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Existence On The Dark Side

To everything there is a bright side and a dark side; and I hold it to be unwise, unphilosophic, unkind to others, and unhealthy for one's own soul, to form the habit of looking on the dark side. Cheerfulness is to the spiritual atmosphere what sunshine is to the earthly landscape. I am resolved to cherish cheerfulness with might and main. ~Lydia M. Child 

Insights from Jedi Master Yoda

"Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will . . . In the end, cowards are those who follow the dark side . . . Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose . . . When you look at the dark side, careful you must be. For the dark side looks back . . . You will find only what you bring in . . . 

The good Life was for other people, but not for me, I knew I did not deserve it.

My life is best described as only a spartan "existence" filled with struggles, obsessions and compulsions, disabling stresses  with little or no self-love or self-acceptance. Negative thinking truly was my Insanity!  I was doing the same things over and over again, each time, expecting different results! 

My feelings of inadequacy, isolation, restlessness, anxiety, depression, fear and guilt were “isms” that always victimized me daily. Adding insult to injury, I perpetuated my misery because I held onto those isms, cognitive distortions, character defects and irrational beliefs for they fueled my dysfunctional life and propped up my illusion of happiness!  An “ism” is all about how we cope with the many things we encounter in life. Good acronyms for ism are: "I Sabotage Myself" which I often did or "Internal Spiritual Malady" which is how Bill W. and Dr. Bob described alcoholism…they in fact called it “spiritual bankruptcy”.

I grew up bankrupt and absolutely hid it from everyone because I feared I would disappoint! I simply could not bear to hurt anyone, that is except myself!


Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger.   

Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

Hate turned on oneself, becomes self-loathing, which produces Depression.    

I know, I did it to myself and felt I deserved the depression which became my life!

I have realized that Emerson was correct, "Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine."  I focused on those shadows, never realizing that I was my own worst enemy, and sadly, that I was in the sunshine all along.  I know today that life is not just found exclusively in peaks and valleys, nor in life's ebbs and flows, but that it takes both for us to have balance in our lives.  We could never know the sweet, without the bitter, and never find our way to achieve our high calling as homo sapiens, the man of wisdom.   


My life on the dark side was like a game of Falling Dominoes, each dominoe representing one of my core beliefs, FALLING ONE AFTER ANOTHER!

  • "God expects and requires that I be perfect if I would serve Him"
  • "Failure always comes inspite of my best eforts" 
  • "It is my fault, I am broken, not complete, unworthy-not good enough"
  • "That means that I grieve God and He can not love me"
  • "I fear God and know that He is judging me, I have no hope"►
  • "I believe if God can not love me then no one else can really love me"
  • "I feel that people who say they love me are just pretending"►
  • "Everyone in my life is more perfect than I am"►
  • "So I am alone, I push people away, I am not worthy of them anyway"
  • "I live vicariously, observing others, taking pleasure from their lives"►
  • "Life passes me by caged in my mind, self-abasement my only friend"
  • "I Hide EVERYTHING, I cannot disappoint anyone"► 


“Saying that “life is short” is such a cliche. And it’s true.  In fact, we only have five minutes to be here. In the really big scheme of things, not even that long. We humans don’t even have the lifespan of fruit flies if you look at the bigger picture.  In other words, we don’t have a second—not even a second—to waste on petty drama, on living fake, shallow lives, on swallowing our truth, or on hiding our light.  We only dance around the flame of this gorgeous human existence for moments and the one thing important at all is loving beautifully.”  ― Jacob Nordby (GoodReads)

I could not love beautifully or any other way for that matter.  I simply could not love myself!  What love I could muster was shallow no matter how earnest I felt it was.  I truly was imprisoned in myself, condemed to only view life through the isolation and bars of my cell.  My poem expresses it all in the best way:

Life Changing Moments

When I consider this pilgrim's progress

in a life of distress, regress and disease,

I am caused to reflect upon my success

in embracing life changing moments with ease.


It has not been an easy road, I've felt so displaced,

having perceived myself unworthy with feelings of chagrin

amid family and friends who loved me without distaste,

how could I have surmised and held this bitter pain within?


I covered all my loneliness with the theatrics and frolic of a clown,

provoking laughter at my antics caused others to accept me while around.

I felt in my very soul they didn't, that I would never wear a social crown,

and never know the love I savored in a life which had run aground.


Enduring,  is what I learned was life, and serving others bought my space,

sacrificing self first for sisters, students, family and others along the way.

Living a faith based walk without self love, no wonder I felt no grace,

just incrimination and self derision, no matter how hard I'd pray.

© August 18, 2006   John Aldon Utz 


A great blessing of my life is my mind, my ability to analyze,  solve problems, give service to others, which were all gifts from God. When misused, my mind has proved also to be my greatest burden!  Analyzing in depth, was my strength, but  by overuse,  misuse, and never-ending use becomes onerous, habitual, and burdensome which isolates me from finding any joy in life!



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