Everyone strives to be a good person. Their good deeds come in many forms, and some look into doing volunteer work to help various charities. Others support charitable institutions that target a specific group of underrepresented individuals in the community.
Others help out their family members who may need assistance. Everyone tries to do their own good deed just for the satisfaction of knowing they are good people.
And yet when it comes to self-enlightenment, people begin to ask, "Why do people perform these actions only to feel good about themselves? How would they act if they were in their default state?"
If good deeds are required for a person to feel like he is a good person, then what sort of people are those who choose to do things only for themselves? What about people's dark side?
The fact remains the same. Everyone has a dark side, whether you admit to it or not.
Why then do people work so hard to hide their dark side?
Perhaps it's because society has made people desire to be good. Society does not accept people who think dark thoughts or those who are less polite. Maybe that's why people try so hard to avoid looking bad.
But does avoiding the natural part of you make it go away? Are you actually good if you're just performing for the sake of public opinion?
It is rare for people to speak of their bad side. While philosopher Carl Jung may have introduced the idea of a person's "shadow," not everyone truly accepts the fact that they have a bad side.
Embracing the shadow self is accepting the fact that it's there. Frequently, people only know that there is a bad side to things when they have been exposed to their good side. People must begin to identify what they do like about who they are.
But then again, this begs the question -- what can be considered "good"?
Radical self-acceptance will teach you that "good" could be about following the right morals. But morals are very subjective in nature. Your definition of what is morally-right is probably inspired by your upbringing, what your family taught you, or what you learned from school.
Defining what your good side is can create a lot of internal and external conflicts. You don't always know if what you are doing is right. You also don't understand what motivates other people.
Many people equate being selfless to being good. When you devote your time to help others or give away your possessions for others to share, it means you are good. When you volunteer to do charity work, people think you are doing good.
People who are too good put themselves at risk. It puts them in a situation wherein they aren't addressing their shadow self and fixing their flaws.
When you base your idea of yourself to only the good side that you see, you are turning the darkness inside even more. You need to learn how to accept your flaws and accept yourself for who you are.
Remember that acceptance and love for yourself comes not just in thoughts but in acts as well.
It becomes challenging to show love to others when you don't know how to take care of yourself. Whenever you find yourself in a difficult situation, your instinct is always to save yourself first. Then, you can choose to help others.
The same logic should apply to the things that you do every day. You must work hard to provide for your needs before you can provide the needs of others.
How do you make this possible? The best way to do it is by being honest with yourself. Whenever it comes to a point when you have to deal with that part of you that you don't like, go ahead and acknowledge it.
You may be flawed, and others may have something to say about it, but it does not matter.
Acknowledging both your good side and your bad side will help you see the balance between the light and the darkness. Once you are able to accept the darkness from within, it will become easier for you to accept that others are not always good too.
The goal is to accept others and yourself and the fact that no one is truly only good.
Some people say that in the advent of technology, people have begun to see more of other people's dark side. Whenever you think that light is easy to love, show me your darkness. When you can embrace the dark side of people, that's the only time you can genuinely say that you were able to love.
How do you teach yourself to embrace the dark side in you and that of other people? Here are some tips for doing it:
No matter how good they treat you now, people will always have their dark side in them. Perhaps they are treating you well because they want something from you. But if in the future, they don't treat you like they used to, forgive them. That's the dark side of them you are dealing with.
Accepting the fact that everyone has their light and dark side is the first step. But tolerating people when they are showing off their dark side isn't good either. Be sure to stand up for yourself when necessary and keep yourself safe.
If you are dealing with someone and you don't like how they are dealing with you, talk to them about it. Be as honest as you can be. Remember that it is only in honesty when you will truly see the good in people.
Keep the balance. Everyone has their good and bad side. Learn to accept both. Never make any person feel bad about showing you their dark side. Perhaps they are lashing out at you because they trust you enough to understand them. Make sure you help them feel better about themselves and let them know that you love them anyway. Of course, be careful and never tolerate abuse.
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