The conversations in our heads can be peaceful and soft or loud and angry. In fact peaceful and soft, loud and angry conversations are happening in our heads a lot of the time simultaneously! Most of us do not get to a place where what is happening in our minds is always peaceful and soft. This being human is challenging! Many of us choose, however, to work on facing the darkness – the fear, anger and unacknowledged grief – so that we are more available for ourselves and others in our lives in a peaceful, loving way.
I recall with great clarity a time in my life where I felt as if my commute to work was the time to prepare – to put on the “uniform” and get ready to rise to the unspoken expectations of the work world. It felt, at the time, as if I was having to leave a part of myself behind for the day. I felt that I could pick up the real me while driving home in the evening and leave the work persona behind – safely locked in the car. All of this predated the technological intrusions which changed it all and required that I learn to create protective boundaries for myself.
What I didn’t know at the time was this: I was living in my own existential crisis and didn’t have any idea of just how to work through it. I was questioning everything…or at least the everything I knew at that point in my life. Of course, this was not the only dark night of the soul experience for me. What I realized later was that I had not yet seen what was possible when I simply took the real, authentic me – open heart and all – to work and everything else I was doing at that period in my life.
Later in life, darker experiences started to emerge. No matter how hard we try to bury or deny any aspect of our challenging past, it will keep coming for us until we turn around and face it. The darker side of ourselves is indeed inside of us. Do you know what is contained in your darker side? It may even be hard to realize and to take responsibility for it…and it is STILL in there. If you do not believe you are capable of rage, I am here to tell you that YOU are. We all are. We may have been taught to NOT show our anger, or NOT speak our truth, or NOT stand up for ourselves and as a result have accumulated memories of experiences that we hoped to have forgotten. And yet, they are still in there….just waiting to be seen and embraced.
This deep dive to the center of ourselves is not for the faint of heart and is the most rewarding part of living and leading our lives – fully and authentically. It isn’t easy and having a lifeline to someone – therapist, coach, trusted friend – can be an important part of this unfolding process.
A recent, important conversation reminded me of the Native American Legend of Two Wolves. I offer it here to provide an opportunity for an in-depth reading. You can read it quickly, as both are short, and you may wish to go back to it for reflection. The stories show us the essence of what is divided within us. I have seen various versions of this story and there are two at this link. I hope you will take a moment to click on the link and read them both. There is so much there…for all of us. The wisdom of the indigenous people is important and powerful and is becoming more so every day. This story is no exception.
Realize that light and dark reside within us. Both wolves are in us. They co-exist. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness.
Wishing you the full embrace and acceptance of ALL that YOU are; the healing that can follow the embrace and acceptance; and the peace that passes all understanding. There is a light that burns within. It is always shining, even as it is covered by the darkness of our thoughts, and the pain of buried experiences.
Welcome yourself home to YOUR light.
Namaste (the light in me sees and honors the light in you).