Embracing The Darkness That Leads To Light

Let Your Darkness Lead You To Your Light

By Kate Kole

The Target sale stickers get me every time. In my (failed) attempt to zoom past the rows of books on a recent outing, the 30% off tag on its cover caught my eye and propelled me to impulse buy a copy of the memoir, Present Over Perfect.

Upon flipping through the first couple chapters, the benefits of the insight offered in its pages outweighed its discount price. By the time I reached what I viewed to be the goldmine chapter, ‘Must Be Nice’, I could practically feel the truth of Neiquist’s written words running off the pages and through my veins.

Shauna shares her experience with the way her jealousy toward a friend inspired her to reflect on and change her own life. She offers that “sometimes the darkest parts of us can be our teachers in ways that our sweeter qualities never could.”

I considered the things that have brought darkness into my life. The things that still bring darkness into my life. Fear. Envy. Comparison. Shame. Worry. The fight for worthiness. The quest towards perfection. The ugly emotions that evoke a lump in my throat, tightness in my chest, and an unsettled feeling in my stomach as I simply type the words across my keyboard. The things that are often too embarrassing and humiliating to admit out loud. The ones that feel so crappy, I’ll do anything to distract myself from them.

Because I’d rather run and yoga them out, or eat, drink, sleep, scroll, watch, work, and shop them away than have to actually deal with them. To air them out for anyone else to see. To have to consider what lessons they’re trying to teach me and what spotlight they’re attempting to shine on my life. To believe, for even a second, that something that feels as isolating as loneliness or as wrong as judgement or as defeating as self-doubt might have any sort of meaningful purpose.

Why tap into our demons when we can tap into our humor, kindness, or compassion, instead? Why focus on anything disturbing or challenging when we can choose to focus on what feels good and easy?

The answer I felt when I came to sit with the discomfort imbedded in the question is this: the darkness exists to some extent whether we acknowledge it or not. And the sooner we can recognize its presence, the closer we come to experiencing its wisdom and what it has to teach us.

If I want to grow, as a daughter, sister, friend, wife, and human being, then I must consider all the parts of myself. Not just the ones I selectively show off to the world, but the ones I grapple with in my soul and my mind. I have to get curious as to why someone else’s skills, talents, and competency often make me question my own. I have to get to the bottom of what it is that creates the feeling that no matter what I do or accomplish, it’s never quite enough. I have to figure out why the fear of rejection keeps me from living full out.

As unsettling as they can seem, our deeper, hidden layers have the capacity to inspire and lead us in ways that sometimes the shiny, exterior surface layers can’t. They exist to show us what we long to create and offer to the world. And through wrestling with the dark, complex, messiness we can discover glimpses of our exquisite, illuminating light.

{featured image via pexels}

2 thoughts on “Embracing The Darkness That Leads To Light

  1. abbeycoseattle says:

    This was a big awakening I had after fighting postpartum depression, that there was now a new part of my personality (being a mom) that was my reality. However in becoming a mom I couldn’t neglect the other parts of my personality… it is all still me just with a new piece! it is a very difficult transition to make for sure.


  2. Catherine says:

    I’m so glad this book had the same impact on you as it did me. This whole embracing the dark and light parts of me is still something I struggle with, but it’s getting easier.


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