Lately I have been trying to make sense of how I act unconsciously. Watching to see what happens when I allow certain situations or people to push my buttons!
It has been a busy and somewhat stressful time for me over the past few weeks, and to get through this intense phase I know I need to be more aware of the emotions that I have disowned in myself, and therefore rub me up the wrong way when other people display that very ‘thing’.
To shine the light of awareness on my my own internal state is not easy, but it is helpful. For when we become conscious of a hidden belief or shadow that is driving us, we can integrate and ‘own’ it, and the dysfunctional behaviour that surrounds it will drop away. We rarely act in a way that is detrimental to our well-being once we are conscious of it.
Writing about this subject in the form of poetry has helped me to understand the concept better and apply it in my own life. I hope you enjoy the poem in its own right, along with the sublime art (which always reflects beautifully the human condition).
Long may the light shine on you (and your shadows!) Happy Sunday!
The Paradox of Polarities
Juliet lamented to Romeo: ‘parting is such sweet sorrow’,
Yet we love…yearning to insatiably consume,
Maybe fearing, perhaps craving the morrow.
What will fate serve us: fortune or doom?
Whatever may manifest in these given hours,
That which we truly see, is endowed with powers…
Where our vision dares to go, energy will flow,
Born are we, into the realm of black and white,
Intrepid into the shadow side, we must not go.
To survive this masquerade we stay in the light,
Reprisals in childhood make us afraid to venture,
As adults, what is perceived as dark, we censure…
Lurking somewhere beneath, dark soils unconscious mind,
It cannot be disowned, denied and repressed forever,
Expressing covertly as dysfunctional, not kind.
To exhibit that which we thought of never,
The voice we accept not in ourselves, or in others,
Speaks the loudest, drowns out, and smothers.
Despite our best efforts, eventually in vain,
We never will destroy shadows; our other side,
As night follows day, with pleasure comes pain.
The vast spectrum of life is not easy to divide,
Opposites attract, nay, depend on each other to exist,
Demarcation is purely conceptual, shrouded in mist…
How humans define polarity is arbitrary,
Endless primordial cauldron of emotion,
Good against evil can be so contrary.
Life and death, clarity and confusion,
Appear they, to be separate ideas of reality,
Isolated by social convention, for the sake of sanity…
Thus, one ‘thing’ is split into a patchwork field,
We can only appreciate health because of illness,
Energy delineated, to create our journey we wield.
We can harm or heal; by practice, learn to witness,
The inner states with which we play the game,
Be we happy or sad, empty or full, of pride or shame…
To avoid any experience is to fall on our sword,
Better to watch and feel, then move forward,
Enjoy passion, shun apathy, either inspired or bored.
Awareness frees us from stagnation and being cornered,
To surf the panoply and panorama of tides,
Waves of dichotomy ebb and flow from all sides…
The paths we take are followed in physics,
Nature’s eternal, divine laws unfold regardless,
To deny a part of the whole is to set limits.
What is buried, resisted and guarded will surface,
Dip into darkness again; find a flicker of light,
A single, bright, dancing flame expands in sight…
We make up right and wrong as we go along,
Physical forms of the infinite, quantum reality,
Both here and not here; is a part of our song.
For singing softens the immutable tree of polarity,
Rotting roots, scarred bark, broken branches, lofty leaves;
Wild forest, shaped into desired topiary: thus life weaves…
By Virginia Burges