If there was ever one enemy of personal and spiritual growth - it can be lumped into one larger, but multifaceted category - Fear.
Fear is the opposite end of the spectrum - the side of polarity that we strive to move away from. We don't want to "eliminate" fear as may suggest - because that is impossible. Universal law states that all things exist for a purpose and a reason. It also states that there is a law of polarity - to understand any one thing, you must also experience its opposite. Those who try to "eliminate" fear quickly find that more of it manifests. Those who bless it and work through it and around it find it loses its grip on them.
Consider the "war on terror" for example. It has lead to wars, more anger, more fear, and a whole slew of negative things. Chances are when you hear that term it elicits a negative response. You feel afraid, angry, sad, hopeless etc. - All of these emotions are products of fear. What we resist persists and what we focus on manifests.
Want more drugs? Have a "war" on drugs. Want more fear and hatred? Have a "war on terror"... You can NOT eliminate fear and darkness, what you can do is learn to accept that they are a part of life and when we accept that fact then we find we don't focus so much energy on them - and then they lose their ability to manifest. Most people struggle with this concept - we feel we should be "warriors" of the light etc. and this is flawed even though the intentions are good. If you are anti-war - be pro-peace because what you resist you give a lot of energy to and may inadvertently be creating what you don't want!
This has been a hard lesson for humanity as a whole thus far, but we are truly in our infancy when you consider how vast "time" and space are so I have hope for us :). I choose to direct my energy to focus on what is good and wonderful in people - which in turn helps me to recognize what is good and wonderful in myself - because "We are all one" - the law of Divine Oneness says separation is an illusion. Meditate on this - learn to let it sink in and suddenly it becomes harder to judge and fear others. You begin to recognize that you are larger than you think you are - and that in itself reduces fear.
You're too big to be afraid ;)
In life we embody all that is - the all that is created you and you are a living expression of that power - whatever you determine him/her/it to be. Use your connection with your source to comfort and guide you into higher levels of being. Don't look at yourself as one small drop in a vast ocean - this leads to feelings of fear, separation and powerlessness. You need to redirect your focus and understand that the whole ocean is contained in that drop.
You can view your own body like a universe - every part of your body - the brain, heart, lungs for example is different. They perform different functions, reside in different places within the unit, but they are all a part of a whole. Without one of them - the others would not exist because they couldn't function.
In the grand scheme of things you are the heart of "God" - the Universe is alive because we are in it. Separation is an illusion and you have a vital role to play. Recognize it and let it sink in and suddenly you start to realize there is nothing to fear -except for what you create to be afraid of! We focus often on our need for God or a higher power, but what we fail to recognize and what keeps us small and struggling is that "God" needs us too! What good is a brain without a heart to feed it? What good is the body without the mind to give it purpose?
I can almost hear the argument - I don't choose to do the evil things I see going on in the world - this is true - but you can't control what others manifest, only what you choose to focus on. Does this mean you should stop caring - absolutely not! It does mean you should focus on what you DO want. Instead of being "anti" whatever you deem negative - be "pro" its opposite ;). What we resist persists and we cannot eliminate darkness or fear, merely work around them.
More on Fear...
Universal law states that all things have a frequency or vibration and you have likely recognized this. If you walk into a place that feels cozy and homey - it is giving a "positive vibe" and is infused with the energy of love, laughter, etc. Sometimes you can walk into a place and get the "ick" factor going on - you can feel "in the air" a sense of negative energy. It leaves you feeling heavy or drained etc.
You can see how emotions are an important tool. They are a gauge that tell us when we need to change course. Fear isn't in place to destroy us - darkness is in place to help us look for the light. When you look at the most painful experience of your life - just for a moment and you feel that hurt, anger, sorrow, betrayal whatever it was... then you turn and focus on the most joyful moment of your life - does it not amplify that joy?
Darkness exists - all darkness stems from fear. Whatever negative emotion you can think of has its roots in fear - fear of loss of control, fear of smallness, fear of ... you name it. When you are angry and it feels bad - ask yourself "what am I afraid of"... and then embrace your fear - let it empower you to look for new solutions. You can NOT eliminate fear! You can - and should - find inspired new ways to work with it.
Exercises for Managing Fear...
One of my favorite exercises to conquer a fear is to create a large monster in my head that embodies that fear. Make him just as awful as whatever it is you are afraid of. Let it growl and carry on or whatever scary things it does and then compliment it ;) tell it how perfectly wonderful it is at being a scary monster. You've never seen anything so beautifully hideous in all your life. Thank it for showing itself to you and empowering your life. Tell it how much its presence is important and how valued it is and typically you'll see your monster shrink or you'll start to feel affection for it ;) either way works... Love your fear into submission. Let it become a part of you that you embrace (hard at first I know!) and then watch it lose its grip on you.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a wonderful tool as well. It uses the meridian points and you "tap" on these meridian points as you focus on your fear and you literally feel your fear and anxiety release from you and shrink back to a manageable position. You can find information on this with simple google searches and I will post some in the resources section on the main page when time allows.