"If you only knew what I've been through." That seems to be the catch phrase of many Encouragers hoping to inspire those of us in our dark times. But, what would happen, if in return they were advised to Step into the Dark side. Some might be offended while the ones with wisdom might smile and accept the invitation. If you choose to see the dark side as part of your spiritual nutrients, then stepping into it might not seem as much of a taboo as it may sound.
What is considered the dark side? To an addict, it may be the daily test to sobriety. To a child it may be the lack of communication between a parent and/or their peers. To a spouse it may be the inability to contribute to a household. To a millennial it might be the struggle to identify their purpose. To a late bloomer it may be the fear of not having enough time to pursue their passion. The dark side is the place where you come face to face with what you consider an impossible feat.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, a scripture that acknowledges dark times will come has a clue within it which is overlooked -The shadow! The shadow exists because of the light. It's the place where there's a physicality that stands between the light & its subject and a dark silhouette is revealed. If ever you've entered an office or home for the first time and the lights are off, you know the only way to reach the switch that turns on the light is to fumble through the walls or take small steps until you reach the switch. Practice and repetition of doing this is what will cause you to go directly to the switch.
Just as there's a misrepresentation of love by heartaches, the dark side is also misrepresented by pain. Though pain is an indication of something being off, it's chosen as a flag of honor instead of an opportunity for honesty. It might be safer to appear as the victim because the victory of sanity and sound living rarely gets the attention of a hero. We glorify those coming out of burning buildings, as they should be, and don't give credit to the dads who advocate for their children or the young women who promote their intelligence instead of insolence. The dark side, if you allow it, can be similar to that of a spiritual womb; an incubator for hope, Faith and development. It is that space where you lose friends and gain partners. It is that space where you abort negative thoughts and start planting positive mantras.
Like vaccines, the dark side enters your life for you to build an immunity against the strains of life. It's meant to help you build strength to master the ails of the world. It is that space that teaches you what no one else can. It is in that space you identify the qualities you possess. It is in the "darkness" where you get in touch with the definitions by which God created you with for you have to let go of labels and work from the lulls of life. It's the developing room for confidence embedded deep within your soul. It is where you step out with, I know that I know. It is a passage into the light.
Stepping into the dark side clarifies the difference between attention and respect in that you'll abandon attention for respect. And, more than likely you will become the new encourager choosing to tell those in despair or troubled by their darkness to press their heels firmly in the dark side as they fumble to find the switch.