Own Your Dark Side

[The feedback I've had on the below post has been somewhat surprising - with many people seeing only an admission of jealousy or an expression of self-deprecation. I wonder if you can feel into the deeper meaning - of how one can live from the darker parts of themselves as an EXPRESSION of love?] 


It's a Friday evening, and instead of being 'out' like the rest of London, my partner and I are in a Bioenergetics workshop (it's a bit like yoga... sort of)


It's facilitated by a man who I realize isn't what I was expecting. I sense his deep embodiment, his presence and authenticity. I realize I had a covert judgemental expectation of the smiley 'nice guy' I have encountered so often in the mind-body scene. I know when I'm in the presence of an embodied and authentic man - because there are so few of them. Yes, this fella is the real deal.


Having probably taught more classes and workshops than I've attended at this point in my life, I also realize that I am uncomfortable. Here, I am not alpha, and a part of me doesn't like it.
I acknowledge this thought with some amusement, and let it go.


As we stand in a circle, the teacher speaks to us, engaging each of us with eye contact at random points.


Is it just me, or does he have more eye contact with my woman than with the rest of us? Am I feeling his energy move subtly towards her?


And with her to my right, without looking, I sense a stillness in her, an intent focus... on him.


Or am I imagining it?


Oh, Sharif, you dickhead... you're insecure! Ha!


First, I notice the insecurity. Then I notice my judgement of that insecurity; an inclination to push it down, shut it out and 'grow up'. And so as before, I step in, let go of the judgement, then observe the insecurity as it dissipates just as quickly as it arrived.


This subtle insecurity - only noticeable through my mindfulness practice - isn't the 'dark side'. This is more like what Jungian psychology calls 'the shadow'. It is to be owned rather than embraced.


Later in the workshop, I'm hanging with my head down by my feet, bent forward, arms dangling as I feel a stretch in my hamstrings and lower back. We are all exhaling with an "Aaahhh". While I hang there, I am aware of the teacher going over to my partner to adjust her, and I notice another feeling come up.


It's also very subtle. But it's not the insecurity. It's not from a small or damaged part of me. It's from my heart, the depth of my masculine core. It's dark - but it isn't 'bad'.


I want to kill him.


Not really kill him - as in physically/violently. It's not like I'm going to do anything or even thinking/imagining such things. It's nothing like the countless times I have been close to or part of real violence here in my city. I don't really have a 'problem' with this man at all.


This is from the part of me that prioritises love; that would die or kill for the sake of serving from my heart. This isn't a weakness. It's my strength, as a man who practices love. And not just sunshine and rainbows, but the full light and dark spectrum of love.
I breathe it in, feeling it expand in my solar plexus and belly, then exhale a deeper "Aaahhh", and let it flow through me.


In the teachings of David Deida, insecurity and perhaps projecting this onto one's partner or perceived threat would be the first of three stages of development. In the first stage, we fight for our ego's survival.


In the second stage, we try not to entertain these thoughts, we own our insecurities and accept that our partners are separate beings who we cannot control and who are free to do and feel as they wish, just as we are too. In the second stage, we want peace and harmony.


In the third stage, we feel from our bodies and let all energies - light and dark - flow through us. In a third stage moment, we do not operate from our minds/psyches, we instead live from the heart, in service to something bigger than ourselves. In the third stage, we are the Gods and Goddesses of destruction as well as love. It's the part of all of us that would do anything - literally anything - for the sake of protecting our children.


This is where the self-defence training I provide crosses with the personal development coaching. With my advanced students, I teach them to 'kill' with an open heart.