Just when I felt like I was floating on an eternal pool of light, the darkness set in.
It started with a pit in my stomach. Followed by rapid heart-rate and shortness-of-breath. “Anxiety?!’, I asked myself. “But why?”.
The age old question – Why?
I often think that I can narrow it down to one thing. The idea of handing over the responsibility to ‘something else’ sometimes helps alleviate some of the pressure around the situation.
But in that moment, I couldn’t even mentally still myself enough to try to connect with whatever ‘the reason’ was.
Shortly thereafter, I remembered that Gotu Kola (an herb that is used for cognitive function) helps with anxiety, so I decided to brew some it, with a bit of Rose and Motherwort.
The comfort I felt from the tea assuaged some of the physical symptoms, but the mental tension still lingered.
It was inexplicable, really. It kind of still is. The following few weeks felt like judgement and sadness, like a dark cloud had come to visit, decided to stay, and wouldn’t stop raining on me. Everything I saw in my reality for those few days, could only be seen through a dark drizzle.
I won’t go much further into what I was experiencing during that time. What I will say is that it felt a bit like a break up. But instead of leaving a romantic relationship, I was separating from the relationship I had with a (expected) future version of myself.
Now that I am out of it, I think about the those deep feelings, and the ‘darkness’ that came to visit. I think it’s considered ‘darkness’, because it is something that hasn’t been revealed yet, something that is still ‘in the dark’.
If there is one thing that life continuously reminds me, it is that I am still learning about myself. Everyday. Learning to listen to the rhythm that has been with me since before birth, and to not let the thoughts and stories I tell myself get in the way of the music. I’m learning that personal growth and self-mastery are a life-long journey, and any peak that has been reached is but a momentary rest-stop before the next leg is embarked upon. Learning still, that the darkness and the down days, are apart of the journey. A part of the change. A part of the life of a human being.
But that’s the hard part, right? When you’re in it, it’s like “WTF, I did all of this work for what?! Just to end up back where I started!?”. This is the illusion. You are not back where you were – you are here. Maybe some of the themes or the feelings are similar, but it’s never the exact same place twice. Even if it looks and feels like stagnation, there is always movement, always motion. Even if the only motion is your chest moving up and down from your life-sustaining breath. You are still doing it.
It’s gets easier, and then harder, and then easier again, and the waves continue. The dark comes to show you what you need to know, need to work through. It’s a part of us, all of us. Can’t have pleasure without pain. The good without the bad. The joy without the sorrow. Those are the gifts that we receive and give, as emotional beings.
What a blessing it is, to be able to feel.
So the pain, the doubt, the judgement – see it, give it space to move through, and then watch it go. We need not believe all of the stories we tell ourselves.
So instead of feeling guilt for not sticking to a plan, revel in your dynamic, adaptive abilities. Instead of feeling like you’ve ‘wasted your time’, give credit to the lessons that brought you to that judgement. Instead of seeing your broken-heart as a weakness, acknowledge that you were brave enough to love.
Feeling is a strength.
Feeling is something to take pride in.
Feeling, is what gives us life.
Here’s to the constant waves of life.