Recently I have been having an inner battle with exposing the darker sides of life in order to reach out to someone who is struggling. Much of the time I feel content in dwelling in the blessings of life and portraying an optimistic viewpoint. I prefer to dream, plan, and encourage others to live in the moment, follow their values and seek meaningful relationships. Talking about chronic pain, mental issues, dysfunction, crazy thoughts I might have, and addictions are topics I would rather stay in the shadows, or allow a slight exposure for a sense of humanity. However when someone is hurting, it is hard to look the other way.
Sharing about the darker side can bring panic and fear. What will people think of me? Will I lose respect from people I care about? Will they use the information to harm or threaten me in the future. Integrating these parts of myself can bring shame and fear of abandonment until full acceptance gives grace. I prefer to compartmentalized and move on losing this part of myself verses taking these pieces as the masterpiece they can become.
Opportunities always present themself in life. Every difficult situation I have encountered has the potential to bring good, especially as I face the truth and find strength to move forward by both digging deeper and taking steps to make necessary changes. I feel this responsibility to offer my experience, my compassion, possible guidance to resources, and wisdom that has guided me along the way. I also need to be open to learn, to hear, to challenge my viewpoint, so I can learn what others have to teach me and to see the beauty in their life. I don’t know if it will make a difference, but I can’t ignore the opportunity.
What I know to be true is that each of us has a unique path – what works for one doesn’t always work for another. However, my greatest growth and wisdom has come from hearing stories, seeking truth and prayer, and finding resources through people and words of wisdom. My greatest teachers have all have different opinions and values in some area, yet can still be a guide for enriching my life and growing spiritually. I have learned to connect more easily with those who come in humility, willingness to listen, gave some hope, cared about me and were able to enter into the darker aspects of both my life and their own. They had an inner strength , compassion, grace and love, and wisdom from their own experiences, yet were open to learning from the experiences of all they came into contact with.
May each of us keep our hearts open to allowing life to unfold in the most mysterious of ways – seeing the light shine in the darkness.
Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening because of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in our lives.