• Valentina Poletti

Loving the dark times

I’m coming from one of those periods of life that seem a never ending sequence of unprecedented challenges, dark times and overwhelming negative emotions, and I have a confession to make. I’m starting to love those periods. I used to fear them a lot, as I think most people do, and I still do to some extent, but not as much.

I love the surfing metaphor I heard from a Buddhist monk a long time ago: he compared life to surfing: becoming a better surfer is not so much about searching for a flat sea in order not to drawn, it’s about learning to surf more diligently the waves, to the degree that you start to look forward to bigger ones. At the beginning, tall waves look scary and intimidating, but as you progress you start to see them as greater opportunities. Of course I love the beautiful moments when everything is smooth, but I started to look forward to messed up periods where all is going wrong. Why?

During our healing process - growth journey, or enlightenment, as you call it - the first part is usually about positive focus. That’s where we learn about the law of attraction and how we create our own reality, and that we can control what we create by changing our focus. We also learn about manifestation and meditation techniques, and suddenly life becomes an amazing canvas for our wildest creations. However, there comes a point when, no matter how positively we focus, and how well we try to manifest, things seem to go south nevertheless. That’s when we’re called to the second part of our journey, the shadow work. That’s when we realise that true growth involves embracing and integrating our shadows, rather than escaping them. We need to love and integrate the unconscious aspects of ourselves that are focused negatively, in order to reach our full potential, otherwise we’ll end up in an endless battle with ourself that prevents us from further growth.

After this part, there is another step. Until this moment spirituality was all about our personal growth and healing; but we you reach a point when we realise that no matter how much we become ‘enlightened’, if we accept the higher reality that we are all one, we also must acknowledge the fact that as long as there is one other person left in this world with a shadow, we have a shadow, because we and that person are the same. And that is when our spiritual journey stops being about us and starts being about the collective, as we realise that we can’t truly heal ourselves without healing others, and we become the channel through which world healing happens. And this is an amazing part of the journey. This is where our true powers come to life and we become a catalyst for world healing.

I suspect this has something to do with the reason I starting to like those dark periods: it is not as much about me anymore, and yes I’m going through rough times, but there is a greater cause behind them that feels more compelling. Those periods are the times where I make the biggest shifts both for myself and others. I get to dive into dark places where no-one wants to dive, and to shed light where others are in the dark, and sharing this discovery is truly an amazing place to be. During those periods I discover the most amazing treasures about me and life and I share my most inspirational creations that create so many ‘aha’ moments for others. So yes those times are unpleasant, and painful. But if instead of focusing on our resistance to the feelings of unpleasantness and pain, we focus on the lessons for the greater collective, on what is calling our attention, we can start to make major shifts.

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