Monday, 19 April 2010

Ebb and Flow

The only constant in my life, it would seem, is my total lack of consistent equilibrium. I find myself swaying from peace to fear, and back again, quite regularly. Here I’m not talking only of the emotions that play out in my life, but the deeper state of being that influences how I experience everything around me. When I’m living from a state of peace everything flows smoothly and I am awash with joy. Conversely, when I’m living from a state of fear everything seems harder and my self-confidence is a little shaky.

I know swinging back and forth between extremes is no way to live life, so I’ve spent a lot of time and energy over the years trying to maintain balance. I’ve used various methods – writing, meditation, Reiki, travelling, and just plain old fun – to help me tap into that deep peace that I know resides within me. I’ve felt the peace intensely at times. I can identify it, when it happens, in an instant. But developing a way to hold onto that peacefulness has eluded me. The fear always seems to creep back in eventually and it’s usually around this time that I start to berate myself for still not having found that treasured balance. And once I turn against myself, the fear takes a firmer grip.

This vicious cycle, I’m realising, is the product of my insatiable need for perfection. I suppose I’ve always been a perfectionist, but I found my desire for this ideal (where it relates directly to me) increased once I began my spiritual journey. It was as though once I became aware of my divine essence and connected to that sublime peaceful feeling, anything less was a monumental failure. If I wasn’t living in peace and joy and happiness and all those wonderful things, I felt I was failing at what I perceived to be my divine purpose – living in a constant state of bliss. The fear state became the quintessential negative, a trait I felt had to be squashed and overcome completely if I was ever to find peace. If I felt, for no apparent reason, afraid or angry or sad I figured I had been swept to the negative ‘dark side.’

Fortunately, over the last few days I’ve had some powerful insights aided by a Crystal Healing course I attended (taught by a wonderful friend of mine) and my reading, and completion, of the thirteen temple initiations I’ve been working through in the book 'The Temples of Light' by Danielle Rama Hoffman. These insights are helping me greatly right now.

On the crystal healing course, during a very deep meditation, I was reminded that it is ok for me to be my shadow self just as much as my light self. I am a well-rounded entity and self-acceptance means embracing both the yin and yang of me. They are not necessarily ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ traits, more like two various aspects of me, differences that when embraced as one give me a solid grounding in life. I don’t need to release, or squash, my shadow (fear), rather I need to merge with my shadow and know that its place within me is just as valid as the light. Every part of me has an opposing part that complements and strengthens the whole. One is not ‘bad’ and the other ‘good’, instead they simply are.

Danielle Rama Hoffman’s words added to this. She talks about the expansion and contraction of life, the ebb and flow of energy –

“Energy is most often described in a wave form: a peak and a valley, a crest and a fall, sun and moon, low and high tide; energy expanding and contracting. You probably recognise this flow in your own life; there are times when you feel your life expanding and others when you feel your life contracting.”

On further introspection I realised that I had a pattern, an ebb and flow of energy, occurring in my life. When I’ve connected intensely to my divinity, essentially expanding my energy, its opposing contraction has always inevitably followed. Until now, I’ve viewed this contracting force as failure; as soon as I felt my energies shifting towards fear I considered my spirituality to be abandoning me. But now I realise that the contraction of energy is necessary – just as both high and low tide are necessary in nature. Energy moves in waves and just like life it is never static. That is the beauty of life, after all. Things are always shifting, seasons change and life blooms anew. People learn and experience and grow.

That’s the perfection of life; the all-encompassing ideal I’ve been searching for. I am whole. The light and the dark. The ebb and the flow. If I was static I wouldn’t even be alive. Now there’s a revelation!

To live in peace and bliss is a conscious choice. I now recognise it is possible to find a joyful equilibrium in life, but not until I’ve embraced my shadow and accepted its valid place within me. Whenever I feel my energy contracting I know not to berate myself. Instead I’ll work on acknowledging the wonderful ebb of life.

To ebb is not to fail.

1 comment:

  1. Erin, this is a really interesting and well written piece, thanks for sharing your thoughts :) I'm really looking forward to seeing more of your stuff on here, love the site!
    Lots of love