Thursday, 9 December 2010
For a long time I relentlessly followed the path of the light. I chanted positive affirmations until I was blue in the face; I knew I couldn't afford the luxury of a negative thought. I manifested exactly what I needed - or what I thought I needed. The message is that our lives should be permanently sunny, happy and joyous; all our relationships loving; all our spirits coursing towards the light. We are expected to be super-people, always up, always cheerful, always bright.
Is this natural? Is it realistic? Of course not. Virtually all of us have times when we feel down, depressed, negative. Times when we feel consumed with less than ideal emotions: anger, hate, jealousy, self-pity. If we were to believe some of the self-help gurus, we would seek to expunge such emotions immediately, drowning them in positive affirmations and self-talk. But is this missing the message? Do we do ourselves a disfavor by ignoring the dark and seeking always the light? Do we miss the subtlety of the moon’s shadows by always craving the clear illumination of the sun? By striving for perfection, for the ideal life, for permanent life, we are setting ourselves up for misery and failure. No-one can live perpetually in the bright sunshine. Life is made up of darkness as well as light. Our emotions too run into the shadows: fear, guilt, depression, anger. We cannot put a veneer over these emotions and simply hope they will simply go away. In fact, the more we disown these emotions, the more harm they will do.
By denying the dark we also lose the chance for genuine self-understanding and growth. There are many lessons to learn amidst the shadows, much wisdom in the gloom. We can and should sacrifice the idea of perfection because none of us is perfect. We all contain within us both good and evil, light and shade. When we turn and face our darkness, our demons of the night, we may find revelations beyond our wildest dreams. For there is dark energy too…
I am not saying that affirmations and positive thought are bad things. They are in fact incredibly useful and worthwhile, particularly if you are the kind of person who constantly dwells on the negative. They are also valuable lessons in the first stages of energyworking. But once you have reached a certain level of skill in this work you no longer need to put a gloss on life. You need to face the dark energy, to plumb the depths: only then can you truly scale the heights.