“When I understood and accepted my own darkness, I was consumed by my own light.” – unknown

For years I have lived with the perceived burden of what I can only explain as my “darkness”. It was always as if there was a black cloud that followed me around, or a dark shadow of myself, always present, never too far out of reach, constantly reminding me that I could never escape it’s hold over me.

My darkness manifested and presented itself in different ways; sometimes as a quiet voice in the back of my head, reminding me that I am never quite enough, accompanied by all the reasons why. Other times, it would be a crippling fear of taking action that would result in anger, frustration and irritability. Many times it would show up as shame, shutting me down and paralyzing me from moving forward.

It got to a certain point where I felt so defeated. I was almost ready to just surrender to it and accept that this darkness — these feelings of unworthiness and powerlessness — were going to be with me forever and that I was going to have to learn to live with it.

Then out of nowhere, in the blink of an eye, something changed.

I was driving home from the city after a long weekend of intense, hands on, coach training. I had been with my tribe; learning, growing, failing, succeeding and bonding over our shared love of transformation and changing lives.

All weekend I had been struggling with my darkness. It challenged me each day and had left me wondering if I was really cut out for this. If I was good enough. It had me contemplating the thought of accepting my dull, mediocre, yet safe, life.

In that moment it was as if the universe directly connected to me and instantly downloaded a new thought into my mind that was previously inaccessible to me.

As I drove towards the coral and cotton candy-like sunset that day, listening to a beautiful, spirit-awakening type of song, something started to shift.

At first, it was as if I could see the energy and aura of the earth. It was like the sunset was coming to life and had more dimension than I’d ever experienced.

Then, I could feel the energy surging through my body. It felt like goosebumps tingling all over my skin, similar to that feeling you get when a really amazing song gives you the chills.

I knew that I was in total alignment at that point.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

This darkness is not a burden, and it’s not a curse. This darkness is, in fact, a blessing and a gift. You were given this darkness because you will get through it, and by doing so, will be able to help countless other people who are battling the same thing.

Instantly tears started to stream down my face. I had never felt something more resonant and true before. In that moment, I knew with exact certainty, that this was true. That all this time and all this pain I had been experiencing was not to beat me down – it was actually a gift that I was being given to share with others.

This moment changed everything for me.

I was able to look at darkness with new eyes. I was able to appreciate it. I had a new sense of hope. I was no longer scared of it and was able to approach each new situation through the lens of, “what is this teaching me and how can I share it with others?”.

Now let’s talk about you.

What’s your darkness? What is it teaching you? Where else in your life could you use a new perspective? What if I told you that you could choose your viewpoint? How would that impact your life? How would your life be different if you chose to love and accept every part of yourself, the darkness included?

I am here to tell you that it gets better. You have the power within you to change your whole life. You just have to choose to take action and commit to doing the work. Life is far too short to settle. Live a life that is true to you and one that you love.