Seeing Jonas Ellison’s excellent version of this post’s same title, it reminded me to re-publish mine, first written in 2010:
When I was a teenager, the one thing I dreaded (or feared) the most was leaving behind childhood friends in Southern California and starting a new life in, holy @#$%, the real South.
Georgia, the Peachtree State, to be specific.
My step-mother offered me a way out — a way to say “Sayonara” to some of the trouble I was getting myself into in San Diego.
First, when hearing my initial resistance, she offered the typical advice most well-meaning mothers do: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
“Yeah, yeah, whipdy-do,” I thought to myself.
Then she ramped it up a bit:
I heard her say that when we’re afraid of something, what we want more than anything else is to make it go away.
We want our life to go back to the way it was before we found out that there was something to be afraid of.
We want to build a high wall and live our old life behind it. But, that’s not our old life at all. That’s nothing more than just our new life with a wall around it.
Yup, nothing ever stays the same!
Our choice is not about going back to the way things were. Our choice is either about a) hiding or b) going right to the heart of the thing that scares us.
Very frequently, the deepest spiritual moments (the ones where we garner a big picture view of how we put shackles around our own progress) happen during moments where we have to confront our deepest fears and inbuilt prejudices, and overcome them in order to step into a new reality.
Mystics talk of “the dark night of the soul” as being these kinds of moments.
And, taking it up one notch (like my step-mother did when I was just a teenager), acclaimed spiritual teacher Debbie Ford (RIP) says it’s the mysterious shadow self — the hiding place for our most disliked thoughts, emotions, and impulses — that holds the golden key to opening yourself up to unlimited possibilities in your life.
Anxiety, fear, doubt — “Dark” self-sabotaging feelings that are ignored become repressed. They can control us.
And [the late] Debbie Ford teaches this better than anyone.
Through her visually stunning and cutting-edge documentary, you’ll be inspired to uncover the wisdom in your wounds, the blessings in your misfortunes, and the gifts that are waiting to be claimed where you may least expect them… in the dark.