College in a Suitcase

Do You Know Your Darkness?

Posted on: January 3, 2009

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” – Carl Jung

They say in college you find yourself. I’m not so sure if I agree with that, but I definitely think that in college you may confront the worst parts of yourself. Whether this cruelty can be called finding yourself, that’s debatable. But this quote by Carl Jung is a very interesting one. I kind of think of it along the same lines of as the Bible verse that says take the plank out of your own eye before you get the speck of dust from their eye.

But it’s true, if you’ve faced the fact that you’ve got your parts about yourself, your demons – to use an overly cliche phrase, you will better be able to help others overcome theirs. I know it is no longer a darkness though, when you let it have no power over you. For me, my darkness was my bout with depression and suicide. I strongly considered suicide all through high school. There were times when I was this close to committing it, but I had those friends who recognized this and wouldn’t let me be alone to have that opportunity. And you know what? I’m not proud that I almost killed myself, but it is a part of me. It has shaped me and having the courage to overcome it and talk about it and say that’s not all I am, has better allowed me to help others, to be able to tell them that this too shall pass, to be able to be there for them when they just need a friend.

And that goes for everyone. Whatever your darkness may be. It’s different for everyone you know? For me it was almost killing myself. For others you might be that pro-life girl with an abortion on her record, the boyfriend and girlfriend who grew up in a church that preached abstinence until marriage holding their baby, the girl who counts her calories and throws up after eating, the boy who parties every weekend to forget his troubles, the gay who knows he’s in love but keeps it a secret because no one will approve. The list could go on – for everyone it’s different, it’s situational. You can let go though, and not give it power over you.

I know I did. And sure, there’s still times when I slip. You can ask my boyfriend, who was with me a week or two ago when I was really upset and thought ‘This world would be better off without me.’ I bawled my eyes out and then I moved on, knowing that I wasn’t going to do it and knowing that I do matter. But I had to bawl my eyes out first. And I would let you know how I have helped others with their darknesses, but those aren’t my stories – those are theirs and I will respect them.

But if you ever need someone to listen, I’m here for you. Leave me a comment with your e-mail and I promise to get back to you. Otherwise, you have friends. And remember, darknesses don’t make you evil; they just make you human. And that’s all that we can be after all. They don’t have to be your darknesses forever though. I wish you the best of luck with your darknesses.

Miss Lissy

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