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In an apt metaphor at this increasingly dark time of year, Todd Kashdan, asks the #Quest2015 pack to consider the upside of our dark side:

Which emotions do you feel most guilty about having? Afraid that others might find out? How would you spend this year trying to open the emotional window that allows you to be courageous?

You can learn more about Todd here. Lead by Jeffrey Davis, our Quest2015 leader,  a growing pack of questers run together with 12 visionaries who help us imagine our best 12 months.

This quest is about our personal selves, our professional selves, our lives. What we do in one arena flows into the other. A quest is work and you can start to tire midway through. I think it’s like bike touring, though. You push past that hard day where you’re aching all over and not sure you can continue. Turns out while it’s  not easy, yes you can. And there’s a lot of fun and play  in the process, too.

This prompt is tough, not due to guilt or shame, but because I have struggled about what to say here.This is my business’s blog, not my personal discovery, self-disclosure or creative  blog. Though there are elements of all of those here.

This isn’t the place where I want to get down into the gritty details. But I do want to talk about the experience of responding to the prompt, and of reading others’ responses. There’s value in bringing those darker parts of ourselves into the light. The thoughts or feelings we think others won’t accept. The things that make us seem not so together,  not so amazingly brilliant/creative/successful.

Writing about one of the darker parts of my life has let me knit it better into the fabric of who and how I am. I posted more detail in our private Facebook community. I read others’ posts, commenting on some. I’ve gotten some comments on my own post. This dialogue is part of the process of bringing light to the dark spaces.

To keep the emotional window open, I can spend the coming year revisiting this. There are some more dark places than those I was able to write about today.  Nothing horrifying, violent or frightening. Just some not very good stuff that lingers. I can integrate it into the pattern, too, accept, learn and  grow from the process. Maybe I’ll be a little better of a human being as a result.

I recommend responding to Todd’s prompt. If you can, find someone you trust to talk about it with you. There’s power in bringing the darkness into the light.

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