Last week I wrote about hitting the Wall. Or rather, hitting walls, plural. About what it looks like when my body draws a #Nope card.
But there’s a wall I didn’t talk about. It’s a wall I don’t want to acknowledge. A wall that, quite frankly, isn’t supposed to be there.
It’s a wall I unintentionally built myself.
I have a charmed life. My husband is amazing. My kids are thriving. I’m getting along with my ex-husband, and his wife. I live in a cool city, I get to go do epic shit with kickass people. My friends are supportive ,and funny, and kind, and all the things I could want my friends to be. I have more events to attend and opportunities for culture and learning and fun than time to do them all.
I am surrounded by love and laughter and play and light.
And yet, there are still shadows. Big ones. The kind that wake me up at night in a cold sweat, the kind that start arguments where arguments weren’t expected. The kind that attract mistakes. The kind that undercut my self esteem, that prevent me from showing up, and the kind that invite me to spend a Saturday in bed, under the covers, sleeping my reality away.
They’re the kind that bind my hands and blind my eyes and restrain my feet, and keep me from the light. The kind that make me feel powerless. The kind that leave me gasping for air at the bottom of the pool.
I’ve always been good at avoiding shadows. I know how to outrun them, to sidestep, or to force them out. I know how to create plans, how to switch gears, and how to dance with my shadows. I know how to find a mess, make it bigger, and still make it fit in a nice neat box on a shelf in my garage to deal with some other undetermined time.
What I don’t know how to do, is to sit with my shadows until I’ve seen what they want me to see, done the work they’ve assigned me, and acknowledged that:
Where there is light, there is also shadow.
And all those boxes I shelved, all those things I put on hold so I could just stay outside in the light a little bit longer? Eventually, they made a wall. And that wall has one big fucking shadow.
And here I am, this time, sitting right in the middle of it, aware, and acknowledging, and very, very still. I’m wearing my shadow to work. I’m taking it to bed with me. It’s on my mat. It’s in my food. It’s even affecting my voice. It refuses to go away.
This time, the answer is not to ignore the shadow. This time, I cannot simply turn on a flashlight and create another temporary beam of light until I’m ready to handle real life.
This time, I choose to do the work that I don’t want to do.
I choose to stay long enough to see what this wall is made of. I choose to be strategic in its deconstruction instead of bulldozing through it without blueprints.
I choose to share my wall with you, so that you would know I am real. So that you would see my shadows too. And so that you would know when you’re at your wall, I see you there, and if you want someone to sit with you, I’ll be right here.
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