How To Face and Embrace Your Inner Darkness

Were you ever afraid of the dark? The chances are at some point you were. It is the unknown void, the shadowed place that hides the creepy monsters that lie in wait under the bed. 

But as you turn on the light, and you enter into the familiar glow, you can see all is calm, and there’s nothing to fear. 

Our fear of our emotional complexity is just like that darkness; it is our personal inner shadow. That deeply hidden part within us, that originates from our previous negative experiences. 

In a recent episode of Lean In, I sat down with Trevor Hendy, the world’s ultimate, unchallenged Iron Man and one of “Australia’s Golden boys.” Currently, he’s a life coach, mentor presenter and speaker on an unwavering mission to help guide people towards exploring their own lives. 

In his sporting heyday, however, his life was a cocktail of fame, accolades and frivolity– something that would later cause a swell of inner darkness in his life and remain an emotional obstacle course that he still contends with today.

The Residual Darkness

As we move on through our own personal journeys of self-discovery, we have to contend with a myriad of emotional shadows – guilt, shame, embarrassment, resentment, just to name a few.  

As we move past a difficult time, towards a lighter path, these dark emotional culprits lay low within us in the form of emotional residues. Unfortunately, we can’t just flip on a light switch to get rid of them, so many of us avoid them and let these feelings lie dormant and unaddressed.  

 “It’s like a cellular residue, or it’s a residue that’s caught in ourselves. It’s vibrationally trapped and blocked,” explained Trevor. 

One thing to remember is that this residue happens within every healing initiation that we start to do, but understanding how to navigate the transition period after a darker experience within your life can help you through your healing and growing process. 

Whatever You Haven’t Cleared – Clear It

Humble pie may not taste very nice, but you may have to swallow a bite or two anyway if you want to begin navigating your hidden shadows. When a specific uncomfortable residual memory or dark feeling from the past rears its head, acknowledge it and see it, just don’t let it fester. 

“Go explore that. Don’t make it wrong, go explore it, find out what’s not healed inside of yourself. That’s it. Bang,” says Trevor. 

Every time you clear something through a cleansing path, your body will react almost on a cellular level. This is why when you’re addressing these certain areas, you may need a period of self-care and nurturing. This could be heading out into nature or taking time to relax and meditate on your experiences.

Find Your Tribe

Friendships during any difficult or transformative period are crucial, “They’re part of your journey on the way out,” Trevor says, and more importantly, they can make you feel like you’re home. 

You know who your tribe is, they’re the ones who genuinely have all of your best interests at heart, they know how you show up in this world and the legacy you want to leave behind. Over time, they will provide you with the jewels that you may not be able to provide yourself when you’re sitting in your darkest hour. 

Having a cache of supportive people around you, that not only understand you as a whole, but also speaks to you on a level that just exudes knowing and trust, can be the thing that carries you within your transition. 

Allow yourself to unplug with your tribe, to have them nourish and support you. 

Show Up For Someone Else 

Once you’ve come through into some kind of clarity, what’s the next best thing you can do? Pay it forward, of course. 

“Each time you raise the level of consciousness, I believe the universe presents you with another opportunity,” Trevor beams, “the universe will give me somebody to support through the same process.” So, essentially the universe creates a beautiful chain of nurturing. You go through a tumultuous time, you navigate through it under the guidance of your ‘tribe’, and now you can utilise that to help someone else through their journey. Karma can be a wonderful thing.

When you share your experience and show up for someone else, what this does is open you up to recognise how embodied you truly are in that particular lesson too. 

“You actually have to go through another layer of the lesson to put yourself there for that person,” Trevor explains.

Stop, be there for someone in need, show up, listen, understand and guide them through their personal unravelling. It can be equally as healing for you as it is for them.

Our emotions are complex, and never linear. When we take the time to address the negative aspects that organically arise, we end up shedding a little bit more light onto the shadows of our earliest wounds. When we recognise and acknowledge them, we can then give ourselves the chance to heal and transform.

There’s no need to fear the dark anymore.

To hear more on Trevor’s own struggles and journey towards a more enlightened life, listen to the Lean In Podcast episode here.

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