Provoking Fights And Revealing Your Dark Side?

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I had a knot in my stomach a good chunk of yesterday…

I wasn’t sick or freaked out about anything major. In the scheme of life, it was a blip on a blip. In fact, it was a blog post that was causing the knot to tighten.

Not one written here, but on my “other” blog…Tribal Author.

I tend to write with a stronger voice over there. Dunno why, I just do. And, I’d been trying to provoke a more substantive conversation about book trailers over the last few weeks, but nobody wanted to go that deep. So, I decided to stretch a bit and raise the level of provocation by saying that a particular, stunningly filmed video sucked.

Bam!

Off to the races. Traffic spiked. And comments flew in. Blogger’s dream, right?

Most realized my proclamation of “suckage” sentence was really more of a conversation starter than a blanket conclusion and agreed with my bigger point. But, a small number of others, well intended, disagreed. Strongly. Some either misconstrued what I said or missed the bigger messages. Others got it, but still disagreed. And, made it known. And, here’s where it gets tough for not only me, but a lot of bloggers I know.

I don’t enjoy the fight.

It doesn’t energize me. In fact, it often empties me out. Even if I believe I’m right (and, on occasion, I actually am, lol). Even though I’ve been at this for a number of years now and have people who’ll almost always rally to my support.

I think it has to do not only with the way I’m drawn, but also with the fact that people tend more easily toward aggression online, because it’s easier to dehumanize those on the other side of the convo when there’s a screen and a few thousand miles between you (Thankfully, btw, this didn’t really happen in yesterday’s exchanges, save being called a turkey, lol).

But, I also know that as a writer, a blogger and someone who hopes to inspire people to in some way illuminate, rethink or move an issue forward, I’ve got to take a stance. To give people something to yes or no to. And, the more passionately I voice that stance, without fail, the stronger the response on both sides of the issue.

It’s great when everyone’s on your side, but at least for me, it’s tough when people vehemently disagree. I’ve never been good at the thick skin thing. And, therein lies one of the biggest conundrums in blogdome.

How do you balance your desire to stretch—knowing that when you do it’s not only good for you, but good for traffic and business—with not wanting to walk around with a knot in your stomach all day.

So, I continue to challenge myself to project a voice that’s as strong as the one in my head. But, truth be told, not infrequently what you guys get is a filtered version.

And I was reminded of this in another context this week…exploring the dark side.

I had the extraordinary pleasure of spending almost two solid hours one-on-one with Robert McKee, the legendary creator of the lecture series and book entitled Story. We actually traded interviews and as we wound down my part of the exchange, he asked,

“What about the dark side? Your blog is very up. I don’t see you write about the dark side on your blog very much and all great stories need to explore that.”

He’s right. There are things I just won’t write about here.

Truth is, I’m pretty blessed. My life is good. I love who I’m with, how I’m building my living and what I do. But, we all have shadows of darkness. We all have struggles. We may call them something else. Challenges, issues, problems, demons. They’re all part of what Zorba called the full catastrophe of life. Part of our stories. Important parts that I know some other bloggers, friends of mine, share in a very public way. And, they’re rewarded with big traffic.

Not so much me, though. In part, because of the knot. In part, because I have this completely unscientific sense that the more I focus on darkness, on struggle, the more I give it life. And I’d rather spend my time feeding the beast that breathes joy. Also because of who I know occasionally reads this blog…my daughter. It’s just a line in the sand I choose to draw. At least for now. At least on this blog. At this time.

So, I continue to work to find that elusive sweet spot between leading with light, joy, compassion, value and engagement, while also staking out strong positions, polarizing, filtering and dipping my toe in the revelation and exposure of yet another piece of who I am, my own dark side.

And I’m curious…what about you?

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38 responses

38 responses to “Provoking Fights And Revealing Your Dark Side?”

  1. John Williams says:

    Great post, Jonathon.

