Our programmed minds work fast. A lot of things are coming at us, so we do need these trigger fast default values that we place on things. Helps us to process and deal with the world. We can have defaults that work for us and that hold us back.
I believe our default value of “bad” for the adjective “dark” doesn’t serve us well.
Light and Dark
Anger as being dark
The dark wolf (or black)
The Dark Side of the Force ???
Black magic (they totally jacked up the word “black” with that one)
The Dark Knight ???
Nightmare (night didn’t do anything bad …)
Disney’s Hercules depicts Hell as dark (The Underworld)
I could totally go on a tangent on how we thing the light is GOOD and the absence of light is bad, but Newton would beg to different and maybe some of the scientist and yogi’s too. Some think that the process of things (in a BIG picture) requires the cycling through light and dark (expansion and contraction) (sun to black hole …) blah blah blah. Back to my point … which is …
I think we do ourselves a big fat disservice when we default to anything with the adjective “black” or “dark” instantly gets a “bad” wrap.
For all of my life, I have been scared of the dark. Not like …. “scared” but more like “fight or flight” heart rate is now “160 thank you and panic is ensuing”. Like PTSD.
Hahahaha. You all are gonna start to like I need a straight jacket.
An example of how I use to live with this … I use to live in a house that the washer and dryer were in the basement (one of the quad level houses with 1/2 a basement with scary creepy steps …). The basement light was a bulb with a string on it, the basement wasn’t finished, etc. So when I would be climbing (crawling) up the stairs with my laundry, if I was going to adult well and turnoff the light, I would have to exit in the dark. I would have a mini panic. Each and every time. My smart brain would say “Bk, you’re stupid. You KNOW there is nothing in this basement that would hurt you.” And the badass voice would say, “you could probably kick their ass even if they were here 😉 ). Anyway, one of the voices would be “you are not safe”. That one is a hard one to deal with (or silence).
In my coaching and life experience, we don’t heal (silence some voices) but having an underlying thought that it’s “bad”. When I tore up my right AC joint, that shoulder didn’t get better until I stopped calling it my “bad shoulder”. It lots lots better when I called it “bambino”.
I tell people now …. “don’t slap the baby”. This goes for either dealing with hurt hamstrings, plantar fasciitis … or the soft spots of the heart.
It. Is. All. Energy. All of it.
More of the point BK ….
So the thought of doing night diving in Ecuador was sort of an interesting one. I’m pretty fearless and if there is a “reasonable amount of danger” involved … I’m in. I guess I like living on the edge. I’m usually well prepared and what not tho. 😉 I have an adventurer’s heart, which in this case just about completely won over my fear of not being able to see what’s around me. To lay in a bit of backstory … not to beat it like a dead horse, but …. I have copious amounts of glorious stories from my childhood that explain why the heck I’m a touch cray cray. This is a good one. I
might have been taken to see Psycho when I was … way to young, 8 maybe. When Norman got the part about whacking his mom over the head with a shovel … I finally ran out of the theater and sat (by myself) by the doors until the movie was done. What makes this super funny …. in a really ironic (perhaps f’ed up) way …. years later I had to visit my dad in Iowa for a month during the summer. He lived in this house … that no joke … looked EXACTLY like the Bates’ house. Ancient, creaky, 200 years old …. fill of dusty antiques, secret passage ways between rooms …. I shit you not. Hahahaha. I type this and what to laugh my ass
off and cry at the same time. I stayed in the north room for years, which had the attic door, which lead to the attic, which housed a big ass colony of bats. Let your mind wonder for a bit. This house was the bomb really. It had a spiral back stair case and and and … lovely. I finally got to stay in a better room that was a bit less …. anyway. I ended up 40 completely scared of the dark.
**Back to night scuba diving** …. So the adventure voice was fully in charge until I was sitting on the edge of the boat to **fall backwards** into the “**not filled with light**” ocean in the “**no sun to be seen**” sky. But I know how to tell the scared one “shhh” it’s ok. Really. And that generally works anymore.
As an aside. In the yoga world, we teach that back bends in general are filled with “fear” from not being able to see what’s coming next. hahaha. So this flipping over the side of a boat definitely pushed me WAY outside my comfort zone for a moment. “BK, what the f are you doing???” “Do we really have to do this?” I know exactly where these voices come from and that gives me power to shush the voices enough to get through until the adventure’s voice is loudest again. Or the warrior’s voice … that ones pretty loud too. (as well as working towards those parts of me not needing to express themselves so much. Healing the soft parts.)
Flipping off a perfectly good boat in the “unlight” …. I won’t lie. I sort of messed up the flipping business a little bit and ended up doing a somersault in the “can’t see shit” cold water. (Yeah yeah. It’s the ocean. Cold. I had a lot of neoprene on too. Add that in for those that know).
And this is what the voices had to say.
1. Nice job BK! You are going to drown because you screwed that shit up and you can’t use your flashlight right now because you have no idea which way is up and you FOR SURE can’t blind anyone use your light wrong and being a jerk face. 75%
2. BK. STFU and figure out which way is up. 23%
3. HOLY F ME. Scared. This was just a feeling, but it’s intense. (The kind that you pee. Lizard freaking brain). 3%
Looks like the snarky voice won out on that. And can apparently get shit done. 😉
Once I got myself righted and my light on. All was good. GREAT actually. Like maybe voices said “F$ck YEAH!” This is way cool!!! It was surprising very serene, peaceful. There was something about without the constant site of those I was diving with … I felt totally at peace with the ocean. I was INVESTIGATING. So cool. Our guide took us to a shallow cave where we saw and chilled with a sea turtle that was sleeping.
I was at peace. And stupid excited to be experience this beautiful piece of the earth.
Super glad that I didn’t let legitimate fear and issues stop me from experiencing that moment.
That’s the point?!
There are beautiful things in the darkness.
The dark places aren’t necessarily “bad”.
That dark wolf is a needed part of being badass. That’s your warrior.
You don’t/won’t heal your soft spots saying they are broken or bad. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
(ps. I’m not afraid of the dark anymore.)