For the past few days I have been thinking about what I call my lightness and my darkness. My lightness, in short, is everything I freely, openly, happily share with others. My darkness, is everything else.
As I have been thinking about this, I realize that my lightness and my darkness can be a multitude of things, and very often they can be the same things. For example, feelings of fear, anger, insecurity, and resentment can be classified as part of my lightness if I share them (i.e. because I have opened up and shared these parts of myself with another). These same feelings can also be part of my darkness if I don’t share them (i.e. because I do not fully trust that another person can love and accept these things about me).
Similarly, feelings like joy or laughter, as well as a kind word, gesture, or act can equally be symbolic of my light. These factors can be considered as part of my light because there is a sense of freedom and joy in sharing these aspects of myself that can positively impact the lives of others. However, these same things, if withheld from another or directed in a cold manner, could be symbolic of my darkness (i.e. because by withholding these things, I am preventing another person from fully connecting with me).
Taken this way, my lightness and my darkness could be more easily understood as my “vulnerabilities” and “authenticity” – two words that form the basis of the work for researcher/storyteller Brene Brown. According to Brown, it is only by sharing these two aspects of one’s self – even with the risk of potential rejection – that one is able to live as freely, as fully, as happily, as the “whole hearted do.” The key she says, is to believe that one is worthy of love and acceptance – just as they are.
On this note, the question I have for you, the question I am attempting to ask of myself, is how can I risk revealing, sharing more of my darkness to obtain more connection, more freedom, more whole-hearted living? After all, rejecting and imprisoning one’s darkness is no different than rejecting and imprisoning aspects of one’s self. And as Brene Brown says, it is difficult to show compassion, love, and trust, for another if we haven’t first learned to show compassion, love, and trust for ourselves.