For every up there is a down. In life there are cycles to be surrendered to. Going on every day like the bright and starry person we hope to become just isn’t realistic.
My wildness must be allowed out. The part of me reserved for a lone walk in the woods, the part of me that howls, sneers, growls, retreats with an arch in the spine and hair on end.
If I pretended it wasn’t there I would be denying my whole self. Pushing it down into a pretend non-existence would turn a sneer into a bite, create an internal knot, an unknown feeling of unrest and an inability to fully work with, instead of against, myself.
For I am an animal and I have instincts.
Therefore we meet. I draw the curtains and then begin the process of owning my darkness.
I come face to face with my demons that have arisen this day. I question them – interrogation fueled with curiosity.
I respect the dark. It is a power to behold, wild and anciently curled in my being. I dare not come at it with crazed anger, a pushy demeanor or any disrespect. I come at it calmly yet firmly. We are here to work together but only with the utmost respect. I respect the core of my darkness, and in turn my darkness must respect my need to work through it, it will not be pushed down – that is the non-negotiable.
I become the dark water of the night, moving in the energy of the moonlight, slowly, calmly working through the cracks of the issues.
I question the arrival of my darkness.
‘Darkness, today you show up with anger, what has made you bring anger?’
‘Hurt has made me bring anger today.’
‘What has hurt you?’
‘We had to deal with that issue we expected to go much more smoothly but it didn’t, and on that tender issue we were required to focus more. You know this area hurts for you and so I am angry in your hurt.’
‘This has come from our past experience in this area, I see. And yes, it still hurts. That is ok. I am ok with still hurting over this issue I have dealt with today. I do need to move on from it, but I acknowledge today is not the day. Therefore let’s sit with this hurt and allow the energy of it to flow. We won’t block it by ignoring it. We won’t feed it by dramatizing it and lashing out. We will sit with it here, in our space and give it the time needed to flow through us.’
On another day I might be asking why my darkness has brought me to a competitive place, or why it has given me sharp words in my speech. Other days I am asking her why she shut down and shut others out, or why the self-loathing tone has arisen.
There is often resistance found on this path, sometimes disguised as procrastination and I am beginning to recognize this is how I am about to lean into the part that matters most on the journey.
As I begin to understand what caused the dark clouds to roll in I can begin to better manage myself. I can recognize where I need to go easy on myself and what situations I need to be more mindful of.
Whilst some of us might have done enough inner work to be happy most of the time, there is still a natural cycle to it all that will leave us with days where we just need to retreat and lay low.
If I own the less-than-desirable areas my enemies find no place for taunts. If they see me standing tall, proud, and owning the darkness they in turn will only see strength, and not just any strength but the strength of a warrior, eyes ablaze, heart on fire, knees slightly bent, ready.
As, and when, the phoenix decides to rise from the darkness I find gifts awaiting, I see how much strength was required to live through this part of the current cycle I am moving through, I see the gift of my fighting spirit that has carried me through, I find inspirational energy begins to flow and carries me into the daylight.
What was empty begins to find meaning; the heaviness becomes an energy force and I rise in complete claim of my darker side.
‘The Shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality… To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge, and it therefore, as a rule, meets with considerable resistance’. Carl Jung