Mindfulness and Compassion – Embracing Your Dark and Light Side

As I am writing this article an interesting process is going on inside me. I am convinced we all possess a “dark side”; beliefs, ideas, opinions that are not working for us, and create some ripples in the pond. Sometimes tidal waves. One of those waves has hit me recently and -to stay with the metaphor- it has me frantically coming up for air. It feels like drowning, without actually physically dying. It doesn’t feel great, I can tell you that!

The universal Law of Polarity states that what everything has an equal and exact opposite. Dark vs light; wanted vs unwanted. That Law is applicable to us as people as well. We have our light and bright side versus our dark and dim side.

If there is something I learned along the Mindfulness and self-discovery journey, it is that trying to avoid the unwanted sides of ourselves is useless. It always has a way to catch up with you. Striving for only the wanted sides is equally useless; it never stays with you. Finding the balance in the middle, or more clearly: accepting both sides of ourselves is what Mindfulness is all about.

Woman looking in a broken mirror
Photo by jurien huggins 

One of my teachers once told me: “serenity is not seeking shelter from the storm; it’s finding peace within it”. That one always stuck with me. Actually “doing” it (finding peace within it) is a totally different story.

I was discussing this with my mentor Jean Sheehan and my dear friend and teacher Michael Roads. Both said, and I know it to be true, that we can only find that serenity if we are willing to feel, accept and allow both our polar opposites in our lives as “part of us”. We ARE both opposites and everything in between. We ARE wanted and unwanted. Trying to avoid one side and/or crave the other side makes us deny half of ourselves; half of the whole.

Obviously that is often easier said than done, and that was my initial reaction to both my mentors as well. Especially when you are going through a rough patch with seriously negative emotions you don’t believe you can do it. I KNOW they are right, though. Inner beauty to me is the realization that even your darkest emotions are “you”, and are deserving of your love and attention.

Mindfulness and self-compassion (or loving-kindness) is the application of this truth. A moment to moment feeling-awareness of what IS, no matter how light or dark, with no attachments to either. The whole of you is worthy of love and appreciation. Serenity is a state we can all achieve. Perhaps not easily, but the effort it requires is definitely worth it.

Marc is a qualified Counsellor, Life/Business Coach, Master NLP Practitioner and AusIDentities Personalities Facilitator on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Marc inspires his clients to create “Knowareness”, a powerful state of presence that allows clients to make the right decisions at the right time, all the time.

A litigation lawyer for nearly a decade in his “previous life” before immigrating to Australia from The Netherlands, Marc knows exactly how daunting taking the first step in a new direction can be.

Email Marc at marc@landmarc.com.au to arrange an introductory 30 minute face-to-face or phone mentoring session!

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