“Today I felt negative”. It was a fleeting social post by a present day spiritual teacher. A confession that she didn’t continually live her life ‘in the light’. The important part, she advised, was to return to the light as soon as possible. It sounded a worthy luminary bounce back. A confession that we human beings will inevitably stray onto the shadowy path but with awareness and sheer will can return swiftly to bask in a godly glow.
I thought about this after reading. Positivity often does take focus and dedication. Commitment to a general optimism amidst the inevitable pain we see and feel in the World. Yet, running from the inevitable tension of life is not self-serving. My light and dark cannot be divided as two partitioned spaces in which I choose to reside. To truly live in the light I have to weave that darkness into my living. As we shine bright there will always be a shadow cast. To assume we can cut out the darkness like an unwanted canker is missing the point of its purpose.
To teach us something.
Just as the light casts a shadow so too the dark shines a light. It can be illuminating a part of you that needs tender attention, an unhealed wound or devil amidst the detail of your life. A sign post on life’s journey. If you are having a dark day, pour yourself a cuppa and settle in, spend some time there with awareness, kindness and curiosity.
I would go to great lengths to avoid the creeping shadows. Self soothe to numb or distract rather than nurture. Less luminary leap and more dodging a bullet.
At the beginning of my spiritual seeking I became a little too addicted to the light. When dark clouds gathered I would meditate, affirm, practise gratitude and stuff crystals in my bra. Ritualise myself out of the shadows in a desperate attempt to catapult myself to the sunny side of the street.
A negative feeling is not reflective of my progression on some great big barometer of enlightenment. It’s a message. A giant pointing finger that brings the ultimate truth that life is messy, we are human and commitment to the greater good can only be exercised when we acknowledge all our feelings. Embracing all parts of ourselves and our experience knits together those fragmented parts that make us whole. I observe the dark and weave it alongside the light like the spreading stem of a lotus that rises from the darkness of the deep and settles on the luminescent water’s surface as a bloom.
In case you were wondering this work is never done.