Finding Light On the Dark Side

You must go into the dark in order to bring forth your light. Debbie Ford, author

In her book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, Debbie Ford asserts that as young children our personalities are like a mansion with many rooms. Unfortunately, as we get older we choose to shut down different parts of ourselves – close off the rooms that “aren’t appropriate.” As we shut these areas of our life off we end up with a smaller version of ourselves than we were meant or made to be.

As I have reclaimed some of the rooms in my mansion, I have also been able to reclaim or accept others who have the traits I’ve closed off. For instance, part of my dark side is to use food as my drug of choice. As I claim this truth, I’m not only better able to live a healthier lifestyle, I’m able to accept others with the same dark side.

When I notice that I’m appalled by people who act out of anger, I wonder about my own “room” called anger that has been sealed off and the part of me that could also act this way. What I notice and dislike most about others is often the piece within myself that I need to claim as my own. 

Coaching questions: What bothers you about others’ behavior? What really gets under your skin? Can you see this piece buried within you? Check it out and see what happens.

Photo by Arno Senoner on Unsplash 

Are You Angry?

It’s not about anger being good or bad. It’s what you do with it that matters. John Schinnerer, PhD

Motherless daughters are frequently angry. They may have anger toward a mother who abandoned them, anger toward a mother who died, anger toward a family who is not supporting their caregiving efforts, anger at themselves for being stuck in a grief cycle. As Dr. Schinnerer says, there’s nothing wrong with anger but how it is expressed can determine whether it is destructive or productive. 

Anger can move people and feelings forward. Asserting our anger helps us speak up for what we need and let’s others know they are stepping over our boundaries. As we acknowledge our angry feelings, we can begin to understand what lies beneath them and move forward with our recovery. Honor your anger, express it constructively, then release it.

Affirmation: I acknowledge my anger.

Coaching questions: What’s makes you angry? What step can you take to productively communicate your anger? How will you affirm that your angry feelings are a necessary part of your journey towards recovery?