    I agree with your assertion 100%, in that offering the darkness focus gives it life. While it isn’t healthy to pretend our dark sides don’t exist, I’ve gained much ground by keeping mine minimized and focusing on the positive aspects of my life.

  2. Mick Morris says:

    Jonathon, I think you are right to focus on the light and bright (and yes we all have that dark underbelly)…

    I think that is why the the lotus which features in buddhism is such a powerful analogy, growing from the mud and dirty water to blossom into a beautiful flower that brings life and joy to others.

    We all need to know that the mud exists in our lifes, and instead of wallowing in it, we need to use it as the fertilser to grow the good things in our lives.

    Thanks Jonathon…thought provoking as usual.

  3. Lindsey says:

    This is a real, and perennial tension for me. How much voice to give the dark stuff – in many ways for me writing about it helps me work it out, and helps reduce its power, but then I am aware of giving the impression that the darkness is far more a part of my life than it actually is. It’s just where I am drawn to write from.

  4. Werner says:

    We all experience struggles and challenges in life that can be dark or negative in nature.

    However, there is no rule that says we HAVE to give it more power by providing the light of focus to it in a public manner. We have the news for that.

    I agree with you and John Williams that it is far more empowering to give the light of focus to a positive mindset and lead discussions with light, joy and compassion.

  5. Werner says:

    @Lindsey, you’re right. Writing about the dark stuff does help to work it out. What I do is vent the dark stuff to a personal journal (for my eyes only). Getting it out on the page helps me to gain a new perspective and new ways to deal with it.

    What I share with my family and friends are insights and encouragement, motivation and useful information. This empowers me even more.

    Don’t get me wrong, if there is something seriously wrong, I will talk about it, but I try not to let it be an inundating factor.

  6. Hi Jonathan – I believe it’s possible and preferable to argue positions and opinions without resorting to the ugliness that passes for discourse in some venues, online and off. But you’re right, it’s not for the faint of heart. For every person with a similar code, there may be another who fights dirtier. It’s inevitable when passion is in the mix to butt heads with someone, and I think that exploration of diverse opinions adds value. Remembering that crappy tactics diminish the message and its messenger can also diminish the effect of a wound.

  7. Ivan Walsh says:

    <what you guys get is a filtered version.

    Why do you filter it?

  8. Jackie says:

    Those dark shadows are a part of us all, and as such do need to see the light of day from time to time. Depth and contrast is what makes us interesting, how much of that darkness you choose to reveal depends on how you want people to perceive you.

    Intention…that is key

  9. Jonathan –

    I love that you focus on the light side to the exclusion of the dark. I subscribe to tons of blogs, but I always make it a point to read yours. You enjoy life and seem thankful for the blessings in it…yet you do so without being sappy. That’s rare and very appealing. I don’t have to read about the dark side here to know it exists; that story is told all over the internet and elsewhere.

    In fact, I have tried to be more conscious about focusing on joy as opposed to complaints in large because of influences like yourself. You’re not just writing a blog, you’re impacting people. And the fact that you write while being mindful of the influence your blog has on your daughter is a great testimony about how intentional you are.

    So thank you! Thank you for being uplifting without being mushy. Keep doing what you’re doing…it’s why we read this.

  10. I feel the same way, I get the stomach knots when I’m dealing with strong reactions. Yet I also know that if I don’t make a stand for what I believe in, and know is good for some people to hear (or read)… then I’m not really doing what I was put here to do and share.

    It’s great that you keep this blog a little more on the positive. I also think that giving it too much energy and attention can be detrimental. I guess we’re all looking for that fine line.

    By the way, I’m looking forward to more insights from Mr. McKee since I loooved his book Story. 🙂

  11. You know what’s funny? I have a hard time writing songs precisely because my life is pretty blessed. I have to conjure the tension that makes a lot of music, and it just doesn’t sit with me.

