Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On The Dark Side

On the dark side is not just a great song from an obscure movie (Eddie and the Cruisers) in the 80's.  It is real.
This is from Jeff Brown: 
In some sense, the word enlightenment is misleading. It is no more about the light than the dark. Resisting the shadow just makes it darker. It is not about becoming continuously blissful. It is about becoming more authentic, more genuinely here. It is about holding the light and the shadow all at once. Perhaps we should call the ultimate goal enrealment—the quest to live in all aspects of reality at once (Be real now)
I don't know who this Jeff Brown is but he has my number.  I somehow thought there would be more peace in this journey or at least a place of equilibrium.  But life has other plans.  The light AND the dark keep coming again and again.  I do have a bad habit of fighting the darkness, the pain, and the shadow. Numbing my pain with food is always a security blanket waiting in the wings to come out.  But slowly and surely, I keep receiving messages about acceptance and not judging and these are the ones that lead to breakthroughs away from that.   
It is about "holding the light and the shadow all at once."  An example:  A summer day home with children, I had my girls (one who wanted to shoot a dance video, the other dying to use her money to buy figurines at the store),  a new dog in training, bills to pay, granite and tile to be chosen for remodeling project, house to clean and I had really icky feelings of being overwhelmed.  I had to stop and accept those feelings because I really wanted to escape them and very quickly.  (I also thought, wow, I hadn't had these in a while.)
So here is the reality, is the world going to end if I don't get the tile picked out today?  Annie who peed on the floor three times will eventually be trained. It's just not happening today.  And while I was waiting for contractor to call, I picked up my daughter's room and that was actually a soothing task.  
Each of my daughters was so excited about their activity and I didn't want to miss their excitement and not be able to engage in a present manner.  We had been working on the video together for several days.  My younger daughter had been pining over the figurines for weeks and she had saved her money. 
Be real now as Jeff Brown says.  I was overwhelmed.  Instead of telling myself I can't handle all of this, I let myself feel the overwhelming feelings as painstaking as it felt and then worked to change my expectations, and let go of the illusion of control.  Being in the present moment and being real is not pleasant, it means accepting the really icky feelings LOVINGLY and letting them go because the light and dark will continue to come.  

It's not the situation at hand, it is really about what we THINK about the situation at hand.   


  1. Another fantastic post!

    I remember reading a book (wish I could remember the name) which talked about radical aliveness...embracing ALL feelings without putting positive or negative labels on them. What a concept, eh?

    My uncle JUST left here (he was visiting from Italy and stayed with us for 10 days). After several days he was starting to annoy both my husband and me. I say that knowing that after a few days, I would probably be annoying to someone else. But I have really been working on knowing that I can choose my feelings. At one point I said to my husband, "yes, he can be annoying but I don't like the way I feel when I am annoyed, so I am just going to stop being annoyed."

    1. That is a radical concept.
      It continually amazes me when I can move through icky emotions I don't want to feel. And voila - something I would have ruminated about for days (like a visiting uncle) is gone. My mother in law use to come for 2 weeks, her standard visit before she moved here. That was about a week and 4 days too long. But that was before I learned about boundaries...