Whole. Not good, not bad.

We all like to think that all we have are good qualities. We’re constantly in search of reassurance and validation that we’re all good. We’re walking on eggshells in the world carrying our ever so fragile ego. When the ego is challenged, we’re defensive and quick to blame the other. For the one thing we cannot afford is the shattering of our delusion that we’re perfect.

But that’s only one part of the story isn’t it? We aren’t being whole if we’re pretending that we do not have the darker shades of grey within.

Wholeness comes from accepting both sides of us. The dark and the light.

Growing up, we are all categorized as being a good kid and a bad kid. But I wonder what merit such labeling has. We all have the potential to be good or bad within. It’s ingrained in each of us. And like the old Cherokee quote goes, what wins in the end is the one we feed. So that leaves us with the choice to grow whichever side of ours we choose. It means that who we become is upto us and that we’re inherently neither good nor bad.

How then do we deal with the darkness? By welcoming it. The more we suppress our negatives, the more they will erupt. There is no point avoiding it. The only weapon that can disarm the defensive ego is love. It’s self compassion. The idea is to calm your ego to not be threatened and to gently welcome yourself to reveal all shades of yourself with the unconditional protection of love. No matter what you see within yourself, good or bad, if you’re able to extend compassion and acceptance to yourself, you’ll be able to get closer to the real you. You will no longer have to walk the world in underconfidence and insecurity, for you accept yourself as us, irrespective of the world’s opinion.

And then with compassion and a gentle embrace, you can work towards feeding the parts of you that you’d like to see flourish. You can channelize the repressed anger, fear and resentment into productive actions, increasingly becoming your whole self.

Courage lies in your ability to authentically present yourself and to do so with compassion. Character is not the absence of darkness within, but your ability to gain mastery over your darkness.