Once You Choose the Dark Side, Forever Will It Dominate Your DestinyLike all people, I have a "shadow," and I have learned that the healthiest thing one can do is to integrate this darkness into one's self. If you reject it and abhor it, then you only repress it, and it only gets stronger when it is not acknowledged.
As I have experienced life, and learned how to increase my capacity for tolerance and compassion, so too has my capacity for darkness grown as well. This is natural, because balance is the rule of nature. In order to become more compassionate, I must also cultivate the capacity for more selfishness. In order to be more tolerant, I must also cultivate my ability for intolerance and hatred.
This sounds scary, but it is not. Because while we all have the capacity for both good and evil, it is our choice at every moment whether to engage in decent activities or engage in behaviors that will harm others. I have long since come into the habit of choosing compassion over hatred, and peace of mind over anger.
However, this was not always so, and I remember the times in my life where I let anger and hate consume me. I remember that in those moments, how much the darkness overwhelmed me, and how different a person I was. There are moments now when I perceive the opposite-world of my current position, the consequences of a chosen dark path, and I shudder, for I see how much evil I am capable of. I can see myself using my intelligence and cunning in ways only for myself, to accumulate power, to take advantage of others, to manipulate and destroy at my leisure. All the traits I have cultivated -- my abilities to perceive and observe, my knack for knowing others, my mental training -- could easily be dedicated towards the accumulation of all that I consider repugnant. In such a world, I could see myself becoming powerful in the affairs of men.
But that is not what I have chosen, and I will never choose to go down that road. I know suffering, and I have had enough of it, and I don't want to inflict any suffering on others as well. It is enough for me to get through life cultivating what I believe to be better traits and expanding my consciousness in positive directions. While I will always acknowledge and respect my dark side, I will never choose it as a way of life.