I read an article published on Mindbodygreen.com the other day. It was written by Chloe Park and was titled, 4 Ways to Turn Darkness into Light. It was the first step that really caught my attention. It deals with the polarity of emotions and experience involving both light and dark traits within a person. Marianne Williamson once said, “Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who they are. Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is.” There lies the age-old paradox: In order to know light, you must also know darkness. Further, in order to know Love, you must also be knowledgeable of suffering.

My own self-evolution can get a little messy at times. We all can not be in a good mood every minute of everyday; centered and always mindful of the present. This week especially has been a tiresome week for me. I have been fighting this head cold which appears to have morphed in an ear infection – last Tuesday the pressure was so great that my ear drum ruptured – try to be centered in the moment then – SUCKS! All I wanted to do was hit myself in the head with a shovel in hopes it would knock me out – that is how painful it was.

The point is, the polarity of light and darkness are both intrinsic to our being – especially being socially immersed. Some Buddhist would disagree, but unless you are holed up in a temple or retreat away from the pressures and rigors of life, there is going to be some darkness there. The key is to acknowledge the darkness, not as a negative thing, but simply something transitional; much like storm clouds that only temporally blot out the blue sky that always exists.

Chloe Park writes,

“Without the polarity of dark and light, well, we wouldn’t be here. Acceptance and forgiveness is essentially the same thing. Once we learn how to accept ourselves — every little piece, every little bit with love and without judgment or criticism, that’s when the shift begins to occur. Greet all darkness through radical acceptance and unconditional love. Watch it move towards the light.”

This would include, sickness, work stress and the many other challenges life throws our way. Life is not perfect – nether are we… So, lets settle in the notion that any effort to move toward the light is sometimes good enough

John C. Bader

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