Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bringing Light to the Shadows

It led me to one of my favorite books, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford
photo credit: Juli Isola
To truly embrace our authenticity, we must recognize, know and accept our whole self; not just the light-hearted, happy, socially-acceptable parts but also the sadness, irritation, discontent, and failings.

The theme for January’s Sunday talks was authenticity, so it’s no surprise that in two conversations with friends this month, the topic of the dark night of the soul and spiritual darkness came up. It led me to one of my favorite books, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford. In the first few chapters she reminds us that there are gifts in the traits and emotions we judge as bad. Frustration or ill-content with a job leads us to search for change. Anger and outbursts can protect our personal boundaries leading to greater self care. Our experience of sadness allows us to offer compassion and understanding to others who are facing loss or heart ache.

Ian Percy echoed these ideas in his talk at the Center this past Sunday. Ian suggested that we face irritation before insight. The irritation drives us to find the possibilities for greater expression.

Simply put the light and the dark are two sides of the same coin. Without one, we can’t really fully experience the other.

What part of yourself are you hiding today? Can you find the gifts in the characteristics or emotions you label bad or wrong? Freedom and true authenticity comes from bringing light to the darkness. When we understand and trust that there is only good and it is all God, then we can fully shine our light in the world.

~Juli Isola