So fellow travelers, there are times on the journey when we encounter something which triggers such a strong response, we find ourselves reacting without thinking.
I had such an experience yesterday and it had me throwing around thoughts so distracting, I had to get them out of my heart and mind. Early this morning, I wrote a post, put it up on the blog and went about my day. Only something did not feel right.
Posting my thoughts did not quiet the dialogue running in my head nor did it lessen the intensity of my feelings.
Photo from the original post, feeling fenced in, reaching for the light
It was not until my afternoon walk with Delilah, still so unsettled I was talking out loud to myself (fortunately none of my neighbors were out walking today) that clarity prevailed. I deleted the post as soon as I returned from our walk.
I realized I had allowed myself to post something written from a mindset of angry judgement. I write from all kinds of emotional frames, its therapy for me. I do not believe I should publish everything I write just because that is how I feel at that time. Being honest and authentic does not mean subjecting my readers to emotional bile.
It does not matter how justified or righteous the anger I felt was and I am certain if I laid out the details of who said and did what most readers would agree with my assessment of who was “in the wrong.”
None of that matters. What is crucial is I became aware I had let the situation push me into a space so uncomfortable I was reacting from emotional instinct lacking integrity or compassion. Ironically that’s the same frame of reference the source of this issue was coming from. I found myself in a dialogue which veered further and further from my core values, making judgmental statements void of kindness and compassion.
Even in my worst moments, that is not who I want to be.
I am often amazed, alarmed even, at how quickly darkness can over take the best and brightest of souls. I am equally amazed at how the smallest shaft of light has the ability to pierce that darkness .
Still, that light has to be let in. Sometimes, sadly we encounter others who seem compelled to drive out light not only from their own lives but from the lives of others as well. Their pain so defines them, they are unable to allow healing or joy into their own lives and cannot stand for others to be happy or whole. When people reach out to them in compassion, those acts of kindness are belittled, often in ways which leave those who reached out feeling as if they have done something wrong. The cycle of anger and pain continues unless we consciously move beyond it.
We can acknowledge pain yet refuse to let it define us. Shadow gives definition to light but is not the source of light. Faith in goodness is what saves us from being consumed by darkness. Yet there are times when the most compassionate action we can follow is to remove ourselves from the cycle of hurt. When we stop feeding into that cycle, when we remove our energy, all that is left is the original source of hurt. Only then can they begin to heal and only if they choose to let in the Light. No one can make that choice for someone else. We must each choose darkness or light for ourselves.
I may wander into darkness as I stumble through life, but I will not remain there. I will never turn my back on someone truly seeking help, but I will not feed cycles of anger. The time I have given to me is too precious to spend on bringing Light where it is not welcome. There are so many people seeking hope, searching for joy, eager to find the Light. Theirs are the voices I choose to listen for.
Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.