Some days are gloomy. Some days are dark. Some days we aren’t where we want to be or where we know we could be. The sunshine is not shining in our lives and we feel in the dark.
I have days like this. Or shall I say moments. A day is never a bad day. Life is never all bad. Nothing is ever all black. Nothing is ever hopeless.
There are, however, moments where we can feel stuck, confused, depressed, anxious, or afraid. Moments where we can’t see anything past our current low state of being.
Yes, I have those moments more often than I would like to and when I do have them, I tend to get really down on myself because I am normally a really positive and optimistic person. I am able to shine my light and be my fun-loving, jokester, best-friend-mother, life-loving, veggie-hippie self. I get mad at myself in those moments because I know better. Those moments when I feel ashamed of who I am and begin to think that I should try and be something that I am not. Those moments when I judge myself for being me and not being like somebody else, or the way that I imagine I should be according to the rules of perfectionist land. (Ever been there?) Maybe I should be less of a friend to my children. Maybe I should not be such a jokester and be more stern and serious. Maybe I am setting a bad example. So and so doesn’t parent like me. Maybe I should be more worried about Serafina. Maybe it is weird that I like to eat so many vegetables and cook and bake so much. Maybe I should worry more that I don’t care about material things and that I don’t dress up and wear make-up. What if people think I am weird or judge me?
Thus goes the thought train.
In these moments, Craig, my wonderful knight in shining armor, then comes to my side to remind me that I don’t know the thoughts of others, worrying never helps anything, and feeling bad for feeling bad only perpetuates the cycle. He reminds me to just “be here now,” and to not worry about anything.
Although when I am in this state, I don’t like to be reminded of that truth, it resonates with me and I know that he is right. I know that even though I am intuitive and sensitive and that even if my fears and worries are justified or based in truth that dwelling in them doesn’t make anything better for anyone. And that is why I am glad that we have each other.
We had an awesome day today. Spring is beginning to arrive for us (fingers crossed) and we’ve been spending a lot of time outside. Serafina can finally get outside and we are all going for walks as a family again. We went for a nice long walk in the sunshine this afternoon and came home to all make Maple Garlic Veggie Stir-Fry together. The girls and I chopped the vegetables and Craig cooked it up, because he is so good at it. While us girls were doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen afterwards, we had Jason Mraz’s, “Love Is A Four Letter Word,” album playing in the background and I was reminded in this moment of how much there is to be grateful for. I found myself standing in a sunshine moment in my life and realized that this is what life is all about.
All those moments of worry are extinguished in those sunshine moments when you just stand and embrace the light. It isn’t like those dark thoughts and moments, those fears and anxieties do not exist anymore, but though they are still lurking around inside, in those sunshine moments, they do not rule my life. It is in those moments when I am reminded that sometimes we have to create our own sunshine. In fact we have to do it often.
When we went to the Jason Mraz concert in October, Jason Mraz talked about just this. He said that although people accuse him of being too positive or say that he writes so many positive songs, it isn’t because he is a positive person all the time at all. He actually writes those positive songs from those places of darkness. It is his ability to see thorough the temporal reality of that darkness and all of the “bad” or unwanted things in life and his acceptance of them that enables him to change those experiences of darkness to messages of love and light.
I feel exactly this way with my writing. When I feel down, or worried and I take the time to sit and to write and look back on photos from our week, I see how the light and dark are intermingled in this beautiful reality I call life. I realize how everything, every person, and every moment have brought me to exactly this point in time, right where I am, shaping me to be the person that I have become. And in coming back to this moment, I feel an extreme amount of gratitude for everything that has ever been placed in my path up until this point. Everything has happened exactly as it should have to bring me here to this realization.
This realization doesn’t just happen once, it has to happen again and again, because being a human being, living this human experience, we often forget. It is in our nature to forget. That is why I can’t ever just write a reflection once, or a gratitude post once, but continually, if I want to keep that sunshine in my life. I have to keep my mind centered on the reality I am living in and not in past regrets or future “what if’s.”
We all have to keep trudging along and meeting dark moments, continually awakening more and more as we go along. In those moment of awakening I don’t care about my weight, my messy house, our homeschooling, Serafina’s development, or what others think of me. I am happy to be here and happy to be me and living this life we have been blessed with.
Who would you be without those in your life who are there to help you get your sunshine back? Even the negative people are there for a reason. We need them too, to help us grow more confident in who we are and less afraid of criticism and disapproval. We need that resistance, that darkness, to see the light.
I know a lot of people don’t agree with this message because a lot of people want only to transcend the darkness, the negativity, the anxiety, the gloom, and the “bad,” but the fact is that it is there and it always will be there, whether we like it or not. We can dance with it though and therefore not let it consume us. We can recognize it and accept it. We don’t have to pretend that it doesn’t exist or act as though it shouldn’t. We don’t have to resist it or attempt to flee from it. If we can come to the acceptance that life is a balance of light and dark and accept that darkness as a part of our journey and a gift to enable us to evolve, then we can truly understand the place of darkness in our lives and in our world.
“There is something else that I would warmly suggest to you, and that is, do not rock yourselves to sleep with illusions.” I heard this quote by Rudolf Steiner on my walk this morning. It reminded me of that truth for us all. We should be conscious of our lives, our thoughts, and our inner darkness. When we hold the light of consciousness upon it, it cannot consume us. We neutralize its effects upon us when we keep it in the light of consciousness. I like to remind myself to know my demons. When I know what they are, I can keep them at bay. My three biggest demons, or fears are: worrying about being myself and judgement from others for sharing my innermost self through my writing, and the future of my children (especially Serafina). I am also super self-critical and not as confident as I would like to be. That is why writing is so good for me. It helps me to stay in the light, facing my inner darkness and fears and enables me to grow a little more in confidence.
So what is your attitude toward darkness? Do you recognize your fears and inner darkness? Are you able to stay awake and not asleep and deluded about reality? Do you feel truthful with yourself and your thoughts, or are you rocking yourself to sleep with illusions? How do you create your own sunshine in those dark and gloomy moments that life will inevitably bring?
These are the thoughts that were stirring in my mind today that I felt like reflecting upon and sharing. These are the questions I feel that we should ask ourselves.