All great artists and writers have spoken of a darker half our existence; one that is often obscured from plain sight, but often finds expression in various ways, including dreams.

Largely it is because of repressed sadness that we all have this inner self that we don’t like to see in the light. We feel it would cause us and the people around us unnecessary pain if expressed.

Of course, that’s wrong; try and repress something and it will come out in uglier ways to eat you up. Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was precisely about this return of the repressed phenomenon.

Unless we learn to love ourselves wholly, we will never be ‘fine’; we might convince ourselves that we are, but it will be in vain.

Here are some things you should think on and try to implement in your own lives:

1. Talking about this darker half of yourself with someone you trust:

Sharing the pain always reduces it, while sharing joys only augment them: said my grandmother, and boy is it true.

Talk about things that torment you, and they will stop at one point.

2. See the darker side through more compassionate lenses:

Don’t beat yourself up about things you can’t change. They happened, and you outgrew them is what matters. Give yourself a pat on the back.

3. Stop beating yourself up about things:

I’ve never been in the military, but I have this Purple Heart

I got it from beating myself up over things I can’t fix

~Rudy Francisco; My Honest Poem

Stop doing it. The point of the poem (it’s one of my favourites) was to highlight the weaknesses and talk about them; not being sad about them.

4. Allow yourself to feel:

Numbing the pain is not the solution. The Earth is beautiful. Take in the beauty and the pain will eventually fade.

5. Laugh about your fears and you will win in the end:

Your fears will become harmless once you understand that they are illusory. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Be patient.

Lastly, a certain Jalal-ud-din Rumi once wrote:

[…]

I said: What about my heart?

He said: Tell me what you hold inside it?

I said: Pain and sorrow.

He said: Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

Remember this.
Keep burning and keep shining.

Art by: Anna Ditman


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