    In a similar vein, people “like” positive content, but they react and share “negative” content more. So if we’re in the business of sharing and spreading ideas, we have to balance the natural tendency for people to share negative stuff with the (what I see to be) healthier attitude that focusing on the negative tends to tint the glass through which we see the world.

    You’re working that sweet spot pretty well – much better than I am. I’ve done enough fighting in my day and would rather not, knowing the cost.

  12. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by jwill764: RT @jonathanfields Provoking Fights and Getting Dark? http://ow.ly/1qujXa

  13. Melani Ward says:

    I like this post Jonathan. A long time ago I was reminded that many things are temporary – my thoughts, opinions, desires, and even the direction I want to go in my work and life. Therefore I find I hold back a lot because I wonder what it might look like some day to my mom, my daughter, my husband, an employer I might want to work for or a university where I’d like to teach if they ever dug through my online history.

    I don’t hold back with the important people in my life because I love them, I have a lot more invested with them and I care deeply about our relationships. When we get into conflict, debate, very spirited fights etc. we all know we are coming at it from a place of love and we are usually stronger as a result.

    When it comes to online I may have lots of ideas and lots of opinions (and I may even feel like stirring the pot on an issue every once in a while) but it doesn’t mean they ALL have to litter my blog posts and social media streams.It’s so hard to know the full context for what’s said online so to me it rarely makes sense to jump in the deep end.

    I could probably do a LOT more to create some tension and by showing a lot more of who I am and what I think I might create some reaction in the short term.

    But that’s not very interesting to me.

    I don’t do it in my life offline so why would I do it here in my work.

    The bottom line is I’ll care much more 5, 10, 50 years down the road if the people who I love and respect are proud of the work I did and what I may have been able to inspire in people than I’ll care about how many people actually contributed to the traffic of my sites or tweets in my stream.

  14. So glad you brought up the darkside as I’ve been feeling more and more drawn to explore that within myself and others of late. I know there is something massive for me there and, yet, I also have a very positive, uplifting voice and message so there’s definitely conflict for me.

    Yesterday, on both of my coaching calls, I took the gals I was coaching to their darksides (in what I felt like was a loving way) so they could connect more with the pain they were trying to help people through and it felt beautiful and transformative.

    So, I’m definitely looking at how I can integrate this more into my public work without falling off the razor’s edge and slicing myself on it too badly.

    Fantastically helpful to see your filter on it.

  15. Allan Fried says:

    I don’t blog nearly as often as you, however, I tend to stay more on the side of the light. As you point out it is too easy, to argue, to polarize, to criticize ourselves and others. It sometimes seems as if that is our default wiring. I have found what I dwell on grows. By focusing on what I have, what I do well, what works, it has transformed my life.

  16. Rich Becker says:

    Hey Jonathon,

    Intent is a very powerful thing. If the intent is to generate traffic or stir the pot, it’s empty. If the fight is in the pursuit of truth, it’s full. Likewise, if we serve the dark side, it’s forced ego. And if we serve something else, everything seems to flow. Enjoyed the post.

    Best,
    Rich

  17. Alysson says:

    Sometimes there is as much, or more, to learn from the vehemently negative reactions as there is from the endlessly positive ones. Only by understanding the place from which these reactions come can we begin to understand and embrace people for who they are. It’s the only way to drill down and figure out how we can contribute something to the conversation that may help them realize and understand something about themselves or the world at large that may have escaped them entirely to that point in their lives.

    There is a calculated risk in portraying only the positive. While I couldn’t agree more that giving attention to darkness also gives it life, that darkness is a reality of life and we must be willing to acknowledge it. We must recognize it in order to overcome it and learn something constructive from it. By focusing solely on the positive there is a chance, albeit small and perhaps seemingly unimportant, that someone who sees only the darkness inside themselves would be alienated by a relentless positivity and made to feel as though finding a common ground isn’t possible. For them, the chance to see a part of themselves within you and gain inspiration from that would be gone.

