Monday, January 3, 2011
You must know darkness in order to see the light
So here we are, a new year, a new beginning. And in order for something to begin, something else must end. So it goes, an infinite cycle of starts and stops, openings and closings, coming together and moving apart. I am among those who places a great deal of emphasis on a new year. In particular, I view the transition from the previous one into the new one as an important time to take stock of what you want to let go of, what isn't serving you any longer, and consciously release it. Simultaneously it is the time to focus attention on what is working so you can nurture it, as well as what you want to attract or manifest as you go forward. My girls and I spend a lot of time symbolically burning lists in fires or throwing stones into the ocean to release, as well as contemplating, writing, vision board-making, etc. about future intentions during the tail-end of December and the beginning of January. Fun stuff, if you like that sort of thing!
I decided 2011 is my year of living fearlessly. In order to do that, I have to really look at myself, my life, my relationships, my habits and see where I am being motivated by fear. That is not an easy thing to do, because I'm not talking about fear of heights or spiders or something tangible. I'm talking about fear of being alone or choosing the wrong path in life or being disliked. These are the fears that breed insecurity and cause otherwise intelligent, confident, well-adjusted individuals to engage in behaviors or relationships that are dangerous or dysfunctional. These are the fears that tear apart romances and fuel conflicts. These are the fears that lurk within us in dark shadows that we are too afraid to explore most of the time. But darkness is nothing more than the flip side of light, and I believe it serves our highest good to get to know both equally well so that we may be whole.
Whole is our natural state. It is our Divine birthright. We are born whole, happy and healthy. A baby knows no fear until conditioned otherwise. We do not come into this world with trust issues or an adversity to certain personality traits in others, rather, the relationships and experiences of our lives foster these things. If left unchecked, these "dark side" afflictions can slowly and quietly begin to run our lives and motivate our every decision. Before we know it, we are sabotaging our own happiness with the very choices we are making, and yet we cannot seem to figure out how it happened. Really, the mystery isn't all that great. We are powerful, conscious beings, many of whom live in a way that denies that very power and disconnects from that very consciousness. I have chosen otherwise. I want to fulfill my birthright of a happy, healthy and whole existence, and as such, I have accepted the fact that the only way to do it is to be willing to look at all my crap: ugly, shameful, uncomfortable, embarrassing, fear-invoking though it may be, it is part of me. I know I must own it and address it in order to move past it.
Not surprisingly, the very best way to see our darkness clearly is in our most intimate relationships. We attract people into our lives (this goes both ways) to hold a mirror up to our junk so that we have an opportunity to look at it and decide how to best deal with it. For some, this means moving even further into a state of denial about our ugly truth and more likely than not, leaving the relationship in shambles. For others, it is the needed opportunity to break the cycle, face the truth, make a conscious effort to change for the better and be part of a loving and nurturing relationship. I am trying for the latter in my love life, and I can tell you that it is hard work. It is scary in its own right, emotionally draining at times and can be downright frustrating. But I believe that A. and I are wonderful mirrors for one another. I believe that we can help each others' light to shine more fully and wholly. I believe in our love. So I've chosen the fearless path, and now we shall see where it leads.
As you go about setting your resolutions and goals for the year, there is nothing wrong with the garden variety "I'm going to shed ten pounds by bikini season" or "I'm going to save $100 each month toward the island vacation of my dreams". Any goal with a positive end is a goal worth setting. But ask yourself if those are the things that are truly going to nourish you and bring happiness. And consider if setting such specific goals is always wise, or if it might be a good idea to leave a little room for Divine interpretation of your aspirations. Creating that space could mean receiving far more than you imagined possible.