“We can't fight darkness with darkness.” –Debbie Ford

Recently, in conversational response with someone I said, “We all act like a**holes sometimes!” Caught by surprise, the person laughed heartily. We both knew it was true, but it is harder to admit. Can we just agree to start with the truth that we all act terribly sometimes?

Who hasn’t done something ugly? Maybe we acted ugly in a relationship, or on social media, or inside our car on a freeway.

We do it in limitless ways: through words, tone of voice, or gestures; writing an email, text, or post; through abuse of power in any form, marginalizing, or withholding, etc. How about our relationship with self? I know for me it’s easy to slip into acting ugly towards myself.

What if we first acknowledged how many times in life we have acted ugly? Why did we do it? What *unmet need* did we have in that moment to choose that response? What if we came from a place of compassion and reached out with empathy and care for ourselves and others?

I desire to have compassion in all I do—but, to become more compassionate, I must be willing to face my dark parts and heal. Before I knew this—I grew defensive, which unbeknownst to me, created a hardness around my heart. The more I ignored these parts, the more they came out “sideways” hurting myself and others. Shaming myself that these dark parts existed only fed the part of me that was ugly to myself.

If we go inward and explore our triggered parts, light is shed on our unmet needs. It’s not shameful to have needs, it’s human. We all have both darkness and light within— that’s not in question. So, when we find ourselves in a situation where we have acted out of these ugly parts, it is never too late to make amends to self and others.

It takes us out of our comfort zone to look at these darker parts, but the healing experiences will expand our self love and compassion! Remember, the dark is just part of us—not who we are. When our “uglies” come out, it’s not the end of our story; rather it’s an opportunity for the light of healing to shine brightly into our dark within!

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.