Play of light and shadow

Just excuse me for a moment as I lick the last chocolate from my finger before it ends up all over the key to the right of o. Don’t ask how I ended with chocolate on that finger *much better* Or why I began typing before cleaning up. Ahh, that fabulous p key is back!

I’m finding I spend a lot of time watching the play of light and shadow on trees, bushes, flowers, almost any kind of plant really. A lot of time. I’m mesmerised. I just caught myself from a good ten minute stare out the window at the trees that grow between the buildings. Hooray for the cloud that snapped me out of that one. Anyway, mesmerised. I see it as… mysterious. Wonder begins to grow within me as my mind delves to see deeper into the shadows, savouring the contrast between light and dark. I see the balance, the shadow only really noticeable when there is light. Understanding grows that the light is always present, even in the shadows.

Inevitably I end up thinking about the light and shadow within myself. I’ve spoken before about having a duality of feelings. For quite a while I was balanced between the light and the dark. It’s a strange feeling. Here’s something I posted on a forum March 9, almost a month ago…

It’s like I’m on a coin. It’s huge and we’re rolling down the road of life. On one side is love, happiness, joy, hope, connection and all those things we crave, that we need. On the other side is depression, despair, loss, feelings of failure and all those things that are a lack of love.

I ride it and both sides call me… constantly, but I have to keep that coin rolling along its edge. I want it to fall over so I can get off and leave the ‘dark side’ in the past and enjoy the future, but I worry that it’ll fall the wrong way. So, I keep riding it and the coin stays balanced.

It feels like I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s become easy to keep the coin on its edge. It’s become second nature to constantly feel this duality of feelings… sadness and happiness, despair and joy, loss and hope. I feel both sides all the time. I live in both states all the time.

The road gets bumpy at times, as it has the last few weeks, especially the last few days. In the past that would have tipped the coin and I’d lose myself in the depression, but now I’ve been doing this balancing act for so long it’s easier to stay upright, to keep on rolling, to keep on feeling both states.

Am I the only one that feels this way? Is it ‘normal’? Do we all have this duality of feelings? Or one day am I going to find the way to flip that coin?

So used to it. A few days after posting it I received a reply (thank you, KM, if you ever read this)…

I’m thinking that you need to find one of those two headed coins. That way you can have all the good stuff on BOTH sides.

Wise words. I let myself become used to the duality because I was afraid to lose myself in the depression. I get that. Then I played the… this is good enough game. I get that too. What I didn’t see was… why is there only one answer to the quandary of knocking the coin over?

Lately I’ve noticed that I see the darkness within me differently. I’m beginning to see it as… mysterious. Wonder begins to grow within me as my mind delves to see deeper into the shadows, blah, blah, blah. Hey, I already said all this above. The understanding grows that the light is always present, even in the shadows.

The light is always present, even in the shadows. It would seem that I’ve begun to turn that coin I’m riding into… a two headed coin.

Look at it this way… there is love and a lack of love. Yet, I see the love within that lack. And within that lack, that darkness, I see me. I hear me. All of ME, instead of two separate MEs.

And what do I see and hear, when I stop separating me? I begin to see and hear the next step to recovery.

Joss at The Crowing Crone said it better the other day than anything I can come up with… Listen, Pain Shouts!

When I think of the energy that it took to get through day after day with this kind of pain, I am in awe at the ability of the human system to continue functioning under such a burden.  We truly are amazing.  We can carry on when our heart is breaking over the death of a child; when our soul is crushed by the betrayal of a spouse; when our life is falling apart around us.  We go on.  But somehow, somewhere we need to stop. To stop and pay attention to our life.  To stop and listen when pain shouts. Only then can we begin the road to recovery.  And the longer we take to get to this point, the longer the road to recovery becomes.  Trust me, I know.

~Joceline Burnel

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