We all have one, but so many of us are living in denial of it. I’m talking about our dark-side. You know the thing many of us tuck away as if it doesn’t exist while living in denial or shame (from fear) of what it might reveal if we investigate it? Yeah, that one.

Here’s the rub, living in fear of it, doesn’t make it gone. In fact, it might be right there, brewing under the surface and influencing to reveal itself in painful ways.

A wise business coach once told me that we can’t heal what we refuse to reveal.

By shining a light on what ails you, taking the time to sit quietly with your thoughts, and turning inward to listen to your teacher within, we can begin to uncover what’s underneath our stuck states keeping us in the dark.

I can’t think of a better metaphor for this idea than the Tale of Two Wolves. I used to read this to my kids as a way of teaching them that it’s o.k. to be angry, or hurt, frustrated, or sad, whatever it is that brings pain to our lives. The trick is in seeing it, acknowledging it, and owning it. Here’s the legend:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Shine your light. It’s up to you to own and reveal what’s inside of you.

By connecting with our inner world and shining a light for healing, you can begin to do just that – heal. This may or may not be a simple fix. In truth, that’s up to you. What I can tell you is that this practice builds and improves with skill. Meaning, when we learn to live with the light AND the dark, we free ourselves from fears. Which means, we begin to feel more alive because our enthusiasm is free to guide us. In this way, we can gain clarity around boundaries, become comfortable voicing our needs and desires, and we connect on a deeper level to life while harvesting the gifts that come from living without fear of our dark sides. Life becomes lighter, easier and freer in nature when we turn to the light.