    In that respect, the opportunity to help someone uncover that lightbulb moment or experience that life-changing epiphany can be lost by only being willing to share that which is positive. We often begin to see the our own inner awesomeness after first having seen it in someone we admire, respect and find commonality with. For some that comes from seeing that our dark places aren’t something to fear or hide in shame, but something to embrace and recognize as part of our universal human experience.

    By sharing the darkness that lives within all of us we shed light on it. It becomes real. Reality is never as frightening or paralyzing as that which we imagine. Seeing others conquer their darkness and slay their inner demons gives us the strength and faith to believe we can do the same. At that point we are no longer cowering in those dark places alone. We are no longer slaves to fear. And for most, simply knowing it is a battle that is fought and won by others…that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that suffering – no matter how mild or how overwhelming – won’t last forever, is enough give them hope.

    In practice, compassion isn’t only a sympathetic consciousness and willingness to help others, but an inclination to give others the chance to see who we truly are – for better or for worse – and hopefully gain some strength from it.

  18. I love a good debate with someone who vehemently disagrees with me.

    IN REAL LIFE.

    Online? Forget it. Without the nuance of facial expression, tone of voice, all the context, it’s incredibly difficult to keep it out of the gutter or the boxing ring.

    I state strong opinions, but if someone comes spoiling for a fight, I’m not going to give it to them.

    It’s not about only talking to people who agree with me, because disagreement is a great way to learn (more powerful tool than feedback from the yeses)

    In the end, if our opinions differ, that’s probably because we’re different people, not because one of us is right and the other is wrong.

    Jonathan, I appreciate this positive place. I get plenty of the dark side virtually everywhere I go; angry bloggers, angry email; sheesh, angry new neighbors. I come here because you lead by nudging more light into the picture, and the dark? It’ll just bet nudged out without our paying any attention to it at all.

  19. Jesse says:

    I’ve been following your blog. I always like what you say. The dark stuff is part of life. Your daughter will learn that the dark is part of life. Who is more qualified to teach how to navigate the dark, than you? Employ your compassion and sensitivity and show her that the dark is manageable.

  20. I find this statement very profound – “I have this completely unscientific sense that the more I focus on darkness, on struggle, the more I give it life. And I’d rather spend my time feeding the beast that breathes joy.”

    Conflict, crisis, and drama stifle joy and happiness. These things happen to all of us, but it can only bring us down if we let it.

    I chose to feed the Joy Beast as well.

  21. David Lynch says:

    I am struggling with the financial downturn, which has affected me quite a bit.

    Lately, I find myself squabbling with online friends about the health care bill. I have taken the less-popular-stance that the bill does more harm than good, and is worse than having done nothing.

    I don’t bring this up because I want to continue the argument here (please let’s not!), but rather because I am examining my need to have such arguments.

    Jonathan, you mentioned how draining such arguments can be. They take a lot of time and energy, and I’m spent afterwards.

    I realized that there are a couple reasons I might be doing this:
    1) I don’t have a lot of work these days. I rarely work a full day that leaves me spent and satisfied as a result of a job well done. These online discussions/arguments provide that feeling, even though I could have chosen something more productive with which to fill my time.
    2) It is much easier – and a lot less risky or scary – to gripe about problems rather than create and implement solutions. Yes, the health care bill directly affects my life, but I have very little control over it. Squabbling about it helps me avoid formulating local, personal solutions that could have a greater impact on my life and those around me.
    3) Arguing is drama! It’s exciting! Sometimes I choose the knot in my stomach over boredom, even when I know it’s not the healthiest choice.

    Regarding the factors working against me – whether it be the lawmakers in Washington or those who belligerently challenge my ideas and beliefs, I need to keep reminding myself that “living well is the best revenge”. In other words, letting go of the drama and the knot, taking time to sit in the sun and listen to the birds, meditating, finding moments of inner peace – that’s really the tonic I need.

