August 20, 2012

Afraid of the dark?

Always remember, the darkness is part of the light. When you have one, you can appreciate the other. It makes you whole.  ~ Evan Sanders

I love those days when I am happiest, have incredible energy, and have the clarity of mind to easily get things done.  Those days are amazing.  I am at peace, I feel productive, and it is easy to sustain momentum.

Then, there are those days where my confidence is low, my energy is off, and I can’t seem to get things accomplished.  I dread those days.  I can feel the darkness around me.  It always feels like I am losing important momentum, that I am on the brink of slipping into a bad place, and I start to worry about failing.

I am afraid of the dark.

The other day I read an awesome post by the Better Man Project that completely opened my eyes to the unavoidable reality of darkness.  This post reflects on our continuous pursuit of happiness and our constant fear of the opposite.  “Life is a game of opposites.  Happiness and sadness, hot and cold, salt and pepper.  Without one, you cannot know the other…You have to expect the sun to rise and set. I used to freak out when I was upset…now I just sit with it and appreciate the feeling for what it is. When you don’t fight your emotions and try to claw and scratch your way out of them…they float into the wind.”

Wow! What a refreshing perspective.  It is impossible for us to live our lives without experiencing the highs and lows that come with it.  Were it not for opposites, it would be impossible for us to appreciate the entire spectrum.  Rather than fighting to avoid the lows that seemingly disrupt our highs, relax, reflect, and focus on where we are headed and allow the sun to rise when it is ready.

I have always dreaded the dark periods in my life.  We all have them.  We all run from them and fear them. It is as if there is a rule that success and peace is about being happy all the time.  Happiness is a relative term.  Even in the tempest of the storm, we can be happy.

People love watching a thunderstorm when they are not in it; yet, dread being in one when they are driving through it.  What is the difference?  The only difference is driving through a thunderstorm is a threat to our progress and our safety.  We are not secure in a storm when we have to get somewhere and have to drive into it to get there.  We are very safe in that storm when we are in a safe place to observe it.

The same goes for the dark.  The fear is that the darkness threatens our safety and our security.  If we are not happy and positive, our productivity and progress will be affected.  We cannot allow ourselves to be in the darkness.  Unfortunately, darkness is unavoidable.

Instead of fearing the dark, embrace its presence as part of the process.  There is an opportunity to be positive, focused, and committed in the dark.  The key is embracing the reality that darkness is an essential ingredient in the learning cycle and a component of your life that is unavoidable.  Allow yourself to adjust to the lack of light, energy, or momentum and carefully, slowly work your way through it.  Just as the sun sets at night, so too will it rise in the morning.  Relax, trust, and embrace the experience.  Tomorrow will be another day! And, it will be a good one!

 

 

 

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.