Balance in the Darkness

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“The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.” - George R. R. Martin

Overcast days in the desert are the best. It’s rare for the sun to pull the covers over its head and snuggle away in the comfort of cozy surroundings. It’s not normal to gain momentary reprieve from rays so intense you can literally grill your lunch on the sidewalk at times. Arizona summers are just that hot. I do love the heat and I don’t mix well with cold weather at all, but a change of pace is always welcome. These are also the periods I tend to be the most introspective and the last several days have been no exception.

Dissecting parts of yourself in order to find harmony is no simple task. It’s not easy to bring balance to the force. It’s challenging to successfully recombine your own personal ying and yang in order to once again feel whole and it can be a nightmare to crack open doors in your mind that have been welded shut for far too long. As soon as the tiniest bit of light hits that room, trapped feelings and behaviors will fall all over you. It's overwhelming, but necessary. A big part of being whole is learning to embrace every aspect of yourself.  We cannot change or heal what we currently deny within ourselves.

Carl Jung talked a lot about the shadow self. This is the part of your being that is kept hidden. These are the behaviors you don’t want to admit having and the emotions you deny ever feeling. This is where your insecurities, fears, anxieties, triggers, and irrational reactions to confusing situations are kept. If you keep them locked away for too long, your shadow will rebel as soon as you are thrown into an uncomfortable position. It will imprison you and rip right through every imaginary wall and boundary you ever created.

I pride myself on the balance I believe I maintain especially with the work I do, but I reached this point recently. The last several months have been quite stressful. Rather than listening to my own advice and tackling things one at a time or maintaining a respectful level of patience, I allowed the darker aspects of myself to simply take over. I didn’t even realize it was happening until I found myself cowering in the corner like a small child left alone on a dark and stormy night. I became the angry mob tearing up the streets and transformed into the damsel in distress who only sees the negative and blames the world for her poor decisions.

I do feel much better now. I feel whole and alive. I have a better understanding of who I am. I will no longer live inside the walls of a fantasy like dream and only exude feelings that fit a particular situation. Recognition and understanding are key. I encourage you to take a look at yourself.

We will not see the light until we’ve spent enough time travelling through the dark. We cannot be whole until we put our own puzzles back together and gaze upon the bigger picture and we will not feel at peace until we heal the hurt and embrace the intricacies of our own inner behaviors.

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