June 24, 2013

Reflective moments — Shadows

The following contains language that might be unsuitable to some readers.
Photo credit: Thias  

  If you dont have any shadows you're not in the light― Lady Gaga

Some of us have learned enough to leave them lurking far behind; and for some, they are very much ahead. The decisions we make in our lives are shaped by their existence. You can still hear the voices in your head, you can still feel the weight on your shoulders, dragging you, holding you back. It's not easy to break free. For one, they are weaved into your fiber. Successfully navigating through requires time, experience, work. You have to know what they are exactly to learn how to work through them. They're usually disguised in the familiar, comfortable, safe. They have a strong hold on you and you dread getting out. For one, it's probably all you know. Ever heard a voice in your head telling you, you must do what someone tells you—that sidestepping reeks with repercussions? How about, you couldn't do better? You are nothing without (your answer here)? You couldn't possibly amount to anything on your own? You are such a loser. You most likely ate it up, in turn, it infiltrated your very core, you find yourself walking around in fear.

None of us, from the time we are born knows exactly what happens to us. As we navigate the jungle of life, we let ourselves fall―it's a no-brainer someone has your back, you don't even think about this fact. I mean, that's what your loved ones are there for, goes without saying. You operated on trust; trust, in turn leads you to believe that nothing, or no one would stir you towards the wrong direction. Generally, it's the well-meaning, nice looking, compassionate, empathetic, good, kind, close to you. They claim to know you, they can even complete your sentences, make some lucky guess at some of your thoughts and emotions. They've probably seen you at your worst. They were present in your formative stages when you weren't sure of yourself. They've been the shoulders you leaned on on-occasion. They've rendered useful advice. They've spewed some theory on what your life should be like. They have pledged an undying love for you, to vouch for you always, to be there through the tough times to help you pull through.  Maybe, you can relate, you've been there. But somehow, one day you wake up and realize,"this is bullshit!" "I don't believe this shit!" "This sucker have been played." "I've been used." "How the hell did I let this happen?" You've been walking aimlessly in the direction stirred and suddenly you stumble, face flat in a pond; you encounter your reflection and don't recognize yourself. You've been hurt, it's getting cloudy, you hobble the rest of the way with a shadow so overpowering to knock you back down. You realize, you've become a victim of your own circumstances. It's a wake up call really; suddenly, it hits you—all the times past, your life existed solely for others' benefit.  You relinquished your powers and opinions for the greater good.  You've been oblivious, you trusted, you diminished your intuitions, you rationalized, you chose to live in ignorance about the fact that you've become a victim.

You've been used at an advantage.  The folks using you have no intention of returning the favor.  They make you feel bad the moment you question their motives.  They guilt you into continuing an unhealthy relationship.  You...in turn, rationalize unhealthy behavior, after all any relationship is better than being alone—you dread being alone.  Unfortunately, an unhealthy relationship will continue until the victim cuts off its life-source.  The user have no intentions of slowing down or stopping.  You really know a relationship is unhealthy when it sucks the life out of you.  By the time you realize it, a long time has passed, you've built up resentment and anger; they become a heavy weight to bear.

Reality hits you finally when you realize you've been walking a lonely road, look to your left and to your right; forwards, backwards; up and down and no one, absolutely no one is there. Instead you are jolted to your core by the howls of wolves who are happy for their easy prey. You wonder where the hell is everybody? Only when you find yourself isolated that you really feel the weight of your shadows.  It feels like you've been tossed into the abyss of party of one, you find yourself on an island all by yourself and no chance of SOS.  You're hobbling through life's bumps, prickly thorns and sinkholes and yet, no one, absolutely no one remains; they are all gone.  No one wants to be in the party of one—the loser, the failure.  That party isn't fun, at all.  No one wants to hear that you've been in a landslide, muddied water.  They would rather be at the top of the hill, where the grass is green and the ground is steady; at the fun party where everybody whose somebody attends and fun never takes a holiday.  Funny because, at one time in your life, you used to be fun.  It seemed everyone was around you, vouching for you, telling you they care. But then you realize, things were good then; you brought home the biggest kill.

Somehow, you realize there was an agenda all along, some folks have been in your life because of some benefit.  They didn't plan on sticking around.  Somehow your existence to them have been for a selfish purpose, once achieved, you will never see them again.  They claimed to love you, however you realize you dealt with the most judgmental make of a human being who disdained the ground that you walked on.  You make time for them and they think spending time with you is doing charity work for the needy.  They assume their lives are more important than yours—you have to make an appointment for their time.  They easily point out your flaws and how you need to change, however they're infallible.  You walk on egg shells around them, you can't even be yourself—pretty much impossible since you don't even know yourself.  Some of these folks didn't even like you.  I wonder, is it possible to love someone when you don't like them? Is it even possible to love someone when you feel comfortable lying to their face without a second thought?  How can you possibly like someone when you can't be honest with them?  Is there a relationship without a true sense of self?
I have spent much of my adult life flinching with pain as I tried to pull out the threads that bound the shadows of my past to me. — Lorna Luft
No stranger can hurt you as much as your loved ones can.  By the time you realize it, you're left in all the aftermath: the pain and the heavy shadows cast.  No one is throwing you a life raft, you have to save yourself.  Although you've come to the realizations of your circumstances, it doesn't mean anyone else realizes it the same way.  You're an erupting volcano; you're about to take drastic measures.  Your mind is about to get a make over; you finally take responsibility, make decisions that only you can make, take total control. In the jungle, the strongest survive. Necessity causes a sense of urgency, you find a way to pull yourself out of danger. Sadly, no one will see that coming, all of a sudden they look up, down; left, right; forward, backward and you're not there.  They wonder: Where are you?  What happened? Did you end up on a deserted island? Did you become some wild animal's breakfast? Did you get devoured?  ARE YOU OKAY? Unfortunately, their focus is on the wrong subject.  You've gotten on board the boat that has your life stamped to it.  It's unfortunate they missed the boat.

So the truth goes like this: you have been suckered, punked, played by the very ones you have trusted your whole life and that shit hurts.  You're left with the heavy shadows cast, a vessel of a being that you haven't fully claimed to begin with because you've been busy listening to the voices in your head.  There's so much cloud hanging over you from your sorrows that cast a shadow, so overpowering that you don't imagine the light shinning.  The light has been there all along, you just haven't paid attention.  Be it as it may, you must deal with them—now this is the challenge—some of us have not learned how to come out of our shadows.

Every experience in life is a teaching tool—tuition paid for a valuable life education.  No experience, especially a bad one is a waste, it's simply part of the education. You're either in my life to bring me blessings or teach me a lesson.  Bad experiences build for us a suit of armor.  There's really no reason to regret them; there's always a silver lining.  Some of us might need help finding it; sometimes, it requires a professional (ain't no shame in that), however you must find it, or your shadows will devour you—literally.  We all know countless folks out there devoured by their own shadows.

As I reflect on my shadows I realize we all have them—we have to get out of our shadows to see the light. In the vehicle of life uniquely designed for each and every one of us, we have to be in the driver's seat; control the steering wheel. To choose to remain in your shadows, you relinquish all control.  You can't put the keys to your happiness in someone else's pocket.  For me, I make the conscious effort to get out of my shadows everyday.  I choose to be in the light, and I'll tell ya: life is veeery different in the light.

Thanks for reading.
I appreciate you.

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