Monday, April 23, 2007

Light and Shadows

I am at peace this hectic Monday afternoon. Deep soul restoring peace. This is not my normal state. I am by nature a nervous nellie. I am the little meerkat standing guard on a rock while the rest of the troupe snoozes in the sun. This inborn trait was honed to painful perfection by an appallingly idiotic childhood. But this afternoon I am at peace. I am grateful.

Wrote about my obsession with Gerry Butler/Phantom on Friday. Am very embarrassed by this episode and others like it. Felt shame in outing a bit of the darker side of my nature. From the age of twelve I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian household. I learned to shun the darkness and seek the Light. Satan was alive and well and hungering for my immortal soul. The thing is, when you have been abused you have difficulty pinpointing exactly who or what is Satan. Evil which could/can seduce me down to death I associate with pleasure. And, being the only form of security/happiness I was allowed to know, I have consciously and unconsciously sought it out. I loved/love darkness. The Light on the other hand is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I am safe cocooned in obsessive darkness (my main abuser's obsessive darkness.) Light love is scary. You have to stand up and see, and be seen. Nothing is hidden. Light love is not obsessive and yet is willing to die for you. It is tough and cheerful and clear.

I was taught and believed when I gave my heart to the Light my desire for the darkness would vanish. Nay not so Abou Ben Adam. I lived/live mostly in the Light but my forays into darkness were/are often enough to screw up my life and make me soul stranglingly guilty. And strangely enough, lead to massive bouts of creativity along with the smarmy pain. "Mine your pain" I believe the artist's say. What did I ever know from artists? I was/am a farm girl turned nurse. My mother was so sick, and she wrote reams of poetry. Not the road for me. I did/do not write or paint or sing or dance or sew or garden. I just stewed/stew in my own guilt. I was/am a big ole fat neurotic over sexed sinner. Until yesterday.

The sermon turned out to be about photography. "Light and Shadows," he called it. He talked first about the killings in Virginia and the darkness of the world without the Light of Christ. I believe this. I am living proof. God does dispel darkness and is slowly Lightening my soul. I want a world of no more darkness. What happened in Virginia was motivated in darkness. This was the main gist of the message. But at the end of the sermon he asked, "Have you ever seen an overexposed picture. The brightness negates the content." What the hey? Brightness as a negative thing? This caught my attention. "We need the shadows to see clearly what is going on. The shadows, the dark areas are the ground on which the light areas float." At this point I was outright crying. "The shadows are necessary to highlight the the action. They give dept to a photo and to our lives. The key is to be able to control the shadows. Too dark and all is obscured, to light and everything is washed out. Embrace and use the shadows in your life. Treasure them for putting all things in focus." Something in me was loosed.

This sermon is liberating me. I will no longer run from my energy filled obsessions. I will stop being embarrassed by them. They put all things in focus. I am going to wake Gilda up and find out about her need for Gerry Butler. Like the fat she is filled with much needed information. Anyone got an pick axe? I am going mining.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

P.S. We are going to look at a house on a mountain side tomorrow. Stay tuned.


Debra said...

I think your ex-Jungian analyst would agree that it is our mission to integrate our shadow -- the dark part of us -- into our personality and to reconcile ourselves. Put in a Christian context, it is Jesus' command to us to take the plank out of our own eye -- I believe he exhorts us to self-encounter, not for self-aggrandizing reasons, but so that we will busy ourselves with our own salvation and not seek to project our dark selves onto others whom we then judge and hate.

Lori said...

I can't really even add anything except to say what a great post.

Debra said...

Hey, Lori, I never noticed this before, but your shoes match my shirt. Just sayin'. :)

Cindy174 said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, especially since I have been feeling the darker self the past few days or so. I am going to ponder the significance of it all. Thanks!!

BigAssBelle said...

i have lived in the darkness and i live in the light. finding a way to incorporate my past without being drawn back into it was quite a struggle, but the end result is someone i like / love / cherish on my best days.

i don't blame myself or curse myself for the things that i did, the way i thought, felt, what happened to me. i look at that old me as a lost young woman trying to find her way in the world.

i have grown up in many ways, though i feel, still, no more than 25 on the inside. but i don't have to blame and punish and criticize and cut her to ribbons. she did the best she could and, having lived through some serious darkness, the luster of her light-filled days is a sight to see.

i think having been the way i used to be makes me appreciate so much more the way i am (most of the time) today.

this is a beautiful post. thank you for sharing this piece of yourself.