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Embracing the dark

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

The darkside

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 ???

Black cats

Nightmare (night didn’t do anything bad …)

Black hearted

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.)

YOU ARE AWESOME!
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Personal growth can be a rough go

I want to have an awakening like they do in the movies.

You know, where the protagonist experiences their quantum shift with elegance and grace, leading us, the audience, into a wonderful montage (complete with awesome music) of all the ways their life will now improve.

They get an amazing new job after sending out a few résumés; a random run to the coffeehouse yields them a phone number from their dream partner; they ditch their sh*tty apartment and relocate to a house that they can now somehow afford very easily; they make up with their asshole father and go fishing. All in the span of mere weeks.

And, after the montage is over, we witness the protagonist looking back at the crossroads that brought them to this new, wonderful place in their life, all the while contemplatively smiling and drinking a margarita.

Reality check, please.

Real awakenings are not like this. Far from it. There is no montage, there is no music, there is no shortcut to the next scene in which we will somehow now be miraculously happy, at peace, or in love. We can’t fake it. We can’t skip the middle. We can’t yell, “Cut!”

With real-world awakenings, there is a lot of crying. There is a ton of confusion and doubt and questions and shock. There is deep-seated socialization and conditioning that gets unearthed, leaving us wondering what the hell we believe/want/know/feel now. There is the messy middle and feeling terrified in the middle of the night and that body issue that for sure got cleared up in therapy but is now rearing its ugly head…again. There is the wondering if anyone else ever feels like this, and, if they do, why aren’t they talking about it?

Awakenings feel like our heart is breaking and being pieced back together again at the same time. It feels like all the parts of ourselves are at war and they are inviting us to come along for the ride. It feels like we are caught between this person we say we want to be and the person we are right now (who is a complete mess!). It can feel wretched one minute and like we are on cloud nine the next. Sometimes, it just feels sloooooooow.

And then, in the middle of the awakening, something happens. A flash of a fresh perspective that shifts the entire world on its axis, a rush of love to the heart that makes us grab our chest and catch our breath, someone telling us that we matter, an old wound that finally, finally heals. Something releases. Something surrenders. There is a softening where there was once a hard place. There are moments that feel like we are being hit by a ton of bricks and knocked over by a feather at the same time.

Awakenings tear us open. They expose all the yucky stuff, the shameful stuff, the secrets, the dreams that were never given a voice, the relationships that imprison us, the words left unsaid. Awakenings are a mirror we can’t turn away from, even in our ugliest, most tattered gown. They force us to get real, to get honest, to get transparent. They ask us to up level.

Awakenings don’t just come for anyone. They seek out those who are strong enough to take a hit. Awakenings don’t f*ck around, because they have a mission: to help us arrive. To arrive at our deepest place of love and compassion. To arrive at our endless inner wisdom. To arrive at the tender crossroads of accepting ourselves and loving others. To arrive at the place in which we are in full trust of who and what we are. To arrive at our shattered places and pour some light over them.

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