I spent most of my life pretending. Pretending that I didn’t have shadows. I’ve hit rock bottom so many times that it led to suicidal thoughts, severe anxiety, and depression. Carl Jung says that our dark sides allow us to be whole.
Furthermore, I’m guessing with your dark side you have done one of two things: you ignore the darkness within because it consumes you or you pretend it doesn’t exist.
When you ignore it, you pretend to have it under control until you hit rock bottom with your emotions. Have you ever been in such a dark place that you either pretend it isn’t a part of you or it consumes you to the degree that you reject life altogether?
Tell me one person who hasn’t, and I’ll tell you that they are a boldface liar. Moreover, when it consumes you, you disappear into a bottomless pit, and you still hit rock bottom with your emotions.
In many cases, you are so consumed by the darkness, that you buy every self-help book, read every blog post, meet with every professional that you can because you are in a frenzy to “fix” whatever it is that you’re experiencing. Well, I’m here to tell you, there’s nothing wrong with you because there is nothing to fix. You aren’t some problem that needs re-working.
You learned defense mechanisms that helped you to cope when you were a child and those coping mechanisms protected you, but now that you’re an adult it’s time to find new ways to heal. Because those defense mechanisms no longer serve you. Therefore, what must first occur is the process of acceptance before anything else can happen.
When I finally admitted the shadows existed, I then tried to escape from the darkness. It once even led me halfway across the United States to a retreat in the mountains of Los Angeles, California then to meeting with four Balinese healers in Indonesia.
I thought deep down that I needed to fix myself, but with the help of these three Balinese healers, I soon learned that nothing’s wrong with me and everything that I needed I already had.
Balinese Healers Share What’s Truth
What can four Balinese healers teach you about life? The past is the past. The more you resist, the more you’ll suffer. You can’t change the terrible experiences that you’ve had.
Forgiveness and acceptance are long overdue. How much longer will you torment yourself with the haunting details of the past? One of the Balinese healers said, “Keep the darkness in the shadows so you can move forward.”
Have you ever heard of the Elephant and the Rope story? These massive elephants held by a small rope that’s tied around their legs. These animals aren’t in cages or held by any strong chains.
At any given moment these elephants could break free but they never did. The elephants never escaped because they were conditioned to believe that they weren’t free.
You Have The Power to Reshape Your Story
For many of you that didn’t get the parents you wished for, the families you’ve seen your friends have, it sucks. For those of you that have experienced insurmountable trauma, it goes beyond saying that, “it sucks”. It’s inexcusable.
However, what I do know is nailing yourself down to the past eliminates the future and disrupts the present. What is possible with a supportive environment is the ability to reshape your narrative.
Yes, you can change your story because you can redefine who you are today, not who you were in the past, but you can recreate yourself. You can recreate your story. You are not your trauma, and you are not everything bad that has ever happened to you.
In fact, you are more than that because you are a beautiful human. It’s time to separate you from the terrible stuff. It’s time to change your dominant story to a story that empowers you, highlights your strengths while giving you the necessary ingredients for a present life that you can control and be at peace with.
Because it’s time for you to have more compassion for yourself. Change your story, and you will change your life.
Meditate. God, if I hear one more thing about meditation, I’m going to lose it! Well before you lose it, meditate first. I’m mentioning this because for the love of God it works!
Furthermore, if everyone on this planet created a meditation practice moods would elevate and anxiety would become more manageable (without prescription drugs).
When I met these Balinese healers, they radiated light. Their energies were so powerful. It’s as if they were part fluorescent. When you spend time with someone who is constantly negative versus being around someone who has positive energy, the differences are stark.
I didn’t feel any negative energy. It doesn’t mean that these healers were all-knowing. One healer told me, “I am just a messenger, my healing powers don’t solve everything.”
However, meditation allows you to restore and realign your energy. It gives you control over your thoughts and makes you more observant of your life. It becomes possible to reflect and make changes quicker than in the past. Even more, meditation teaches you to react less, assess deeper, and master your emotions.
The practice is terribly difficult for those that suffer from anxiety. Therefore, I suggest starting in increments such as one minute, two minutes, and continue to add minutes over time.