  22. Jonathan,
    I couldn’t agree with you more. (No knots there…) I tend to write on the light side, actually one might even say frivolous.Occasionally, I come up with something,someone might think profound, but not usually controversial. I go out of my way to avoid controversy. This week I noticed there were several occasions where I didn’t agree with, or was outraged by, or adamantly opposed and I got the knotted stomach just thinking about what I would write. I stayed out of the fracus. I watched things play out from the sideline as they unfolded. I think it comes from that old insecurity, the one were you want to be able to say “they like me, they really like me”, and if you don’t agree with them, they won’t “like” you. I’m not proud of this. I will continue to work on this. But, I have to say I am comforted to know that I am not alone in the struggle.

  23. Megan says:

    Jonathan,

    I was following the discussion on your other blog as well and the discourse was unsettling. I didn’t comment because I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire – and I liked how you responded respectfully and firmly, while trying to lighten the tone. “Agreeing to disagree” is commendable.

    My time is precious to me – and your blogs are the two I make time to read. Thank you for both of them. They are inspirational to me. I like where you’re coming from. I like the way they often make me think more deeply about things I might otherwise have glossed over.

    I feel that the internet and media right now have run amok with lashing out, unconstructive, often abusive bashing of “the other.” People seem to get social media “points” and lots of mainstream media attention simply by being over-the-top. I am consciously avoiding as much of it as I can while still trying to stay relatively well-informed.

    This obsession with increasing ratings by ranting is setting us against one another at a time when it has never been more vital that we come together and treat one another with respect, listen to one another, and hopefully find solutions that are truly beneficial for all those concerned.

    I am dismayed at how casually people talk about violence as a “solution” to our differences.

    I also write things out – in a personal journal – when I need to dig deeply into something that troubles me. And I burn the journals later once I emerge on the other side.

    Sharing the dark side is valuable in a support group, but I’ve seen arguments, and even hatred, spontaneously re-emerge when people go back and read something the author himself would no longer defend, having personally worked through it and moved on. That is the power and the curse of the written word.

    There are rare instances when one simply must make a stand for something – even knowing that many people will find it provocative and vehemently disagree. Setting our intention on the highest good and being very conscious of how we word our stance is all we can do – knowing that opposition for the sake of opposition alone is never constructive.

    Namaste

  24. Pamela says:

    Jonathan –

    I did not see the other post or the results but the conversation here is one that I have had many times with people that I know and love.

    By embracing the dark side (our dark side) we are no longer mirrors for other people’s angst, fears and hate. I urge you (and anyone here) to explore Debbie Ford’s “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” – not an easy book to read.

    This quote is from the book:

    “You must go into the dark in order to bring forth your light. When we suppress any feeling or impulse, we are also suppressing its polar opposite. If we deny our ugliness, we lessen our beauty. If we deny our fear, we minimize our courage. If we deny our greed, we also reduce our generosity. Our full magnitude is more than most of us can ever imagine. If you believe that we have the imprint of all humanity within us, as I do, then you must be capable of being the greatest person you ever admired, and at the same time capable of being the worst person you ever imagined.”

    I wish you joy.

  25. jules says:

    Checked out the comments. Funny — the attacks on JF were nothing compared to the attacks on the particulars of this film — whether it sells or not, it is a lovely little piece of art that probably took as much time and collective talents to create as some authors take in writing a first draft of their books.

    Create, everyone. Not just a blog comment or post, but something that stands on its own.

    Throwing stones is a lot easier, but not nearly as interesting.

  26. Cathy says:

    You said, “I have this completely unscientific sense that the more I focus on darkness, on struggle, the more I give it life…”

    I completely agree with that. There’s enough focus on darkness and struggle all around us in the news media, and other blogs, etc.

    You don’t need to include it (unless, of course, you want to).

