What Then, When You Go to The Dark Side?

Unless you have achieved enlightenment, the likelihood is that you, too, despite your best efforts, have fallen to the dark side occasionally. No worries. There is hope.

Since you, too, are human, you can choose the correction model rather than the perfection model.

Here's a simple model for getting back on track and moving forward on a positive trajectory.

Directions:

  1. The moment that you become aware that you have fallen to the dark side in attitude, words, or actions, pause.
  2. While you pause, breathe. More than just enough to stay alive. Take a few deep breaths and as you let them go, allow yourself to relax.
  3. Take a moment to review in your mind's eye what happened that triggered you. (You would not have fallen to the dark side had you not been triggered.)
  4. Bring understanding and self-compassion to your self. Remind yourself that you are human and do make mistakes, despite your best efforts. Give yourself a margin of error.
  5. When you feel a release inside yourself or are aware that you are no longer blaming and/or shaming yourself, then begin to think about how you want to repair the damage.
  6. If you are still in conversation with the person with whom you 'went to the dark side,' take a moment to express your apology and state your intention to find a positive solution.
  7. If you are no longer in the presence of the person with whom you 'went to the dark side,' think about how you want to repair the minor or major blip that happened. Find your courage, and approach the individual with your apology and do a 'Take Two'.
  8. If you are very courageous, you might consider telling this individual (depending on your relationship to him/her) what happened that you became triggered. In some relationships and for some people, this level of vulnerability works. For others, not so much. Rather than make yourself or them wrong, allow yourself to find a way to bring some repair to this relationship and get back on a positive trajectory.
  9. Regardless of whether you go the route of vulnerability, consider what is the best way for you to do a 'Take Two' and get back on track.

Enjoy the practice and as usual, please write about your experience.

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