Ironically I went to write about this chapter a week ago, but the first line: Express yourself, then keep quiet captivated me. Something inside of me just went mmm quiet… and I stuck with that for quite some time.
Good thing too, as I was stormy as hell inside. It had been a rough week. The rest of this chapter pulls from the metaphor of weather, and I spent a lot of time thinking about that.
Be like the forces of nature:
when it blows there is only wind;
when it rains there is only rain;
when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.
So I let my life blow, and boy did it blow. Funny thing weather, it’s always changing, it’s easy to forget that and always seek the sunshine. I like my sunshiny self – the one that’s calm, patient, loving, accepting. I think that is who I am, and the pissy, bitter, pessimistic, self pitying person I had to reside in last week is some foreign thing not of me I try and avoid.
This chapter reminds me it’s all weather, it’s all me. No judging. It’s me that decides which states of being are good, which ones are bad; in reality it’s all me, just in different states and circumstances. Being angry about the times my soul gets stormy makes about as much sense as telling the sky not to rain. It’s gonna rain when it’s gonna rain, and the dynamic changes in life are what makes it alive.
It took until I was back in a sunshiny time to see the value in the storm. It’s the dark times in my own life that build the compassion that helps me understand others. When a friend in a depressive episode disappears for a few weeks, when someone is all twisted up love sick and obsessive, a part of me can be in that space with them, understand them, because, hell, I’ve been there. Suffering builds empathy, there’s not really any way around that, and it’s an important skill to have.
Compassion is what makes us most beautifully human. Why I look with such scowling eyes upon the storm that brings it is beyond me. There’s beauty in storms, the power, the turmoil, the churning of light and dark. Some of my happiest moments are ones standing in awe of the electric life of a really dark storm. There are people like Tremaine Lea who’s life passion is going out there and chasing those storms, bringing back images of the dark beauty that most of us are unwilling to leave our comfortable lives to go and see.
I’m going to take that attitude into the weather of my ever changing soul. Stand in awe of the beauty and power of all that churning darkness, knowing that it is part of being alive; the contrast to the gleaming sunshine, all the more sparkly after the passing storm.
4 thoughts on “ToV 23 – Storm Chasing for Soul Seekers”
Dark beauty…sparkly after the passing storm… I love these images. Again, Valerie your reflections and writing are so spot on and rich.
Something has switched inside me. I’m loving this dark side of myself. It started about 12 years ago. For whatever reason, there was a person inside me who wanted to disappear. I didn’t really understand what was happening. I kept being attracted to stories about people who chose to disappear from their lives. And there was something there that I identified with.
After the desire to disappear worked itself around I began an exploration of my dark side. It manifested on the outside as I chose to wear mostly black. Nothing gothic about it, just chose to wear mostly black. And I was fascinated by labradorite, a semi precious stone which has the illusion of layers of dark iridescent shadows. There were some cobwebby corners of myself that had been submerged for quite some time. It was scary to creep into those long forgotten corners.
I had to learn to love those hidden bits of myself, embrace them, welcome them as an integral part of myself. It was not all sunshine, and downright painful a lot of the times. Not only for me but for those around me too. I hurt a lot of people going through that dark place. But I had to trust the process and be honest with myself. Out of those depths, I found something beautiful, like a black pearl, started from irritation but rounded and smoothed until it’s polished beauty shone.
This change is manifesting itself again in the choice of colours I am attracted to. I am really loving wearing red. And this is really telling, because all throughout my childhood my mom would say, “You look great in red. You should wear it more often.” I hated myself in red. I thought it made me look huge and people would then look at me. I’d be a spectacle. I feel so differently about red now. And I’m choosing to wear other bright colours like purple and turquoise, rich greens and lemony yellows. I’m even wearing jewelry which has never been part of my wardrobe before. It’s like someone inside me is saying, “You are damn gorgeous and you should show the world!” Thank goodness for second hand stores and thrift stores!
And I am sure that the process isn’t completed. Like weather patterns, exploring oneself will have cycles of lows and highs.
Some books that helped me through the past few years to find the beauty of me were:
anything by Pema Chodron, and a spectacular little book called How to Befriend your Shadow by John Monbourquette, and I read and wrote lots of poetry too. I loved participating in Valerie’s Being Human poetry conversation. It was a huge part of those years.
Maybe the pissy self needs to accept the sunny self that went galloping into the world and got one into whatever situations. It could go both ways. Just shake your head and smile. Not a happy smile, more like a life repeating itself smile, a wow, enlightenment is impossible smile.
Haha! I love this idea of my pissy self having to deal with the trouble my happy bounding self got us into. Hauntingly accurate methinks!
Such a beautiful post! I connected well with it!