Home Personal Development We Are Both Darkness and Light: How to Reconcile Them and Grow

We Are Both Darkness and Light: How to Reconcile Them and Grow

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“We must endure our own toxicity. Only by facing our own shadows can we ultimately become brighter. Yes, you are kind. But youis also cruel. you are thoughtfulbut youIt’s also selfish. You are both light and shadow. I want authenticity. I want the real thing. I demand both my light and my shadow. ~ Kelly Manggis

Many of us can remember the painful moments that shaped us. As we grow older, we become more deeply aware of all the ways we have been hurt, wronged, or betrayed. I think it’s a natural impulse.

I thought about this a lot on my way to the California River Delta, a gentle wetland that sits between the Bay Area and Sacramento.

The night before watching an episode of 13 reasons A work with the theme of conflicting elements that live in each of us.Difficulty in reaching a clear summary good again sorryIf you are privy to all the emotions a person has been through, all the emotions they have been through, or the thoughts running through their heads.

I have a list of my own wounds in and out of my head that some days are more revitalizing than others. If you’re stressed and haven’t been able to recover with sleep, it’s more likely to appear.

Here you can get a little glimpse of how it reads.

It started when I was 5 years old. You find out that the girl you thought was your best friend isn’t as attached to you as you are.

In sixth grade, out of the blue, a core group said to you: You could no longer sit with them.you didn’tI don’t know why.Somehow you knew the people you trusted didn’t want you anymore. Traits and quirks that were previously unquestioned were suddenly questioned and subject to intense self-scrutiny.

the way you speak. your admiration. the sound of your voice. you just didn’t know It could have been any of these. Or maybe all of them.

Whatever it was, the message that resonated the most was “Not good enough. Not worth having around.”

A year later, your crushed self-esteem, you’ve been trained Friendship with a girl in the shower One day I gave it positive attention and the next I pushed it so hard that I (“jokingly”) bled. This girl told you that you are selfish and she is trying to get you to pay and comply with her desires.

She rolled her eyes and called you “Doctor”. Phil’ hurt your feelings when you said this to her. Whenever you speak for yourself, it will lead to a fight. Years before you learn what the word means, you will find this toxic, but perhaps this is what you deserve. You will blame yourself for what you think is the best thing you can do, especially when you have no one else to turn to.

Years later, dating has broken your heart countless times. You let your guard down and began to trust, only to realize you made an unwise choice. Rinse and repeat.

Your feelings have been ignored countless times. Also, even when you were. It felt like the carpet had been pulled from under my feet over and over again, like an ominous cinematic repeat.


As I was driving toward the California River Delta that day, I realized that the story I had been carrying for years was absolutely correct. Acknowledging those moments is an act of self-compassion. Once you have validated what you have experienced, you can begin to heal it.

However, this story was incomplete. What I hadn’t yet incorporated into my story was the harm I also left behind myself, the way both input and output feed each other in repeated cycles.

So after parking the car and looking out at the blue-grey sea, my brain began to expand on that story.

You carried those childhood wounds with you. They slept only to rejuvenate. When they did, you were looking only from your point of view and blind to others.

When you hit a breaking point, you said hurtful things when you lashed out at a friend or date.Consumed by your own problems, you sometimes Phicompletely there or led to appear fartOr others when needed.

You are obsessed with people and relationships, putting Unconscious pressure and expectations on them without their consent.

You were with a woman who claimed you were disappointed and wished or tried to change them. insisted on seeing it in

Small inconsiderate acts that have built up over the years, even if you haven’t blatantly abused anyone or acted in an overtly toxic way.

My mind had easily trodden into these uncomfortable places before, but that day only itself and the idyllic landscape struggled., I stayed there longer than my usual 5-10 minutes.

As I looked out to sea, I thought about the attitudes, beliefs, and cognitive deficits that often keep us from getting here.

How can we allow erroneous thoughts and memories to move through (rather than push them away) when they surface? I wondered. Because being accountable benefits not only those who have been harmed, but our own souls as well.


I found shame to be a big factor. Brené Brown says that being stuck in this all-embracing feeling will stop her from growing. As long as we stick to that slog, ironically, we’re more likely to repeat the mistakes that got us there in the first place.

The character of BoJack Horseman (from the Netflix show) who hurts friends, strings up good women, and commits sexual assault is definitely an example of someone (er, horse) stuck in this cycle.He doesn’t realize how his own notion of being irreparably wounded contributes greatly to his continuation of harmful behavior. bad There is nothing you can do about it. Then hurting others is inevitable.

And BoJack keeps drinking. He keeps hurting people. He keeps making the same mistakes. He himself continues to suffer. By wrapping himself in a robe of shame, he protects himself—both from the hard work of change and the extreme discomfort of examining the insecurities underlying his destructive behavior.

Those who have been traumatized in the past developed coping mechanisms in response to what happened to us years before we could fully understand and contextualize our pain. It has caused some collateral damage to those around us.

Some of us thought there was something wrong with us. Or, these behaviors result from character flaws that we must learn to hide. bottom.

Nor did I realize that I could allow it to guide us, rather than dwell on guilt and shame. It means that it can lead us down a more kind path.

Black and white thinking also keeps us from a full awareness of the past. You may think that if you do something bad, it means you are a bad person. However, it is entirely within our control to learn from our past actions and become better each day.

Some amazing people have gone through years of trial and error to get to where they are today. If everything was judged solely by the worst things we’ve done, many of us would be alone now.

We may not acknowledge our past. Because your past doesn’t match your image of being a good person. Just imagining yourself as a loyal person or a good friend does not mean that you will not act in a way that hurts others.


Acknowledging your role in past events does not mean forgetting to care for yourself. Being able to take responsibility for herself and learn healthier alternatives to destructive defenses while maintaining compassion for what she went through in her younger years and struggles she didn’t yet understand. I understand.

When I was in school, I wasn’t taught emotional regulation. It is difficult to practice what is not taught. But I am now reminded that I have the tools to teach myself.To be someone who can heal my young, wounded self who still lives somewhere in my heart.

Instead of allowing yourself to be trapped in the swamp of past shame, you can try to understand the unmet needs and untreated pain that caused the negative behavior.

You can remove the debris that led to your insensitive behavior and eventually meet a better, kinder self. A person who exists in all of us.

In my own journey, facing regrets has not been painless, but it has motivated change. Reminders force me to do better now, to the people in my life now. They also force me to be better friends with myself.

When it comes to total healing and self-realization, I’ve realized that acknowledging what’s been done to you is only one side of the coin. Look not only at the most useful things, but also at their impact on others.

On the dock that day I collected some stones. Each one represents someone I have hurt in some way. I held each one in my hand. I wished each person happiness and imagined filling them with a protective ring of love.

And I sent each stone on its way. I watched it fly through the air and land in the water in a small, almost imperceptible splash.

Each of us is capable of doing much better than the worst things we have ever done. But many of the ways we remove their lasting power from these mistakes are by acknowledging them and forgiving ourselves at the same time.

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