There was a time in my life, from around age 13 to age 16 where I felt like I was evil. It isn’t that I thought I was possessed or anything like that – no, I just felt like a really bad person. I struggled with this feeling for so long. I remember telling my friends at the time “I am so evil, I just know I am, and it sucks and it hurts” and they would listen to me lovingly, and say “I don’t understand why you keep saying that – I don’t think you are evil in any way” but it had no effect on me. They would always ask me what made me think I was so evil, and I couldn’t come up with any real list – it was just a sinking feeling I couldn’t describe. I felt as though I did bad things, wanted bad things, hurt people for my own purpose.
But all it was, was that I hurt myself and when you hurt yourself – everything hurts too. I didn’t own my dark – so much so that it overcame me and filled my life. It’s all I could see and feel. As soon as I began the process of spiritual inquiry, to really ask myself these questions about myself (and to actually answer them too), I realized that hey – I’m a pretty neat person. And that I wasn’t inflicted with some all consuming evilness – all I had was wounded self love. At my moment of realization (though it was not really a “moment” but a work in progress), I may not have loved myself, but I sure as hell realized there was a lot to love.
We always hear about “owning your fears” and your darkness, or else it will own you – but what does that really mean? How can you own your dark side? For myself, I have funneled it down to a series of questions – some of which may cause feelings of discomfort, and all of which require deeper thought. Through this simple process of inquiry I hope you can recognize your dark side. By owning your dark, you automatically own your light. When you have not owned your dark, you spend your life in the shadows of your true self.
Your dark: Who are the people who bother you the most and what is it about them that really rubs you the wrong way?
Why: The qualities in another person that you admire, respect, like and are magnetically drawn to, are the qualities that you embody in yourself. Maybe they are kept in a little box somewhere deep within your soul – but it’s there. It’s a voice inside of you that says “wow, I recognize that light” when you meet a magical person. You cannot truly identify something, without in some way knowing what it is. For example, unless you’ve tasted chicken, you can’t eat something and say “Hmm this sure tastes like chicken!” Similarily, if you notice a quality in another person that you dislike, and I mean really drives you crazy, this should raise alarm bells in your soul. Something within you should be saying “Hey, hey, you need to check this within yourself.”
“There’s just something about him I don’t like in me”
To unlock the key to your light, ask yourself this very question – who are the people who bother you the most, and what is it about them that really rubs you the wrong way? Is it your mother? Is she too controlling? Indentify this. Allow your judgments to truly come alive – only once we acknowledge them, can we change them. If you think your mother is too controlling, perhaps you are too controlling. Maybe not in an obvious way. Maybe in a silent way. Maybe in a way that is so deep within you that it hurts your soul. What if you say “I don’t like her, she’s selfish.” And what If I turned to you and said (As sweetly as I can) “No, you’re selfish.” Now what can you do? What can you do to become selfless? What can you do to fix this? Now go out there and fix it!
Your dark: What are some situations/relationships/circumstances that you hold most resistance to when it comes to changing them?
Why: Resistance is the work of the Ego. Effortless synchronicity is an attribute of spirit. Whatever you feel greatest resistance when the thought “what if this part of my life/me was changed?” tells you that the ego is at play – and when the ego is at work – you know it’s up to trouble! This question shows you what you are most attached to in this life – for both good and bad reasons. It could be your current job, it could be your abusive relationship. What brings up the most fear, nervousness, anger, confusion, impossibleness – when you think of leaving it behind?
You may not have to leave these situations/relationships/circumstances today, but simply realize that one day you will. All you can do now is release your ego’s grip on them – that is to say, work with your inner belief system so that you finally become OK with the universe changing situations so that it results in your highest good.
“I am open to change. If there is something better out there for me, I am open to receiving it with great gratitude”
Your dark: What are some of the hairiest, ugliest, and meanest judgments you make about yourself?
Why: Negative inner-dialogue is a malignant disease. Think of negative thoughts about yourself as black thoughts. Your mind is full of them. You need to start clearing this out, to allow the light in. Most of the time we live in an abusive relationship with ourselves. Our thoughts can be our emotionally abusive boyfriend. The first time he says “Hey you, you’re STUPID and UGLY, and WORTHLESS”, we are a little taken back – it doesn’t feel so great. But over time, you get used to it, and then when he demands things like “Oh you’re thinking about dropping out of the new class you joined? I knew you couldn’t handle it. You never do anything. You’ll never amount to anything. They probably don’t even want you there anyway – you’re stupid” you learn to ignore it. You dismiss it. Your roll your eyes and live with it. You allow it to grow.
Really take some time to identify these judgments. Are you stupid, selfish, incompetent, boring, mean, weak, sad, pathetic, dumb, ugly, disgusting, worthless? What are you? Usually we will have maybe a top 5 list. What are the negative judgments you make about yourself over and over again? Note them down. Then flip them over. So that “I am stupid” to “I am an intelligent person”. Now go out into the world and make it your soul mission to prove it right.
Your dark: What are the biggest issues in your relationship? What are the biggest issues that are holding you back from having a completely loving relationship?
Why: Your partner is your greatest teacher. Try to see them in this way. That whatever they are doing wrong, they are doing to teach you something about yourself. Your relationship is a mirror, so whatever issues you are having within the relationship, are likely to be issues you are facing in your life outside of the relationship.
Do you feel that your relationship has become boring? Instead see it that your partner is teaching a lesson about your experience of boredom. Are you feeling bored in other areas of your life? Of course you are. Fix that first, and watch your relationship magically transform.
Your dark: What is something in your life that is bringing you the most pain and fear?
Why: This sensitive issue in your life is like a dark raincloud over your consciousness. Even if you clear up all the dark black thoughts, the light still won’t get in because this rain cloud is still lingering around. Oh my. So let’s clear this up. Identify this situation, right now.
Now, realize yourself from it. What is it about it that is bringing you most pain? Because on some level you believe it should not be happening this way. What if I told you that this is exactly the way it should be happening? What if I told you that this is perfect? Now, how about you change your thought to one that is not of resistance, but instead to one that is of acceptance. Take some time to release yourself from this situation – affirming that you are no longer attached to it. That you may not know how things will turn out, but one thing you can know for sure is that everything is as it should be.
Your dark: Do you ever notice a part of you that comes alive in pain? The part of you that enjoys suffering, the part of you that knows exactly which buttons to push when you are in an argument with a loved one?
Why: This is, as Eckhart Tolle coined “your pain body” (For more information on this, pick up his book “a new earth”). The pain body is made of ego. Do you feel that sometimes when you suffer, you want everyone to suffer. Sometimes when you are in a really awful mood, you can’t stand being around chirpy positive people. It happens to the best of us.
The anti-ego is awareness. From this point onwards, simply be conscious. Notice when you are in “that mood” and make a choice to not engage in any kind of argument with a loved one. If you are in a relationship, and you can just feel that pain-body feeling “coming on”, simply bring awareness to your conversation and notice how different, how mean, how bitter, it is from usual. When this happens to me, I simply let who ever I am talking to, know that I am not feeling so great, and I’ll speak to them later. It is honestly, the most loving option.
Some other questions you can ask yourself to reveal and own your dark side:
– What are you most afraid someone will think of you as? (eg. Goldigger, selfish, worthless, boring?)
– What is the number one way you feel you are misunderstood in your life?
– What is the one thing you cannot stand to do? (Eg. Speak to a certain person? Go to work?)