The Gift of Our Dark Side
As the Earth beneath our feet slumbers and the nights are still long we have time to reflect on what is showing up in our lives. Not all of which may be to our liking. Yet it is these tricky energies that offer the greatest gold. How do we even develop a dark side? We land on this planet in all our abundant glory. Watch any toddler they can be happy, angry, sad and giggling all in the space of a few minutes. They don’t hold on or repress their feelings they fully express themselves in the moment. They exude 360 degrees of radiance.
Then the trouble starts – as we grow we get socialised into our cultural karma. We’re taught by our parents, teachers, neighbours and peers the “right” way to behave. We learn by both direct communication and indirect influences the differences between right and wrong as imposed by our culture. Such messages as “boys don’t cry” or “good girls sit with their legs crossed” become ingrained into our malleable young minds until they become part of how we are. Every culture has a different set of rules but we all learn quickly that certain behaviours get rewarded and others get punished. There will always be a small majority of escapees the rebels’, dropouts and anarchists amongst us. But the majority of us opt for the easy life of reward for good behaviour.
Yet those hidden aspects of ourselves don’t magically disappear they simply get tucked away, deep inside – repressed or at least unexpressed. We’d be lying if we denied experiencing those emotions and feelings we may not publically admit too – jealousy, anger, fear, vulnerability, guilt, shame and a myriad others. Instead these unacknowledged aspects show up in our external environment. The handy thing about living in a holographic Universe is you get to see all of yourself mirrored constantly in everything around you. This is especially true of our relationships, and in particular those closest to us and certainly in those who annoy us or we deem enemies.
Shadow relationships are instantly recognisable even if we don’t always understand the reflected messages. They’re the ones that produce an excessive energetic reaction. You feel out of control as your internal feelings conflict with your need to be well behaved. Your cultured mind argues you’ve no right to your negative emotions but the churning in your stomach says otherwise.
You don’t understand these emotions and feel “bad” about having them, especially when the person really isn’t doing anything “wrong” it’s just their very existence irritates you. As a result of our reward and punishment cultural conditioning we tend to blame the person who’s “pushing our buttons” – it’s their fault we’re just minding our own business. It’s an insidious plot, it looks plausible, friends and family will offer you their support. People will take sides and inflamed emotions will escalate robbing us of energy and creative power.
Yet that person who’s irritating us is a huge gift. They’re kindly mirroring aspects that we’ve disowned, made unconscious and to paraphrase master psychologist Carl Jung “Until we bring the unconscious, conscious it will rule our lives and we will continue to call it fate”. By recognising and owning for ourselves the behaviours we see reflected in others we experience the truth that, there is no other and nothing goes one way. This releases us to be more fully realised within our authentic selves. Then we can regain our creative energy and power and live the lives we were born to live.