Meeting and accepting our dark side

What is happening in our lives, why are things that have been the same for so long suddenly changing? Why are the people we have known all our lives not really who think they are? How did we get this far without noticing all these little things that paint a different picture of the world than we had been seeing for as long as we can remember.

Shin Yee, in her post, What am I missing, writes what she suddenly realizes is missing in her life, perhaps wonders where it all went. Shin Yee laments of all the things that were and are no more. It is almost as if all these things happened while she was off doing something else with her life.

Another young woman, Khushi writes in her blog/diary that she has discovered a part of herself that she never knew existed. She was willing to explore that side of herself, and for now has decided to leave it alone. Kushi say’s she has taken a, ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt’ stance.

babarkazmi, writes in his post, The Lost Thoughts writes of living two lives. The first life where he tries to do everything expected by following the ‘codes and rules’. He writes this way of living is suffocating him, that there is another part of him wanting escape, wanting to create a life of its own. He calls it the, “Barbarian”.

Three different views of the same problem we all come to know as we live our lives and make that jump and grow into adults. The people around us are not there any longer. They have deserted us, they have changed, they are not who we always thought they were.

Living with our parents and having our life guided for us, life is so simple, we went through our planned day and life, rarely give thought to how well orchestrated everything is. How well the pieces are put together that made up our life during those years.

Now as we start a new chapter in our life of making our own way, we start to see life is not as it always was, and we are not who we always thought we were either. Entering adult life, introduces our life on an empty canvas. We are not prepared for what we see and experience. It is difficult to have our world change around us, when we are used to everything always being the same.

When we start looking at ourselves, we are shocked to notice that we are changing too. There is another side of us, that until now we have never noticed. In our first encounters with this other part of us, we see it as ugly, and not at all us, and we wonder where it came from and how it got in without our noticing.

Some of us are able to accept this other side of us, mesh it into our life, and we go on as if nothing changed. Others however, have a more difficult time with their other side. As children
and into adult life as babarkazmi so succinctly points out, we have been so busy following the rules and behaviors expected of us, that we never notice our complete self.
When the rest of us starts to make an appearance, we do not always like what we see. We may see someone who enjoys cruelty, vice, or other life choices we may have abhorred all our life – only to discover we are them. We discover in occasionally unpleasant ways that part of us is made up of those things we thought we despised all our lives.

We are enveloped in a conflict we all struggle with if we are to live a reasonable life. We have to accept that we are made up of thoughts and feelings that not only are we not proud of, but we may find revolting.

Some people turn these parts of themselves into enemies, locked away never to see the light of day unless they slip out in a moment we we let our guard down. Others, start leading separate distinct lives that have little in common with one another accept the body they share. The most successful of us, acknowledge these other parts of us, and accept that we are simply human.

From that acceptance of ourselves as being all those ugly things we find in us, we grow and evolve into more than if we never embraced the dark side of ourselves. Embracing our darker side makes us more human, compassionate, and in general better people. Embracing our dark side does not mean giving in to it, or hating it. Embracing our dark side means accepting what and who we are. For all the good that is in us, so is an equal amount of evil. Our individual life is in the balance and how we arrive in that space where we are okay with all of us.

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