“The spiritual and self-help community seems to revolve around joy, bliss, excitement, happiness, etc. I am noticing there is minimal focus on our darker sides, and to me, it appears that this is what needs to be looked at and healed most in humanity. Turning a blind eye and repressing things like jealousy, guilt, and anger don’t feel like the right thing to do, so what do you suggest?” ~Michael L.
Great question. The spiritual culture is already an anomaly to the standard way of living, but even in a progressive culture there is always room for thinking outside of the box. It is easy for us spiritualists to accidentally box ourselves in while attempting to explore a more positive, exciting, and grounded way of living because happiness is the most convenient and raw drug on the market. It is addicting, and many of us have craved bliss for a long time, it is our incontestable birthright. A birthright that, for many, has been ignored and suppressed for centuries. Now that consciousness is sweeping the western world like some type of infectious fashion trend, it is significant we, as a metaphysical culture, remain conscious of consciousness!
Consciousness is merely the mind’s awareness of itself and the world, yet many spiritualists adopt a much broader approach to the term, and believe consciousness is defined as the ascension of suffering. Although suffering can be transcended when a certain understanding of love is embraced and experienced, I do not believe this is the single intention behind the word consciousness. My definition of consciousness is as follows: awaken to the suffering with in.
It is sort of hard to ascend suffering if you are ignoring it. In our spiritual culture the ascension of suffering so often becomes the prevention of suffering, and with this approach to life we are ignoring the humanity, the finite part of this earthly experience.
We are depriving ourselves of the organic wonder etched between the fine lines of emotion and release. Some of us deprive
emotion from existing, while others can’t seem to let it go. The key, as always, is to find balance in the chaos.
Intense emotion is suffering, and emotion is energy in motion. If we are courageous enough to surrender ourselves to energy in motion (emotion) then the energy will pass through our psyche like the nice little storm it has been all along. However, if we deny the emotions our human body wishes to experience, then we are denying a little piece of ourselves. It is human nature to feel emotion, even if such emotion is extreme or unbearable at the time. Let the ‘shadow’ or ‘dark side’ of you shine, that is- let it exist. Don’t shame the pain. Open your heart up so wide that even the darkest of fears fall in love with the light. And the light is you. At the very core you are love, love participating in the human experience so don’t be scared to jump in to this life and embrace emotion.
Ali is practicing spiritual vulnerability in a culture that craves invincibility, amidst a fragile world. alidoodlelovesme.com