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A few years ago a friend of mine worked really hard to help me buck my niceness. He wanted to help me show up the perfectly imperfect messy human I am, all in and seen. He saw all my light and all my dark and loved me whole.

 

He was perplexed in how I kept showing up with my false light {niceness} with others, knowing that my true light and dark were there too and more beautiful than any fake glow.

 

He stirred my dark and I stirred his light. We were quite the balance together: yin to yang, light to dark, masculine and feminine; the spectrum of living whole.

 

Have your ever squelched how you really feel to play “nice”? Been agreeable despite your body telling you that you absolutely feel the exact opposite?

 

I got really good at wearing this mask.

 

Too good, to the point I didn’t even know how I felt anymore as I was just morphing and blending with those around me.

 

The only indication the silent rage that finally flowed when the damn burst. And watch out as I wasn’t stopping in nice town. I became bitchy if not wickedly witchy. My dark side fed up with being benched. She wanted in, rather sitting sidelined witness to my playing nice, playing small and letting others dictate my why.

 

Soon after, I’d feel ashamed. What happened to perfect nice little me?

 

“That can’t be me,” I’d think entering into another binge of shoving how I really felt down, until the slightest thing would set me off.

 

It’s exhausting holding all this in. It’s exhausting letting it all out in one fell swoop.

 

Shadow work. The dark side. Parts of the whole often cast off for fear of being unlovable and unworthy, for being bad when allowing natural emotions to surface. When you’re taught to be good and only allow the good, you excise parts that serve when directed into the world consciously.

 

Lack of integration and pushing down the real, for the false ideal, often triggers unconscious reaction rather than connected conscious action.

 

Your ability to choose action versus reaction surfaces with awareness, the presence that takes a second to process what is happening allowing the real to emerge. The more real you are the less that gets submerged.

 

What you do isn’t so much the key as why you’re doing it.

 

I never learned how to feel my anger, my sadness, my pain. I pushed it down to be nice, to be agreeable. Numbed to feeling not realizing that you can’t selectively numb. Joy, connection and love are the flip side, the light.

 

And you need the light too. It’s only in the dark that you truly feel and learn to trust your light.

 

Can I love me, even with my dark side?

 

I’m still learning how to fully feel, to show up whole, but I’m much more aware of the shadow pieces: the arrogant princess, the lazy sloth, the controlling heiress, the angry storm, the hunger for abundance and attention and the smiley nice saccharine me that when cracked open becomes the kind me with no bullshit boundaries and the space of grace.

 

Some of the greatest of inner work will be coming to face to face with your own darkside. The key is to stare down anything that surfaces other than love when dealing with these exiled parts of self: the good, the bad and the ugly.

 

It’s not an easy feat as you’re reconditioning your mind to choose different, to allow, authentically, the starved shadow and the brilliant light merge into the compelling whole.

 

The freedom to be yourself. 

 

Can you love you, even with your dark side?