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When I stop, look and then act in a conscious way, as Brother David recommends, I recognize how my choices lead me to facing the dark or the light. I am much healthier and more able to solve problems and improve my life situation when I face the dark rather than deny or avoid it. Using spiritual resources and honestly communicating with a few select individuals helps me develop the courage and commitment I need to take responsible action.
It starts with the dark within. How can I not turn away from that; it is part of me. A wise man introduced me to the concept of the shadow self a term coined by Carl Jung. It’s well worth getting to know the dark within rather than hide it and just see it in others.
I like this answer.
I don´t know.
Q: What helps you face the dark rather than turn away from it?
And: The only way out is through and once I can fight my fears, I feel limitless. I like to ask myself ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’, and I have to be strong enough to be ready for the worst. I like to zoom out and then in such a big world my problem feels so tiny and insignificant. I like to remind myself that I will come out stronger and will only learn from the experience. And then obviously I always have my family and friends who are always there for me as strong pillars in my life, they always encourage me and remind me that there are no limits and if I set my mind to something, I will figure out a way and they will always be there for me. I am so grateful god, thank you so much for everything. I have learned that there is no such thing as the dark because when I look back the dark phases of life are the ones that teach you the most. My goal is to bring more stability in my mind, I wish to be neutral and remain composed regardless of the bright and dark moments of my life and just experience them smoothly while staying connected with my inner self.
Sometimes, just going through it, and then it shifts, or there is unexpected light.
And sometimes I do turn away from it.
I get the most effective help from prayer, reflection, my faith tradition and the many opportunities it provides to gather in person or online. I use the resources it provides such as books, magazine articles and music. I also get help from remembering how my grandmother, parents and other people I admire handled their own darkness. When I remember that I am well supported and do these spiritual practices, I can experience darkness and move through it to the light.
The old adage, “This too shall pass.”
The knowledge that I have God on my side, not to mention my husband, mother, friends….The lovely quote from Mother Julian “”All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well” (and she survived the plague!)…The fact that I have survived so far and come through some very dark times, and have surprised myself by how resilient I am…The knowledge that I am only a small speck in the world and that the dark is, probably, equally small in that perspective…and finally, a bit of inherited optimism, I guess! My Mum is the most positive person imaginable even in the face of life changing problems. I have a lot to thank her for.
The fact that I am tired of running away from fear makes me look at it
Sometimes i get coached from the people around me.
knowing I am light, therefore there’ll be shadow
Remembering that even in the darkest space, there is still some light. Look for the light and find your way!
Being Self aware and clear in thoughts helps me face the challenges
My wife…simple as that, she has seen my darkness and she held my hand trough most it…there is still a very dark place within but there is also light now
The knowledge that nothing is ever as bad or ‘dark’ as you imagine it to be —- although it’s difficult to make yourself believe this at the time. The knowledge that nothing is permanent, nothing is forever …and therefore the darkness will pass… eventually…. if you trust that it will.
I’ve just realized that my aging brain needs me to accept what comes, so as not to deteriorate even faster into forgetfulness and worse. That motivates me to let go of anger and distress.
In those dark moments, I accept that there is darkness, and take some mental type of action to lock the darkness away, or keep from focusing on it, until my unconscious or subconscious or true self (whatever that unknowing part of me is) has a chance to (I don’t really know – deal with it – but in retrospect it feels like) analyze, discern and synthesize the darkness.
Then after time passes, there appears some lightness in myself – in my being – like the saying goes – a weight lifted. With that lightness either action or sometimes inaction bubbles up and the darkness which was present but not focused on dissipates with understanding and the call to action or inaction.
Prayer. Trusting in a higher power. Surrender.
To know that all will be well and all is well. It comes from a place of deep trust in the God of the universe that’s got my back. My favorite mantra is “God, give me guts.” Dark places come from what we perceive as dark people, dark situations, unrest, anger, resentment, blame. I want to side with the light of day and all that is possible- even when not easy.
And what is The Dark?
For me, The Dark is things like ugly truths: injustices, hate crimes, environmental destruction, tragedies, famine, poverty, illness, abuses. And in those places, in The Dark, I see people in need, or I see nature in need and as we need nature more than we realize, that will also translate to people in need.
So ultimately it is my love of people that helps me to face The Dark. It is not that I want to look at or be in darkness, but I feel compelled out of Love. Love is what helps me face The Dark.
When I realize and BELIEVE the words of the verse: “we know that all things work together for God for those who love God…” I truly believe that God is able to work a miracle of benefit for me, no matter what the trial I face. There is no great loss without some small gain. That allows me to endure suffering or grief and KNOW that good will come to me as a result.
When faced with darkness, use the light, the goodness and positivity within us to challenge it. Whenever i feel darkness, a Line from Leonard Cohens « Anthem » comes to mind…..
“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in…
It’s a matter or waiting, trusting, and patience knowing when I’m ready to face the truth it will be reveled. Be still and know….
Toni, you explained this process so beautifully!
I find a good flashlight or natural light usually helps. 🙂
LOL! I enjoyed the flashlight though –
My faith is paramount in any courage I display. I dig in deep to touch the hands of Christ and it’s the lifeline I need to get me through to the other side. I also happen to have some amazing people in my life which makes a huge difference when darkness presents herself.
Knowing that the light is always there is what helps me face the dark. We will always encounter some dark along the way. We might not recognize the light properly if there weren’t any dark. But I know it’s there. I know it’s in me and that I can turn to it anytime I choose to. So I always make an effort to choose the light.
I discovered early on in my spiritual journey that with Light, meaning that which is spiritual in nature, that which we perceive as pure and coming from a source akin to the Holy Spirit, lives and winds its way through the darkest of places.
Arlo Guthrie, an American folk singer (who knew?), after pausing in the middle of a concert he was playing, said, “What good is light without a dark spot to stick it in.” The high-brow mystics and theologians among us might scoff at such simplicity. But think about it. Is it really?
Wherever light is, darkness isn’t far away, and vice versa. Seeing this and accepting this has helped me to maintain my sanity through life.
What you described for me is the concept of yin and yang. It’s the ebb and flow of the natural world, in the real of heaven and earth. It is not static, it moves, it transforms into each other “And we have the word of the profits made more certain., as to a light shining into dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts”. 2 Peter 1:19 That concept helps me too, how simple, and yet I often forget until my soul reminds me to be still and know.
Knowing that God is holding my hand and walking with me.
The knowledge that there is no way over, under, or around it, only through it. The other side is always better, even though the journey through it can be painful.
My history tells me this is so.
By trusting in God at all times.
Knowing that how I feel is ultimately up to me. That is my privilege.
My shadow side is real. It is a part of my experience. With time I have come to see it as an essential part of what little power I have to forge peace in life. I must call upon it and address it when confronting perceived evil and it will always work with me to find the hard truths, for these are the veins of gold, the kryptonite that push me past most of the barriers I haved faced. The serious barriers. Without my shadow side I cannot face my own denial, my seemingly minor transgressions that chip away at my ability to live in the real world. For I am best when I am whole, bringing all of it. So now, in dark times, my shadow side comes and walks beside me and holds my hand.
Thanks Howie. I hadn’t read this before my post. I like that it holds your hand as you walk through.
🙂 Aaah! I suspect you have read Ursula K. LeGuin!
A lovely reminder! Thank you, Howie! 🙂
Trust. Trust that everything will be fine.
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