Recently, a friend shared a song called Secrets with me. It is sung by Mary Lambert. She begins the song by acknowledging some of her secrets, some of what some might call her dark side. The parts of ourselves that we do not always want to like or own. As Lambert says,
“They tell us from the time we're young
To hide the things that we don't like about ourselves
We are all aware of our dark side. We know when we have had dark thoughts, dark actions, or dark behaviors. I can remember in my own life thoughts, actions, and behaviors that I am not proud of. Like Lambert sings, I was taught to hide those secrets inside myself.” Hiding our secrets, our shadows, our dark aspects only strengthens the power of the darkness in our life.
Those moments can either weaken us or make us stronger. There is a reason for their existence and presence in our life. The more we can understand them and the ways we can use them to help us grow and evolve, then the stronger is our ability to walk in the light. It is then that we can, like Lambert sing,
“I know I'm not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else
Well I'm over it”
Recently, someone told me they thought I was one of the most loving people they had ever met. In the back of my mind was a voice that said, “oh, if only you knew.” Mind you my dark side might seem light to other people, but to me it is dark. For example, I have a former congregant who has special needs who continues to call me five years after resigning from my pastorate. Recently, I got upset with him for disrespecting my boundaries one more time and spoke to him firmly and slightly louder than normal. I felt like I had screamed at him and did not feel good about it. My family members knew I was not happy, but did not think I had screamed. Their perception of my dark side was much lighter than mine. However, when I stopped and thought about my dark side and why I had allowed him to upset me, I began to understand something more about my life and me. The more I understand the truth about who and what I am, the taller and more assuredly I can move in the light.
It is part of why I make my personal journal entries on Friday in Stirring my Spiritual Waters public. As the song says,
I don't care if the world knows what my secrets are (secrets are)
I don't care if the world knows what my secrets are (secrets are) So-o-o-o-o what
If by making our personal journey visible, we can assist others then our personal struggles with the dark side, help us to walk more fully in the light. It also means we might help others walk more fully in their light. What might the world be if we all focused on walking more fully in the light, because we had breathed light into the darkness in our life? What might the world be like if we all stopped caring if the world knew the single worst thing we had ever done in our lives? So what? We are more than the single worst thing we have ever said, thought, or did. We are the accumulation of all that we are and all that we choose to become in our lives.