*caution: f-bombs ahead
I feel like I’m losing my mind.
I feel like I’m forgetting things, or maybe I just haven’t been present at all.
There are so many doors that are opening right now that I’m barreling towards so fast that I feel like I’m about to somersault and crash through that pane of glass that lies between my past consciousness and the one I’m careening towards.
It’s like time travel: I’m so anxious to leave the past behind that I’m skipping through the future.
I’m bypassing the present all together, leaving bits and pieces of brain matter behind me like breadcrumbs, just in case I freak out and decide to high tail it back the way I came.
But we all know it’s too late for that. And I’m so fucking thankful.
I think what’s happening here is the product of intense integration.
I’ve had the incredulous luck of working with two truly phenomenal life coaches simultaneously: on the right side, I have a fierce freedom fighter with 20 plus years of psychological and empowerment training dripping from her shimmering sword; on the left side, I have a mystical, magical intuitive who is in constant communication with the angels, spirit guides, higher consciousness—she’s tapped into the cosmos and anchored in the soul.
Working with these two coaches at once has created both intense miracles and challenges.
Where one deals with overcoming personal limitations through facing down the demons by making them shake hands with the angels, the other literally banishes the demons and refuses to acknowledge them once they’re gone.
Where one strives to create a grey area between the black and the white, one seeks to move away from the darkness, focusing only on light.
I’ve always embraced both the darkness and the light.
I know we all came from light and we’re all light beings (we’re made of the stuff of stars). But I also feel like I spent the first half of my life navigating the darkness with only the dimmest of lights to guide me through. I got comfortable there. I made friends there. I found some sort of self-deprecating peace there.
I know it wasn’t right, but it was comfortable. It was the only place that was truly safe.
In the darkness, I was angry all the time. Really angry.
The kind of angry that turned my stomach lining into a frothy acid bath. The kind of rage and fury that would literally bring me to my knees, doubled-over in pain. The kind of energy that corrodes you from the inside out.
Still, it was my safe haven. I was comfortable there. Nothing could hurt me more than I was hurting myself. There was a sense of relief and control in that.
The darkness helped me control the rage inside when everything outside was spinning out of control. At least in the darkness, I could hide. I didn’t have to make eye contact.
I didn’t have to be anything for anyone except for myself.
We know control is an illusion, just like darkness is an illusion. We create our darkness, no matter what it’s actually a result of, because we choose to inhabit it. And sometimes we need to—everything has its purpose, and the dark is no exception. But sometimes we linger too long. Sometimes, we get so comfortable in the shadows that we become one; a shadow of ourselves, a shadow of the light that we all really are; the light that’s using our cloak of shadows as a protective barrier between our purity and the corruption visited upon us.
At times, we need our shadows. They are our guardians, in a way. They shield us when we need shielding. They’ll remain with us (and within us) for as long as we want them to, and for some of us, that’s a long, long time.
One of the aforementioned coaches recently told me that I’m arm in arm with my shadow, not wanting to let it go.
Why would I? It’s my oldest friend! It’s been with me through it all…
This gave me a lot to think about. It made me look at myself, my life, my habits, my hobbies, my passions, what inspires me, what drives me, what makes me…me. This one statement made me re-evaluate everything.
I’m not going to lie. I’m kind of fucking pissed about it, because it’s rocking my world. It’s shaking the shit out of the foundation I just started building. It’s making me realize that maybe I’m not who I thought I was at all, which is both good and bad.
There’s a lot I’ve come to love about myself, both dark and light.
I love my ferocity. I love losing my shit to crazy breakdowns and righteous riffs and completely succumbing to the most brutal of brutal music.
I never, ever want to give that up. I liken it to what tribal drummers (past and present) must feel like when they give themselves over to the most guttural, throbbing, all-consuming rhythm. A rhythm that comes straight from the core of the earth, to Gaia’s radiant, raging heart beat.
I love that I’m practically a midget but exude bigger energy than the mightiest Viking. I love that I’m a force to be reckoned with and that sometimes, people actually cower when I get mad.
That will never stop blowing my mind.