The key here is to stick with it because the effects aren’t readily seen and the effects occur over time. The benefits are irrefutable. I’ve suffered from anxiety most of my life. I’m 66 days in. Despite the fact that I’ve been trying to meditate consistently for the past two years. It takes practice.
It’s changed my life in so many ways. One way is I’m less reactive. When I’m faced with challenges, I’m more likely to run towards them instead of running from them. Also, it’s time to learn to control your thoughts. The Balinese healer said, “It’s important to heal your mind. That leads you towards acceptance and peace.”
An article that studied mindfulness said that when we focus our minds by turning unpleasant emotions inwards instead of turning away from them, then this is the very first step towards healing the mind.
Stress and anxiety are attached to our bodies. As a result, it causes a lot of issues to our organs and many other body parts. I tend to hold a lot of stress in my shoulders and back, because of this I tend to have back pain.
This led to overeating when stressed which led to severe weight gain. While in Bali, many of the healers massaged and poked me. They confirmed what I already knew.
To start on your meditation journey try this 60-second meditation developed by Pixel Thoughts.
You Are The Answer to What Haunts You
It’s always been you.
I traveled across states and oceans to only be reminded that I had everything that I needed to shine the light in my darkness. That means you do too. Unfortunately, an emotional blockage is a blindfold to strengths.
Furthermore, with a support system in place, you have what it takes to dig deep inside of you, heal your past hurts, mend your sorrows, accept what is and tune into your present.
When you begin a self-care plan, and you are consistent with it your life will inevitably change for the better. However, it’s not blind optimism. It’s about becoming comfortable with the realities of your life and finally, accepting that shadows exist in all of us.
Acknowledge the darkness within you, then realize that you have everything inside of you to grow stronger. Life is a rose with thorns because it’s both beautiful and painful. Life is complicated, it isn’t black and white because it’s not a one size fits all. Everyone is born with a different vantage point.
But one thing that remains true is demons are present in our lives, but with an increased self-awareness and a self-care plan they won’t control you.
Faith. I don’t care what you believe in. Believe in nothing. Believe that the world is still flat, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t have some sort of faith you must have a why.
Something that’s bigger than you. Connecting to something greater than you will give you purpose.
Moreover, many of you are floundering because you’re not connected to a greater purpose. When you begin to move through your own darkness a revelation will present itself.
Indonesia’s Sacred Ceremonies Will Make You Look At Life Differently
When I traveled to Indonesia I felt a spiritual presence. Indonesia is a spiritual country. So much so, the minute you step foot on the ground, you immediately feel something different. When I visited Bali, I knew I’d return.
Each day during the early mornings the Indonesian people provided offerings to the Gods and to the Earth. You can observe them putting these offerings together.
I remember, every morning outside of my hotel door I found these offerings.
The offerings are created from bamboo leaves with slices of bananas, colorful flowers, and morsels of rice. They looked like tiny plates of foods. The Indonesians call the offering Canang.
Women are responsible for creating them from scratch. They then strategically place the Canangs everywhere, in front of doorsteps, windows, on sidewalks; everywhere.
The Indonesian’s then light an incense and lay it on the offering plate. They then pray and send blessings to strangers and their families. While praying, the Indonesian’s share their gratitude with the Gods.
When you walk through the streets of Indonesia, you can smell the powerfully scented incense. It’s wonderful. There’s a lot of magic in Indonesia.
The experience is hard to describe, and you can only experience it firsthand. The elderly look younger than they look, the grass and the leaves are the greenest I’ve ever seen.
The spirit of the Indonesian people runs deep with commitment and conviction towards loving the Earth and loving other people. There’s a lot of magic in Indonesia.
If you ever visit Bali, you’ll most likely be given a black, red, and white bracelet made out of yarn. It’s called the Tiridatu bracelet and it’s blessed with holy water.
Red: Represents creativity and bravery.
Black: Represents protection from bad spirits.
White: Represents goodness.
The colors combined remind us that life is a kaleidoscope.
Life is a Ferris Wheel That Doesn’t Stop
Life is many things and often you have to spend time accepting them. Make peace with what you cannot control, take proactive steps to heal your wounds, by understanding the darkness is within us all.
Then find something to believe in during those dark times. You’re worth the effort that it takes because the rest of your life depends on it. Take the time to work through your pain and take your life to newer heights by remembering you’ve had it in you all along.0