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The Dark Side

Old 08-21-2007, 07:04 AM
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The Dark Side

The Dark Side

Have you ever gone outside at night and looked closely at the new moon? Or looked through a telescope at the moon when it was crescent shaped? Although what we see is a bright slice, we know there's more. Even when the moon is full and lights the night sky, there's a dark side to the moon.

There's a dark side to us too. We all experience jealousy, envy, bitterness, resentment. How about neediness? Ugh. Who wants to shine a light on that?

What about all those fears? Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of intimacy, fear of going broke, fear of the unknown, fear of growing old, fear of being alone, fear of being with someone, fear of losing control.

Then there are other parts of us that we would prefer to keep darkened and out of sight, parts such as greed, dishonesty, intolerance, disgust, hatred. Although some people have no problem showing anger, others of us prefer to keep that out of sight too. And what about our manipulative part? Who wants anyone to see that?

Some of us may even consider the dark side of ourselves forbidden. We may refuse to acknowledge it exists because we believe it's wrong. Not acknowledging our dark side doesn't wish it out of existence, any more than not seeing the dark side of the moon makes it disappear.

Most sane people agree that they don't want to be controlled by their dark side. We don't want parts of ourselves - jealousy, neediness, and greed - to control our behaviors. But when we don't acknowledge these emotions and traits, they can gain control. The more we try to repress something, the more it fights for its life.

Don't be afraid. Shine a light on that dark part. At least look at it briefly. Acknowledge it's there. Take some of the pressure off. Let yourself be well rounded, instead of one-dimensional. We don't just have a light side, a bright side. Nobody is always loving, always kind, always generous, and always thoughtful.

You are reading from the book:

52 Weeks of Conscious Contact by Melody Beattie
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:09 AM
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Let yourself be well rounded, instead of one-dimensional. We don't just have a light side, a bright side. Nobody is always loving, always kind, always generous, and always thoughtful.
As a child, I was taught that some feelings were "good" and others were "bad".... and I was also told , "Oh you shouldn't feel that way". There was also the strong message that it was my job to present the happy and upbeat face at all costs, and to work hard to "make" others feel good.

Obviously, I was ill equipped to understand, comprehend OR process certain feelings. I had no idea what to do with anger, frustration, jealousy etc so I just stuffed them away. They'd always come out eventually - often in inappropiate ways.

Recovery has taught me that my feelings are just feelings - not facts. I can sit with my feelings, journal about them, talk with a recovery friend so that I can process all of my feelings in healthy and appropriate ways - most of the time, anyway.

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Old 08-21-2007, 07:13 AM
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Some of what I used to consider "dark" is not. It is ok to speak my feelings. It is ok to say what I will and will not tolerate. It is ok to determine how *I* want to live, and not consistently give in to another's will.

It is ok to learn how to share my day - without giving it all away or hoarding it all to myself.

My dark side has much to offer.


Thank you, Cat.

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Old 08-21-2007, 07:40 AM
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I have a dark side that I am ashamed of. I hide it, and actually try to make up for it with my "good side" do better, do more, maybe that will make my darks side "less"
I pay pennance to my dark side by being good.

Instead, I guess I should accept that part of me for what it is, human. I can acknowledge it, face it, and work on changing it when I can. My dark side will always be there, it even has good aspects of it. My dark side helps to protect me when I'm in danger. It's my natural instinctive side that can get mean when the need arises. It's part of my defense mechanisim.

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Old 08-21-2007, 08:34 AM
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Cats,

I know exactly what you mean about being told to not feel a certain way! My mother said that to me all the time when I was a kid... she still says it to this day, and I have actually told her a few times now that I do not care to have her telling me how to feel anymore. I am 24, for Pete's sake!

Yeah, as much as I would like to have a darker side sometimes, an ability to cover things up, hiding my feelings is something I am not very good at. Anyone who knows me can read me like a book... I guess that can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the situation.
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:36 PM
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At least look at it briefly. Acknowledge it's there. Take some of the pressure off.
Recently I was just in a day where it seemed no matter what, I was acting like a B****. I'd open my mouth, and just say or imply things I didn't even really feel. I'd give that look...sigh...geez. I finally caught myself in the middle of a whine to someone I love and said...I'm just horrible...I'm being so horrible and I don't want to be, I'm sorry. It helped just to say it, to admit my dark side (which was probably a hormone driven darkside on that day, lol) and admit my conduct was not acceptable. And once I admitted it and apologized, somehow the day started going better.
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:41 PM
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Thank you for this post.
I was just thinking about this yesterday...how we codies like to wear the rose glasses in public and we have no problem acknowledging that we are too generous, too giving etc.
But, Melody Beatty says we are hostile, controlling, manipulative and hard to deal with. But we don't talk about that.
We talk about how much we have sacrificed to the beloved addict. etc.
I had a few posts that showed my dark side, my manipulativeness and controlling impulses and immediately felt it was inappropriate and that I shouldn't have posted this.
So, again, thank you for addressing this.
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