I also love the fact that I feel like a radiating ball of sunshine on most days, that I can literally feel rays of light shooting in every direction from my little body. I love that I can turn any negative into a positive, and that I can engage any stranger in conversation, anywhere…and I do.
I love the fact that I can flash someone a smile and turn their entire moment around, even if it’s just for a moment.
I love that I’m starting to feel as beautiful outside as I sometimes do inside. I love that I’m healthier now than I’ve ever been, and that I’m actually learning how to take care of myself and strengthen myself (physically and emotionally) and make up for my degenerative ways from what feels like five lifetimes ago.
I love all of this because all of this is me, and for the first time, I’m really getting down with me. Whereas before, I would have felt it really fucking lame to say that, but now, I’m cool with it.
Just like when I first started transitioning from writing about metal and hardcore all the time to wellness writing – I felt kind of lame. I felt like I would get made fun of and that the people I respected would shit on me and make fun of my new direction, because inside, that’s what I thought of myself – lame, irritating new-agey soap boxer.
Biggest surprise of my life though? No one made fun of me. In fact, a lot of them supported me. A lot of them actually reached out to tell me how much they could relate, and that was my greatest inspiration to keep moving forward.
My biggest goal since I transitioned to wellness writing has always been to keep a balance, to always acknowledge the light and dark, being real while simultaneously communing with the cosmos (You know what? Few things bring me more joy…other than communing with trees, and don’t you dare laugh!), and always, always remembering my roots and where I’ve come from, which until recently, has been heavily grounded in darkness.
The darkness is my old flame…but it’s flickering. It’s growing weak. It needs some fuel…some inspiration…if it wants to stay with me.
And if it wants to stay with me, it’s gotta change with me. To point out a very tried but very true notion, I will say that the only thing in life I’ve ever been able to count on is change. Everything changes, which means everything has the ability and power to change—absolutely everything.
Change happens through various forms and stages of assimilation and integration. Change happens in baby steps and change comes in earth-shattering feats of strength. However it comes, change will come, and lately what I’ve been learning is that whatever is ready to assimilate and integrate and transform will, and at the rate it’s meant to. When change is rushed, it’s flawed. It’s thwarted, even stunted. We all physically grow at a certain rate, and the same processes hold true for our emotional and intellectual bodies.
The same processes hold true for seeing ourselves—all parts of ourselves—in a different light, or a different darkness. Both exist together, and we are perfect manifestations of both extremes. Maybe the key is not to shut one out in favor of the other, but to finally get them both into one room and make them see that they both want the same things: acknowledgement, acceptance, nourishment, growth, expansion, companionship.
Think about it and tell me they both don’t want all of that. And maybe once we get them to shake hands—maybe even a quick bro-hug, if we’re lucky—we’ll begin to see a gradual change take place. Maybe it’ll come in the form of pitch black elements softening to a heather grey, or blinding whites transforming into a welcoming rose.
This blending is called integration. This blending is called respect for all—all that made you who you are and all that still resides within you, just awaiting your signal to change lanes. I think it might be that simple, in the end. We make a decision, and the forces within us assimilate and follow suit.
I might really all be that simple. This ancient war between the forces of light and dark might actually all boil down to committing to a decision to change.
“Fixation on the darkness that engulfs this world
Drain the life force of our people, change
Return to the womb, new life
Lay your head to rest, mercy
To give you a peace of mind, lay your head to rest
Come together inside, this body is only a shell
Change, the only way we will survive
Light transfiguration of the soul, of the soul, of the mind
Tell them they will not hold us down, it’s time for a change.” ~ Killswitch Engage
That’s one hell of a game changer. That’s the ultimate game changer.
For the first time, I’m ready to roll with that. I’m ready to embrace it all, and to understand that whoever’s with me will be with me, and whoever’s not, well, it’s be an amazing ride. I’ll miss you…in a way.
And I’ll release you. I’ll send you off with all the love and gratitude and light and thundering, quaking heart-beat-of-the-earth drumming, echoing throughout the furthest reaches of universe…
And now, we begin.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: photophilde at flickr