It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I’m not sure as to why, but it seems to me that many people think that self-improvement is supposed to take you to a place of peace and bliss. Which it can, but it won’t always be like that. In fact, once you start your self-improvement journey, often times things might seem even more chaotic and dark than they were before.
The reason for that is because once you have decided that how you are living is not good enough and you start to focus on doing better, you become aware of how deeply entrenched in the darkness you really are and that realization can be overwhelming at times.
Once you decide who you want to be and how you should act to be that person, then you might realize that you’re doing 10 things that go against your values before you even walk out of the door in the morning. That in itself can demoralize you and break you down, and you might think that it’s just not worth it because you realized how little self-control you have.
You have to dwell in the dark to fight for the light. The brighter the light, the darker the shadow. Look at spiritual leaders of all of the ages. All of them went through extreme temptations and trials. Jesus Christ himself is said to be the son of God. You don’t get much closer to the light then that, you would think, but throughout his life Jesus had to deal with darkness all around him and he even had face to face confrontations with the devil.
It wasn’t easy even for an enlightened being like Jesus. What separates him from the rest is that Jesus PERSISTED. Even when surrounded by darkened, Jesus never lost faith in himself or his Father to get him through his trials. The reason we admire and aspire to be like spiritual leaders like Jesus is because they were able to come out of the darkness having learned something and having grown spiritually.
The cool thing about seeing and recognizing the darkness is that now you know exactly what you shouldn’t do. If something makes you feel bad, then stop giving it your energy and it can no longer hold you in its darkness.
You’re going to have days when you feel like you’re back at square one. You’re going to have days when someone or something is going to make you realize that you aren’t the hot shit you think you are and that you need A LOT of work.
It sucks and it’s painful, but we need to be humbled like that sometimes. Form a new strategy, sacrifice that ego and start back at square one if you have to because that is a superior fate then saying “fuck it” and falling back into the abyss of negativity. Dig deep into the Virtue of Perseverance and keep going because you’re stronger then you probably think you are and you have something to give the world if you don’t give up.