Illuminate your dark side
(don’t pretend you don’t have one)
by Wendy Weymann
Humans are complex characters, we all seem to have a dark side & light side. I’m always amazed in the midst of tragedies how there is always a massive outpouring of love. I’m also constantly amazed at the nastiness & meanness that some people (including myself) are capable of.
It happens to me all the time, I try to be nice, do the right thing and I really care about people but sometimes I find myself being truly mean-spirited & downright nasty.
When I catch myself slipping into my dark side I dig out this old Buddhist list:
5 methods to expelling evil thoughts
1. Distraction: get another wholesome thought, sometimes it’s helpful to think of the exact opposite thought ie: instead of thinking “I HATE that stupid b**ch” think “I LOVE that stupid b**ch” are you smiling yet?? It works.
2. Reflect on the misery of the thought: stopping to reflect on just how miserable you are & how much misery you are creating in your mind can be a huge wake up call. Usually when I get into a dark mood it sneaks up on me, whenever I stop & realize just how nasty I’m being it’s usually enough to shift out of it.
3. Ignore (pay no attention to these thoughts) I see nothing, I hear nothing, I am nothing!! What evil thought were you thinking about??? Lalalalalala.
4. Investigate: consider compound nature of thoughts. Go a little deeper & ask questions like “what triggered this” “why am I being so nasty?” whenever I go a little deeper I realize it’s usually because my feelings are hurt or I’m afraid and sometimes I realize something’s been bugging me for awhile & it’s finally time to deal with it. Other times I realize it’s something really simple like I’m tired, cold or hungry.
5. Suppress the thought, grit your teeth and white knuckle it. Discipline is needed for this one. Shut it down. Knock it off. Let it go. I notice that some people can really skilfully do this – I find it challenging (it takes practice).
After studying my own mind through meditation over the years I’ve noticed I always have a choice :: darkness or light.
If you’re stuck in the darkness, dig out the list, your inner light is waiting to shine (& the world wants to see your brilliance).
Read more of Wendy's articles HERE