Light vs Dark
I embrace the darkness. I “get” chaos and anxiety, I understand pain and sorrow, and shame and guilt are on my radar more often than not. These are places that feel familiar, comforting even, and after spending much of my existence delving into the deeper caves of the human condition, there are times at which I feel that these are the only “real” emotions. Even when things are going well, I feel anxiety. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I call it being realistic.
After a lot of sessions at Rooted, people report feeling “good” or “at peace” and up until last week, I would find myself questioning this. Not questioning them, but just the idea of digging deep and coming up breathing beautiful air. Because for me, when I dig deep, I almost always find the icky shit and come up coughing and gasping. The emotions that are unsettling for most people are the ones that I feel at home with- I find connection through them. You feel pain? I know pain. You feel fear? I got that. In fact, I’ve taken this on as one of my “things”- it kind of defines who I am.
So, this week I had to ask myself – What about happiness? What about joy?
Things have been going well for me lately. Really well. Unusually WELL. And my brain is having a helluva time trying to compute. “We don’t know what to do with this coding,” it tells me. In fact, in a recent session, most of my writing was about how things are finally coming together in my life. Yet, when it came time to say what I was feeling, I didn’t choose happiness because I saw that as a cop out. I was scared that if I set a cheerful tone, then it wouldn’t create a space where others could speak their deep and dark. So instead, I chose guilt. Granted, there is a degree of guilt hiding underneath my own successes AND at the same time, there were gratitude and pride waiting right there in the wings and I ignored them.
So my lesson this week is that the process we have created at Rooted works with or without me- it is so much bigger than me. Although I am a facilitator, I am not responsible for making others confront their own darkness. I am only responsible for setting the tone of authenticity even when it isn’t dark. Sometimes the truth is good ole fashioned happiness. The light is just as important and just as valid as the dark, and within me, I hold both and so should feel free to express them equally.