This feeling is all too familiar to me.
I find myself in the center of this incredible city, at a stand still, spinning at the speed of light. I feel a knot in my back that crawls its way into my neck muscles, and suddenly, my head feels heavy. I walk up hill, losing breath with each long stride in boots that blister my ankle bones; I hop onto a bus after being caught in a downpour [sans umbrella], because for whatever reason, I have told myself that umbrellas are pointless things to carry.
Needless to say, I am learning a good amount as I maneuver my way around this city and through the chaos of my own mind.
And suddenly, it hits me like it hasn’t before: I’m not just frustrated and anxious about the unknown, but I am simply angry at myself. I’m angry for constantly playing the same old game, pretending like it’s new; the song that tells my story seems to be playing on repeat, as though the playlist of my life is frozen in time. I’m so quick to skip to the next song, that the music is choppy, the lyrics hard to comprehend; and there I am, left with the only song that will actually play for me start to finish.
With a soft scream, the soul speaks—to stop searching and to start seeing; to stop trying to build a puzzle that doesn’t even have all of its pieces and to start embracing the sounds of the soul, the whispers of intuition.
This feeling is all too familiar to me––but it no longer can take hold of me like it has in the past.
I refuse to get caught in the cyclone of ambiguity, taking the same actions I have always taken, while expecting entirely new results to oh-so-effortlessly occur. That voice of common intellect, reiterating the idea that “wherever you go, there you are,” has never resonated so true. Yet, for the first time, maybe even ever, I am seeing that lost, scared glimpse of a girl living inside her own shadows. And instead of searching for a way out of this all-too-familiar feeling, maybe, just maybe, it’s time I shine light on these shadows that keep finding their way back to me.
Over the past year, I have dived into self-study and thought surrounding the concept of vulnerability and the idea of spiritual, soulful growth. I have learned that the soul, like any muscle, must be strengthened. However the way to doing this isn’t with weights, latex exercise bands or downward dogs—it takes true inner strength to see the shadows and self-imposed road blocks that keep us from living our best lives, as our happiest selves.
It’s like Dr. Brené Brown says, “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” This woman is genius, FYI.
This kind of exploration cannot be seen as a search or a quest, but rather, a wide-eyed process that slowly turns to an open heart– where shadows, though they never fully disappear, begin to diminish.
This feeling I have; it’s an unfamiliar sort of familiarity.
I have two options—to continue spinning my wheels, going through the motions, getting by without enormous struggle; or, I can stop the search by starting to see that success just may come when I stop trying to find it.
I can pretty much guarantee I will never stop searching, as it seems to be part of my DNA to always be in wonder of what could be. Yet, there is a difference between being forever curious and being on a constant quest for something greater. In this manner, everything remains stale, and as the world keeps moving, I stay stagnant, still searching.
We all have our shadows that lurk inside of us, dimming the light that truly does radiate within. I have wrestled with my shadows and arguably addressed them, but until now, I’m not convinced I have ever fully confronted them. Confrontation, in any situation, is uncomfortable and difficult to both initiate and to receive; however, getting uncomfortable by facing the difficult is what it means to grow—and slowly, we begin to move through the shadows, directly into the soul.
Note to self: stop searching, start seeing; it may just bring about a different kind of feeling…
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
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