As humans, we all have a light side and a dark side with each side playing a role in our personality and life. Both sides are what make us who we are. You can’t ignore your dark side because it’s a part of what makes you, you. Rather, you need to accept it, understand it, and use it to help you achieve your goals.
So, what exactly is your dark side?
We are all well-aware of our good side. It’s the side of us that we show to people in public. It’s the best of everything we are. It’s what makes us shine as human beings. It’s what we thrive for and aspire to be. But what is the dark side in you? It’s not as simple as the opposite of what you like about yourself. The dark side of your personality is often a rejected, ignored pile of emotions, situations and phobias that you try to forget with all your might.
Your dark side is what you hate most in yourself. It’s your fear of failure, it’s your extreme shyness or your unhealthy compulsions. Or maybe it’s a drug or alcohol addiction or your horrible temper. Whatever it is, you can’t wish it away no matter how hard you try.
Why should you accept your dark side?
Most people’s approach toward their dark side is to fight it or ignore it. Some religions and counseling techniques instruct you to destroy the darkness within yourself in order to live a happy life. In my opinion, this is an unhealthy approach because it causes you to split your personality in two rather than teaching you how to accept and use your dark side to your benefit.
Accepting your dark side has some definite advantages.
First, when you accept your dark side and realize that it is a part of who you are, all of the energy that you spend fighting it will suddenly be available for other purposes. By accepting that you are who you are, you will have access to a new source of personal power and you will have more energy to channel into building up what you like about yourself.
Second, when you accept your dark side, you take a big step toward inner wholeness and integrity. Acting with integrity means acting with all your being, not just following a moral code.
Of course, following a moral code is a personal decision, but you can make that decision with integrity, with all your being. Keeping yourself mentally separated: “I am a good person for doing this, but I am a bad person because I have this addiction,” will put you to a state of constant mental disruption. We’re not designed to act in a fragmented way. Rather, we’re supposed to act as a whole unique person, with good and bad parts.
And third, when you accept you have a dark side, you establish a starting point. You know who you are as a whole person and you can now begin the work to integrate the two sides of your personality. You can understand that you’re not only a hard-working, respectable person, but you are also the person who isn’t perfect. This is who you are and it’s time to accept it.
The way to the light is through the darkness. Once you understand and accept your dark side, you can begin the inner work of reconciling your two sides and integrating both into a happy, healthy existence. It won’t happen overnight, but once it does, you will be able to fully accept who you are and move forward along your path in life