Written by Nikky Johnson, WLLC 2015-2016
Often times, especially when finding ourselves caught up in the commotions of the world, we find ourselves in a shadow; a sad and scary and unhappy place to be. I find myself in this shadow when I focus too hard on school, and forget to call my sister or my mother or take a moment and breath and reflect on life. In these moments, when I forget that I’m loved and cherished and special, I take life for granted. I do not search for the light in life, the joy, the peace. Instead I am overwhelmed in some suffering… And I find that the “selves” that I despise in myself come out. My “controlling self” (Shadowy Parts Worksheet #1), and my “insistent self” (Shadowy Parts Worksheet #1) begin to override any other self that attempts to be present in my life. In these moments, when I am so caught up in my own life and my own mind, I forget the love that others have for me. I am blinded by my control and my insistence to see the love poured onto me and trying to fill me from my loved ones. And I have found that all it takes is one giant moment of reflection, a wake up call from someone who notices my struggle.
Often times this is someone close to me like my sister, my boyfriend, my roommate, or my mother who know how I react to this shadow. Most recently it was my boyfriend who absent-mindedly said, “Nikky stop trying to control me.” Though stunned and hurt by his words, I was instantly enlightened with my awful behavior and how it had been affecting my relationships and life and my light. There was no light, just a shadow of contol hanging over me; the thing I most despised about myself and often found myself denying.
And so I began the process of realization, to end this denying that had negatively impacted my relationship with my boyfriend. In doing so, I found insight in these words we studied in class:
“It may seem that there is no way for you to close the loop, that it’s too much. Open your heart into the too-much-ness, slowly, for very short periods of time, and then rest. Even for just a couple seconds, use your presence to touch what is emerging–just enough to light up a new path, but not so much that you overwhelm or re-traumatize yourself” (Matt Licata, Nothing to Heal).
I followed Matt Licata’s advice and I faced the too-much-ness of my control. I let the guilt of letting control, control my life fill me. I let the shame of denial fill me. I let the anger of hurting my boyfriend fill me, and then I let them go. And instead of this dark, gloomy, controlling shadow that had been hanging over my soul, instead I was filled with forgiveness and light. I forgave myself for this shadow, my boyfriend forgave me for my control, and I found a peace like never before in finding forgiveness in the grace of God. And on that note, I leave you with this quote from the ones we discussed in class:
“The soul always knows that to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind” (Caroline Myss).
Face your too-much-ness, then calm your mind, and let your soul heal…for there is no greater emotional or spiritual wellness than this peace.