Dark Sides Are Important

When you were little, were you afraid of the dark? Most of us were. And I doubt we ever thought to question this fear. We were almost naturally taught to be afraid of the dark, because the dark is full of unknown things that might hurt us.
But what usually happened when you turned the light on? You learned the unknown things were not so scary. And they were not so unknown. They were just part of the environment.
We learned to associate darkness with scary and unknown, and we learned it’s better not to speak with our dark thoughts and emotions. Turning the light on our emotional shadow is a lot more challenging than flicking a physical light switch on. So we avoid it. Superficiality is easier. But this darkness of our soul has a life of its own which thrives, whether or not we choose to acknowledge it. It’s there, and it’s powerful.

This fear of our emotional complexity grew as we grew, and with time became our shadow. It’s a hidden part in us that influences our choices more often than we are aware.
In truth, much effort goes into repressing and hiding it from ourselves and others. It’s our dark side. The parts we are ashamed and afraid to show. But through denial, we fail to see that in the obscurity of darkness also lay our strengths.
For reasons originating in the past, we have decided to negate and hide this dark side without exploring it further. And so in return it keeps us distant from truly expressing ourselves.

In many ways, hiding our shadow can be considered the highest form of betrayal. By concealing this part of us, we are saying we don’t deserve to show our complete selves, thereby betraying ourselves. In return, secrecy, manipulation, and pretending take over large parts of our lives from fear of being ‘exposed’ and rejected for the part of ourself we are hiding.
The more we repress these dark corners of our being, the more we face disorder in our personality. This can manifest as addiction, anxiety, intentionally failed relationships or jobs, or other behaviors that cause destruction to ourselves and others.
To become aware of our shadow is to shed light on our earliest wounds and to give ourselves a chance for healing and transformation. But as long as we choose to close our eyes to this, the wounds will continue to decay while emitting poison into our lives.

Vulnerability is often mocked in contemporary society and yet it is not weakness. Instead, it is the willingness to drop the facade to experience your feelings and life happenings at every part of your being. 

Night Workers

If I were a poet or a film maker, people who worked in the middle of the night. That’s what I would write about. Men who loaded trains, emergency room nurses with their gentle hands. Night clerks in hotels, cabdrivers, prostitutes, waitresses in all-night coffee shops. They knew the world, how precious it was when a person remembered their name, the comfort of a rhetorical question, “How’s it going, how’s the kids?” They knew how long the night was. They knew the sound life made as it left. Night workers lived without illusions, they wiped dreams off counters, they loaded freight. They could appreciate the world differently.

“Weirdo”

Whenever people call me weird or strange or things along those lines, my reply is always “you’re goddamn right” or something similar sounding.  I accepted that I was a geek for certain things and that made me different, and I became proud of it. I knew what I liked. I knew what made me happy and how I had fun. So go on, be a weirdo. If that is synonymous with being yourself, don’t ever feel shame for it.

To my soul sister,

 

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You say you have a reservoir of love and care and yet nowhere to put it, but my question would be, why would you want to pour it away into anything else? That love and care is precious (as I’m sure you well know), and you should first be using it to keep yourself feeling nourished and inspired and cherished. The world outside won’t always be able to provide you with the kind of warmth and intimacy you may desire, so it’s important to have an inner source of love and hope to sustain you and empower you to lead an active and joyful life of your own choosing.

To be sure, it is crushing and very hard to bear when you feel like you’ve given your everything to something or someone, only to have them leave and not look back for the most part. I think most of us can relate to that. I do. But it is also important to start recognising the reasons for that kind of cycle, and to figure out what you can actually do to turn it into a positive, upward spiral.

I think it’s wonderful that you have such an immense capacity for feeling, but it is really important to be able to manage it and channel it in ways that are productive and helpful, both to you and others. Otherwise, it can become too easy to use the excuse of having overwhelming feelings to push your own agenda of wanting to be loved on other people, which will unfairly put them under a lot of pressure and possibly even drive them away.

I think over time and with some practice, you will get to reach a calmer, more peaceful space within yourself, where love and affection are felt as a deep and tranquil current rather than with all the battering forces of a tsunami.

Remember, the capacity to feel is an ability, and like all abilities, it will need to be trained and developed if you want to gain the most out of it and do the least harm by it.

Wishing you well and good luck in all things. Lots of love.

Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo?

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In our media-saturated world, we are constantly bombarded by advertisements, film portrayals and imageries of romance, where two people stare at each other, embracing hugs and kisses, gazes each other in the eyes and stargazes into the dark abyss.

Yes, how beautiful, how romantic.

We enter relationships hung up on the idea of love more so than the person themselves. It is a tragedy many of us have been through, yet its completely natural and normal as we grew up with this certain preconceived notion of how romance should be, and that if you aren’t in a relationship, you are lacking something. You are not ‘normal’. You are not a great person enough for people to want to be with you, for the sweet love of Jesus, for eternity.

I call that bullshit.

My idea of a relationship, after a few ones that ended, is that, I don’t necessarily NEED that type of emotional assurance. Initial stages of dating, that seduction, that flirtatious fun and humour, creative exchange of witty banters and sarcasm, is all fabulous and AMAZING, that’s the initial attraction level anyway. But what really is important to me, in order to have a full-fledged successful functioning long term relationship, is someone who can feel like home to me, yet we don’t make homes out of one another.

Somebody who can support my dreams, aspirations and respects me enough to be able to allow me to live myself truthfully, challenges me, gives me thought-provoking mental stimulation, guidance while mutually benefitting each other to grow and be the best versions of ourselves. To be there, simply because they are and are willing to help me with my problems, while I unconditionally want to help them with theirs. Together, we will achieve so much more.

Why do we enter relationships anyway? I do love the intimacy and tenderness, whether it be a physical proximity, sex, yet entering relationships solely for companionship does not work for me.

Maybe partly because I am a single child, I have long since learnt how to enjoy my solitude and have fully accepted it. My independence has shaped me and grounded me into who I am today, in doing the things I do, and being the way I am.

I previously had a conversation with someone I’ve been casually seeing which left me with a realisation I didn’t realise I have. Being truthfully honest, I realise even doing “cute romantic things” and acting it out in a certain way to me, feels unnatural. It feels like I am acting out scenes of sappy romantic movies that feels awfully scripted. That is not to say I can’t love or I am emotionless. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am everything but emotionless. I have profound emotions dwelling within the recesses of my mind 24/7. I just have a harder time expressing it and I simply have other ways of showing my love. Through acts of service, quality time, physical touch and presence. I find it more difficult to talk about my deepest personal feelings. It takes a lot and a special some one to be able to lure it out of my mouth.

Therefore, a relationship ultimately deemed worthy of pursuing is perhaps one that seemed more realistic and objective. I have never used the word ‘objective’ to describe a relationship, but it just made so much sense to me. The romantic emotional side of relationships are important and fun, not to dismiss them, they are necessary. Yet if we only chase that idea of those qualities in a long-term functioning relationship, it will not be able to work. Because feelings come and go, how are you never bored of someone? Can you say for sure? We only realise it when we know the relationship is bound to end and naturally bound to throw ourselves into the wells of heartbreaks, anger and hatred.

Only if we all take the time to truly think and ask ourselves what exactly do we want in a relationship. Is it love or emotional dependancy?

I would like a partner in crime. I would like someone to hate people together and to love them just as much. But we are completely separate individuals. No one really belongs to anyone. People are not objects.