    Why I read your blog (and keep coming back) is because the stuff you do say is substantive, like you want to dig deep into a subject. There is too little of THAT in this world, IMHO. (People seem to want sizzle rather than steak — or they’ve been “taught” to accept the sizzle as the steak.)

    In any case, it’s refreshing to find generally civil, meaningful, often meaty discourse here — from you and all your other readers.

  27. Great post Jonathan, as well as being thought-provoking. As for myself, I am too chicken to even open up comments on my blog, LOL (actually its more of a time-control thing but with the added benefit of not having to deal with snarkiness and blogger/reader “road rage”).

    My one venture into the dark side was when I wrote a controversial article for another site then made the mistake of peering into the Forum afterwards and viewing the bloodbath that ensued…there were supporters, too, but what stands out to thin-skinned people like myself are the very few, targeted, plain old downright mean comments.

    I have yet to return, either to controversial articles or Forums…the hot breath of Darth Vadar still haunts me and raises the hairs on my neck.

    Remember: Yoda said, “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.”

    …and he also said “May the force be with you”

    May the force be with you Jonathan!

  28. Geoffrey says:

    Jonathan, and others,

    I very much appreciate your willingness to deal with this issue. My take on it is that there is a sort of very long, networked continuum (if that is possible). The light and the dark are not black and white (as it were). So I can have very strong opinions, but I can communicate them in either a gentle or a hostile way.

    What to do? I love your initial treatment of it all which was to honestly look at yourself in context. It seems to me that to notice myself and then to be and present that is about the best that I can do.

    I, too, do not like the vehemence with which many issues are treated, nor the anger that boils out of so many minds. And so I tend to reserve to myself the right to respond to people with whom I would like to connect, and to literally discontinue conversations with those who, in life or online, seem too caught up in the turbulence for me to handle.

    And I also reserve the right to change my mind at any time without notice.

    Love your stuff,

    Thanks.

  29. cory says:

    All the things we want to deny about ourselves end up shoved into our shadow side. But like all energy,which can neither be created or destroyed, it simply waits for an outlet. I can be conscious with that outlet and give my devil her due, or I can be unconscious. In unconsciousness, that energy will ambush me with the intermittent “I don’t know what came over me!” or it will seep into depression or be projected out onto other people, making THEM the demon or the enemy. For example, look at our latest national past time of making demons out of everyone around us, both inside and outside our borders. It it the high price a person (or nation)pays for trying to maintain an image as “the Bringer of All That is Good in the Universe!”

    I prefer to bring my shadow to the table, treat her with respect and remember that under the right circumstances, I am capable of any heinous act I deplore, or any act of grace, strength, and light I admire. It makes that “dark” energy usable and less dangerous just by recognizing it.

    Jonathan, I really like your blog. Keep asking
    Cory

  30. Annie Stith says:

    I think one of the most positive things we can do is to include the darkness… in our pasts, from which we have healed, or which we have overcome. It’s one of the strongest ways to give others hope.

    Until we have “won the battle,” we might mention only that we’re working on an area of our own darkness so others can see we’re human.

  31. caitlyn says:

    Yours is one of the few blogs to which I subscribe. Another, the Drewsletter, is equally provocative but focussed on the positive & the joy. Neither one of you gives the impression that everything is easy – but kind of suggest that if you could get out of your own way, at time, life would be pretty easy. I think that is the nod to the shadow that keeps it real.

    I think there is a gracious way to reveal the dark without dwelling there

    In my day job I work with at-risk teens, in a school. I have the unenviable task of telling a hung-over 14 year old that even if mom was partying until 4 a.m., even if you drank only what the adults gave you and smoked what they passed to you, and even though the guy that hit your mom last month was there, and the friend you’ve called auntie all your life made a pass at you – you still have to write an essay. Now. This is the dark, dark place that the surly kid smoking outside the grocery store comes from. But, when she or he begins to find a voice on the page, it is like magic. Sure, there’s a lot of dark side dribbling down my back as I weasel right in close – close enough to see the little rainbow of hope and we capture words of anger, hurt, revenge, passion, grief, and the list goes on.

