I know I have a dark side.
There is a part of me that is:
There are times when I have allowed one or all of the above character traits to govern my choices and lead me down the well-trodden path of casualties and chaos. For a long time, self destruction was my default setting and anything on top of that was a hell of a lot of work.
Today I feel I hold a more permanent space in the realm of contentment but every so often, I feel an uneasiness simmering beneath the surface of my peaceful exterior, threatening – in one fell swoop – to disrupt everything I have worked so hard to build.
Can I control it or am I destined to remain a slave to my base desires? Do I try and stifle my ego or can I channel the most destructive parts of myself into something productive?
Because the truth is, I’ve tried suppressing my dark side. It doesn’t work.
I’ve thrown myself into churches and workshops and gyms and self help books and picnics with incredible, uplifting people. I’ve stopped drinking and dating and masturbating. I’ve turned off the tv, distanced myself from people and places I know bring out that side of me. And I still get the itch. The reluctant admission that doing the right thing all the time is really fucking boring. The niggling feeling that there must be more. The resurfacing of that eternal question, “is this really all there is?”
The itch becomes a desire; to explore, to experiment, to test the depth of my newfound roots, the stability of my carefully constructed codes of conduct. The desire becomes a need; to defy, to push back, to self destruct. I stop meditating, I start binge watching TV series, I decide I deserve a bottle of wine and a block of chocolate for being so “good”. I neglect my writing and spend hours scrolling through Tumblr instead, I dismiss every idea or spark of inspiration that comes to me as being ‘inconvenient’ and let my untapped creativity deteriorate into a ball of anxiety that resides at the pit of my stomach. I stage the ultimate act of rebellion against myself.
But why? Do I feel unworthy of finally getting everything I ever wanted? Am I growing impatient of the slow, gradual process that is growth?
What I’ve discovered is that the problem isn’t my emotions, it’s the expression. If I’m not dealing with the root of my desire how can I expect to control the craving?
Most of us have kind of accepted the underlying anxious static that permeates modern life. Everywhere we look there are messages telling us we need to do more, have more, be more. The pursuit of happiness has rendered us in a state of perpetual wanting and rather than expose the source of our discontent, we blame ourselves for not being ‘enough’.
“We are imprisoned within, hypnotised without, denying ourselves access to internal peace and external harmony. Can we execute the perfect jailbreak when we have become our own jailers?”
– Russell Brand, Revolution
What if instead of blaming ourselves for the frustration, the innate restlessness, the perennial discontent; we looked to the systems triggering our fear, the messages designed to evoke these unsavoury emotions within us? Better yet, what if we could use our inner demons, to spark an outer revolution?
Because I know as sure as I have a dark side, there is also a part of me that is:
and pure light
And when I feed that part of myself and utilise her in service of the greater good, I am energised, fulfilled and inspired. My insatiable need for attention becomes the drive I need to get my message out into the world. My blind ambition and impulsiveness means I can take the risks I need to create a business and life I adore without over analysing the situation or letting limiting beliefs hold me back. My yearning to submit to something greater than myself… my ability to surrender to a Higher Power to put the will of God before my own.
My desire to rebel makes me a revolutionary.
An avid longing to defy, to fight back, to revolt, to rise up, to ask questions and to challenge dominant ideals means I can help destroy the ones that no longer serve the world.
What if we could all see our dark side for what it is; misguided energy, misused anger, misdirected passion, misunderstood fear and instead of suppressing it, use it to manifest the Glory of God within us?
I’m still learning to love the parts of myself that no one claps for.
All parts of me are welcome here
What parts of yourself are you trying to hide? What desires are you trying to suppress? Take them out, examine them. Ask yourself how you can use them to your advantage rather than letting them control you. We have all been given an incredible power to instigate radical change in our own lives and the lives of those around us, we just need to learn to use it wisely.
PS. This is really new topic of learning and growth for me and one I plan to explore much more deeply in the weeks and months to come. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.