
We are afraid to talk about things like: depression, abuse, anxiety, insomnia, self harm, addictions, mental illness, abortion’s, rape, getting laid off, fertility issues, being broke, being scared, anger… for fuck sakes, we are even afraid to talk about orgasms and pooping -- something that should be happening to most humans at least one time a day. What's sad about this is that not only are we shaming a very real part of our humanity, but we have labeled it as ugly and undesirable.
We have shunned the other half of being human -- our shadow.
Authenticity and vulnerably are words that are trending in our language right now; as they should be. But, how can we show up real and raw if we only accept one part of our humanity. We only self-love conditionally when we are: thin, happy, rich, employed, addiction free, in love, having orgasms, fertile, mentally healthy, sleeping well, being at our goal weight (bla bla bla bla)… what about radical self acceptance with no conditions? What would that look like?
I’m really not exactly sure how to write this book, or even what my full message will be.
I know I want to share my story, because sharing heals. I want healing to happen for our human tribe, we deserve that. I also know that I have developed a very deep appreciation for darkness. My dark moments literally almost killed me. I thought about suicide a lot. A drank myself out of misery, to numbness on a weekly basis. I cut my arms mostly with deep scaring fingernail scratches; and it felt good. Feeling felt good. I was so numb, and so broken. My life did not matter.
I ran, a lot. I ran from the issues. I ran to the finish line – both metaphorically and literally. I could not leave an extremely unhealthy relationship – I would go back for more and more, and engage in a very dysfunctional and unhealthy dance with a man who broke my heart and scared me. The emotional damage was so intense that I never thought recovery would happen.
Also -- I was a nut case. I was volatile. I would scream; I would physically lash out. I was like a teapot on high steam – completely out of control. The lid would and did explode at many times; over and over again. I had a short fuze; I was constantly on the self protecting line of defence, and the me I had become was dark and unhappy and out of control.
Until one day I was so exhausted from the fight. I was only consuming wine for calories, I was unable to get out of bed, I could barley function, and I still could not leave him – at that moment my best friend insisted I see a therapist and with huge resistance, I went to see him.
At the time I thought I was there to save a relationship and “find my spark”; at that time I figured the process would be fast – I would be a good little student, I would do my homework, I would see the glass half full and I would be out of their in a jiffy; trophy in hand.
In therapy, I lost my shit. I completely unraveled over those 2 years, I entered darkness like I had never seen before. I almost died. And through that process I learned that in the darkness lays secrets to our light. I learned that I am stronger than I ever knew possible. I rekindled my relationship with divinity. I learned to appreciate the dark side of being human -– I learned that if there is light -- there is darkness; and is there is darkness -- there is light.
It was time to explore the other half of what made me human, and I fell in love.
I want others to explore the dark side, that’s my prayer for the humans of the world –- that we may be able to look at who we are and where we are in life – right now – and we may surrender into the beauty of this moment, no matter how fucked up, broken or damaged you feel. As Robert A Johnson says in his book ‘Owning Your Own Shadow – Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche”, “Wherever we find ourselves, we need to honor the part of life that lies in shadow, too”.
You are enough, right now.
You are loveable.
You are worthy.
There is nowhere to run or hide; the place you are in has it’s own unique and brilliant beauty.
Can you get silent, and hear the quiet whispers of divinity that only this moment can offer you?
Don't be afraid of all of who you are -- your more beautiful and capable than you can possibly imagine.
I love you -- if you needed to hear that today, you just did. And I meant it.