    And, one day, that child chooses to read a book; brings a story they wrote at home (or the mall); and starts to stand up straight. This is when my life looks like one of those “save the tough kids” movies – and I’m never the star. It is the most beautiful, meaningful place to bring oneself. And, I do. And, it works. These kids have taught me not to be afraid of the dark – mine or theirs.

    • I’m a big fan of shining a light on dark things so as to get a better look, know what they are, deal with them however appropriate.

      I think there’s a difference between shining a light, and just wading headlong into the dark.

  32. Jill Lena Ford says:

    Hey Jonathan,

    I just discovered your blog this week, and have already been inspired and uplifted in many ways from it. Thank you for sharing your light and, in that action, inspiring others to do the same. I too believe that what you focus on is what is created and I will choose to create light over dark every time. Yes, there is darkness out there, which is even more of a reason to continue to spread the light. As Gandhi said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. Leading by example is the most powerful way to reach others and create change in the world. Thank you for the inspiration. I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Keep Shining,

    ~*Jill*~

  33. Julie says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    I found your blog post very intriguing. With all of the “Law of Attraction” craze going on these days there is more of a tendency to focus ‘only’ on the positive – and that is definitely healthy. As a ‘learner’ and a new entrepreneur – I like to be inspired, motivated, and challenged! However, as one who has gone through a lot of self/personal growth work and processes – I also know the value of exploring the dark side and listening for the wisdom and the messages and know how important it can be to my overall transformative process – the key is to not stay in that space too long or to let it take over. The extent to which the ‘learnings’ from that can be used to help others learn or be inspired is very valuable! Afterall, we’re all human. So – in order to answer how far you take this publicly – is definitely a fine line and should be goverened by intent. To the extent to which you share something that can shed light on a valuable growth experience that helps others – can be very positive! And then you become very ‘real’ – as you our showing others the way – not just some superhuman ‘success story’ ! So thanks for sharing this post!

  34. Maggie Mae says:

    I’m with you… Giving the dark side any life here, gives it more life everywhere including your stomach (in the form of a knot). Though, given you’re encouraging the renegade approach, perhaps giving the upside of some of the dark-sided things you’ve encountered might be at least acknowledged and beneficial for your audience. I blog about my experiences — the good, the bad and the ugly but always with a positive twist — raising identical twins with Down syndrome. Those who read, do so for inspiration and information… Not to hear or partake in an argument. But the audience also benefits from hearing the upside of the potentially darker things that [can and sometimes do] happen in our world and specifically how I overcame so that they can find their way through the dark in their lives (because we do all have those darker experiences).

  35. Margot says:

    Dear Jonathan,

    At the moment you are at an edge,with a choice between the “Dark-side” or “Love-side” is the very instance of growth/or not. You make a choice in a fraction of a second, your direction of growth till another opportunity presents itself. Change is not defined by what people see, read,or hear from your mouth, nor your writing but by the split second decisions where you are teetering in either direction.
    Its the brink of the dark-side where we learn the most. We don’t live in a happy joy joy world, we live a world filled with fear, doubt mis-trust, etc…We are all connected, and every vibration whether it be though our thoughts , actions, or spoken/written word can either affect or effect our world and the future generations. We are responsible to each other and the future generations to come.

    Warmest Regards

    Margot

  36. Savita says:

    I feel exactly the same way about focussing on the darker side – it takes on a focus and life of it’s own, which is certainly what I don’t want to do. Am I evading some real hard issues when I do this? I don’t think so. At least, the attitude stops me from being negative or feeling down in the dumps.

    This has been a very interesting discussion to follow. Thanks and regards.

    Savita

  37. I think to have the light side without the dark is silly optimism. You have a balance of this blog and the other one which is great.