You Are Not the Enemy: I See You, I Feel You.
“It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery, rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Dipping my toes in the ocean of meditative bliss, I am able to luxuriate in this state of silent surrender, in the lull of activity, as if time itself has stopped. My breath, like the ebb and flow of the tide, reels in and crashes on the nurturing shore with every inhalation and, with every exhalation, it returns faithfully to Source.
It is here in stillness and solitude that you dare to reveal yourself to me, audaciously unmasked. But I don’t recognize you. My heartbeat increases and adrenaline urges me to flee. Determined to triumph, I remain seated in silent rebellion. But the truth is that I am deeply unnerved, troubled to my core: I bridle at the mere knowledge of your presence.
But, instead of confronting you, I pretend that I cannot see you; I purposefully ignore you. I repeat my mantra more forcefully. Perhaps this internal clamoring will force you to scramble away, like a burglar interrupted by tenants, like the coward you are. Only you would prey upon me at a time like this when I am so vulnerable and so unguarded.
I increase the intensity of the chant, but you call my bluff, tenacious in your need for acknowledgement.
Stepping gingerly towards me, you whisper a series of “What ifs” in my ear. I can feel your warm breath upon my neck. Relentless in your pursuit of unnerving me, you clothe the thoughts that I would never dare to vocalize with the outward garb of words and I am sickened, horrified, and then, you pause to let the words soak into my consciousness, to penetrate my inner sanctum.
Merciless in your endeavors, the harangue persists.
I turn to face you head-on, emboldened by a sudden surge in valor; this time, analyzing your features more carefully. Strangely familiar, you remind of someone, like an echo is a reflection of an original sound.
Tremulous with the burden of understanding, my mouth gapes at the sudden realisation.
It is me you remind me of.
As I coax you into the light, I feel pangs of recognition in my gut. You are my greatest fear, my most tempestuous rage, my disgust, my arrogance; you are my defense mechanisms… you are my Darkness.
Holding your face in my hands, I peer deep into your wide eyes and I see you aching for validation, longing to be seen, desperate to be understood. I run my fingers through your thick, brown hair and I no longer feel threatened. Why are you crying? Darkness, I see you and… I feel you.
I see now that you weren’t trying to hurt me; it’s that I just wouldn’t listen. I was afraid — afraid of change, afraid of the consequences of listening to you. If I acknowledged you, I knew I’d have to act, and I didn’t have the courage. You made me feel uncomfortable. You made me think I was a bad person. It was easier to ignore you. But I see now that I didn’t understand your purpose.
Face to face, quivering with regret, I see that you are a neutral force. In the same way that fire can warm, it can burn too. Just as water cools and soothes and hydrates, it can also drown you.
Yes, you are my deepest fear, my arrogance and my rage. But, by allowing yourself to be seen so unapologetically, you also embody my greatest potential.
You are a catalyst for growth.
Like an ethereal makeup artist, I must add light to my areas of shadow and, in doing so, claim you. You are not a villain, Darkness.
You are a teacher.
Therefore, I humbly prostrate myself before you, Darkness, and thank you.
Anne Marie Morello considers herself a free-range human: she is a Yoga teacher, a writer, a counselor and an English teacher. She has recently embarked on a Master’s degree in Psychotherapy, and she is particularly interested in the benefits of therapeutic writing. Writing is an integral part of her life; it’s how she learns about herself and the world around her. It helps her deal with the ‘plot twists’ in life with some kind of grace and humility. Although she is no fan of spiders or parallel parking, she’s even less of a fan of the injustice she sees in the world. She tries to share kindness and love in her interactions with others in the hope that it will inspire others to do the same too.