Those of you who are, or have been there, knows what i’m talking about. Those of you who haven’t experienced it are very lucky. But I think that most people have experienced it in some form or degree.
Let me explain what I mean. “The dark place” is a state of mind. It’s a place we enter when we feel sad, unhappy, lonely and when nothing seems to make any sense. Some people might refer to it as depression.
It’s a place where everything is darker and heavier. It’s not like just having a bad day or feeling a bit down or a little sad.
It feels like a heavy, dark cloud above your head, pushing you down, all the time.
It can last anywhere from weeks to several years. The dangerous thing is, when you have been there long enough, you feel like it becomes a part of who you are. And in some cases, in some strange way, it feels kind of good.
As many other people, I too have experienced it. Sometimes it just hit me and I was there for weeks and sometimes months at a time. At first I was not really aware that I went into this dark place. It just sort of happened without me noticing. But after some time I could actually feel it coming. When I felt it, I was actually aware that I was entering that negative state of mind. I remember thinking to myself “okay, I feel it coming now. I can either enter the dark place or I can take some kind of action to shift my focus.” But deep down I didn’t want it to stop. It felt good. I thought it was a part of who I was. It was messed up. I did a lot of damage to myself, mostly mentally. Sometimes I even looked for reasons to go there because in some strange way I kind of liked the pain.
“Once you have identified with some form of negativity, you do not want to let it go, and on a deeply unconscious level, you do not want positive change. It would threaten your identity as a depressed, angry or hard-done by person. You will then ignore, deny or sabotage the positive in your life. This is a common phenomenon.
It is also insane.”
― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
The reason I’m writing this is to let you know that there is a way out. There is a better place and it’s possible for all of us to get there. We just have to allow ourself to do it.
These two things completely changed everything for me:
1. I became aware of the ego in me
2. I was reminded to live in the present
“This is most people’s reality: As soon as something is perceived, it is named, interpreted, compared with something else, liked, disliked, or called good or bad by the phantom self, the ego.”
― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
The ego plays a tremendous role in our lives. The ego is in all of us but most of us have no idea that it’s there. It has completely taken over and it wants us to think that it’s who we are.
The ego feeds on comparison, thoughts, feelings, labels and material things. It doesn’t care if it’s good or bad. All the ego wants is something to identify with. It needs it to say “this is who I am”. If you don’t become aware of it, you will believe that this is the real you.
We have to notice the ego in ourself and separate ourself from it. It will always be there, but we can learn to ignore and minimize it by creating some distance between it and know that it’s not who we truly are. When you become aware of it, you will notice that it’s been there for a long time, and that it’s the root af almost all suffering and sadness in your life. You will also notice that it’ll try to take control of you again. We’ve all tried to get exited about something but then all of a sudden out of nowhere we hear this voice in our head. “What are you thinking? You can’t do that, that is not who you are. What will other people think about you?”. Guess what…the ego.
You always have to be aware of it. All the time. The ego will always try to take over. You’ll be amazed by the things it’ll come up with to regain control. Sometimes it’s so ridiculous that it literally makes me laugh.
Being aware of the ego is also the best way to stay in the present. The present is the ego’s worst enemy and your best friend. Ever since I’ve become aware of the ego in me, everything has changed. Of cause I’ve had what most people would call “bad days”, but I’ve not gone back to “the dark place”. Not once! Also I’ve learned that there are no such thing as “bad days”. The only thing that exists, is this moment. And sometimes in this moment something happens and we label it negative, and we drag what we felt in that moment along with us into the present. Even though it’s no longer here we still hold on to it like we would lose a part of ourself if we were to let it go.
Imagine a timeline with all the sad, unhappy and other negative memories you have. Now imagine that there are chains attached to these memories and events, and at the end of the timeline there is you in this present moment. Holding on to the chains, struggling while dragging all the negativity from your past with you.
I know you have been holding on to these memories and the emotions that came with them for so long, and that’s okay. But you have to leave the negativity that follows these memories behind. You have to let go of the chains that you’ve been holding onto for so long. I know that it feels like it’s a part of your story. Like a part of you. I am not saying that you should forget, but rather accept. Accept what has happened and accept this moment as it is. Be in this moment, be present.
“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms
of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
Look out for the ego and live in the present. ALWAYS! That is the only way to truly be alive. Nothing is more important.
I highly recommend that you read or listen to ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle. These books changed my life and I am sure it will do the same for you.
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Make a great day
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