Not everything that takes us forward in a positive, productive way feels good.
Change and integration can take us into some pretty dark places.
To insist on thinking of the dark places as “negative” and something to be avoided seems childish and fearful. As does insisting on only having positive thoughts and only being around “positive” people.
I’ve never been comfortable when someone only has “blissful” stories. There’s no grit. There’s no mundane struggle. Life couldn’t be better every minute of every day.
On occasion, there is something to be said for opening the door marked Dark Place. There’s more to be said about stepping in and milling around. Loitering and observing what comes up.
Resist the urge to light a candle.
Resist the urge to curse the darkness.
Get acquainted with the dark.
That which does not bring happy thoughts.
That which takes us into the depths.
Bliss is easy.
Play with a child, a furry companion; have lunch with a friend, watch it snow, see a movie, listen to music, make love, you get the picture. It’s a simple choice and is available in abundance all around us. (We may decide that it will not be an easy choice, but it is indeed a simple one.)
To be in that which will change us; that which may leave us shaken, disoriented and momentarily away from the familiar path is not simple, nor is it easy.
It is also not a place in which to dwell unnecessarily.
Just because a little is good does not make a lot better!
A little can go a long way, granted that it is from the depths and not just the surface.
Expect to find something you don’t like and just let it be what it is. Don’t try to change it. It will change itself.
‘I went through hell and all I have to show for it is this lousy t-shirt’ sounds like a missed opportunity. You certainly don’t have to go through hell, but see if you can come back with more than a t-shirt. How about ‘I survived the other side’?
To be clear, when I use the term dark, I’m not referring to punishment. There need not be pain involved to experience break through, reward or a small step forward.
So somewhere between the t-shirt and a dungeon with devices for self-torture seems fair.
We don’t always know when an opportunity will present itself. Being present to what is in front of us and willing to to do a little digging around can help. (Just make sure to always have a shovel on hand – a hand trowel will do, and something with which to clean the shovel.)
Blow out that candle.