You Must Experience the Dark to Fully Appreciate the Light

dark and light

According to most Eastern philosophies and theologies, as well as my own personal philosophy and many other modern traditions, the reason that opposites exist is not just because of the laws of nature, but because as conscious beings we are meant to experience both and by experiencing one we can more consciously appreciate and align with the other.

After having been thrown into the dark, upon reemerging back into the light you are much more grateful for your rebirth, if you will, and after having experienced only the light for so long it can actually be quite refreshing to go back into the shadows from time to time.

Now, this is coming from someone who for one reason or another became obsessed with the shadow early in life, but anyone who knows the beauty of contrast can attest to this. When life seems to be going “too good” it’s a good reminder that you are human when you fall from grace and realize that you are still just like everybody else.

It’s healthy for our egos to experience a blow every now and then, and when you can appreciate them as opportunities to take a look in the mirror instead of reasons to shake your fists in frustration then you can truly find the blessings hidden within each and every one of your struggles, the insights behind each and every downfall, and you can honestly go through life enjoying every single moment regardless of what’s going on around you.

Some of you might be asking how you can align with the dark, when aligning means to be unified with your Higher Self, or the light. Well, you can do this by realizing that although there is but one Source from which all things are made, which is a Source of light, and although darkness is merely the absence of light, the truth is there is no such thing as absolute darkness or a total severance from your Higher Self.

The light is always there to at least some degree and by aligning with the dark when you are in it, which in actuality is more like a shadow, you are aligning with the perfection of life and seeking the reason you are experiencing the plight you have put yourself in, which in effect allows you to more fully align with the light, returning you back to the appreciation of everything that happens to you, not merely what you would call good.

Such is the yin and yang, the ebbs and flows, the seasons of life, and now perhaps you can more consciously experience each of them with appreciation and gratitude.

The Secret to Making the Impossible Possible

Zig Ziglar said, “Positive thinking will not let you do anything, but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” Although I appreciate the intent behind his words, I respectfully disagree. Personally I know that anything is possible, because I have done things that others would say are impossible.

In high school I was a part of a football team that won the state championship three out of the four years I attended. My senior year we played a team that beat us during the season that same year and the year before, but when we walked out onto the field one last time together we were a different team than they had faced before. We were at the end of an otherwise impeccable season and our positive momentum was so strong there was no way we were going to lose that game.

It really was quite a shock to the other team when we did. They were not ready for us, totally focused on the past results and just expecting to walk all over us, even though both games ended with merely two and three point margins between scores. We came out expecting to win too, but the difference is we knew who we were up against and acknowledged that we were facing a real opponent.


So, what is the secret to making the impossible possible? What did we do differently the last time we played our rivals? The secret is we knew that it would be difficult, so the first step is to recognize that your journey will not be easy, that you will have setbacks along the way. Second, we kept our strategy versatile, meaning that the second step is to stay flexible, knowing that you are going to fail over and over again before you succeed, but you have to stay determined, dedicating yourself to making your dreams a reality, which is step three. We devoted ourselves to being the state champions and made this dream a reality be sheer will.

Croix Sather, motivational speaker, did something that many people told him was impossible. He ran all the way across America, starting on the west coast and ending in New York, running 26 miles a day for 100 consecutive days. This very article was inspired by a TED Talk he gave discussing his journey and what he learned along the way. Here is the video:

Anyway, I want to finish with a bit of inspiration myself. In 1954 Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile, running it in three minutes and fifty nine seconds. Since then over 400 athletes have broken this same barrier. If he was the first person to do so, why has it become so much more common? Is it the advances we have made in technology and science enabling more people to push themselves to new levels of success?

Perhaps it is, but I would suggest another possibility. I think what enabled more than 400 individuals to hurdle the obstacle was the power of belief. They knew that it was possible because it had been done before, so the pep in their step—pun intended—was driven by the pathway that had been laid out by one man who made his dream a reality.

But how did Bannister do it? What drove him to be able to accomplish something that had been impossible until that very moment? His power of belief; he trained not only his body but his mind to be able to run a mile in under four minutes. It is a known fact that professional athletes utilize the power of their imaginations to visualize their success for years before they ever accomplish their goals. Bannister was among them, and he literally made the impossible possible.

Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Make it a great day everyone, and remember, nothing is impossible unless you believe that it is. Always pursue your dreams, because if you don’t, someone else will hire you to pursue theirs, to paraphrase Tony Gaskins Jr.

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