Bit by bit, I seem to be opening my eyes to reality. I recently had a deepening understanding of the truth that what we focus on increases and gains more importance. Over the last year I have been intent on discovering and embracing the darker aspects of myself. No longer ignoring them or banishing them, but learning to embrace them as a part of me and accepting them.
In this process, I have been very willing to admit all my faults. I am selfish, capricious, fickle, lazy, I have a short attention span, I want to be comfortable and adored and loved all the time despite my own actions, I limit my vision of the future to avoid seeing what I don't want to see, I have a hard time saying no. . . there is plenty about me that is less than desirable.
In each instance that these aspects of myself came up, I would acknowledge it. I would even try to like that part of myself, or revel in being that person for the moment, in an attempt to accept it more and reduce conflict in my heart. I would try to be mean or sneaky or lazy with a will instead of unconsciously being that thing I dislike. In many ways, this has opened me up to more of who and what I am. However, I now understand that the more I indulge these aspects the deeper they become. No longer a part of myself that I avoid, they could become parts I enhance, and I don't really want to do that.
I have a bit more of an understanding about the two wolves battling in one's heart, as the metaphor goes. The one you feed is the one that wins. At first I was just wanting to know what the dark wolf was, what it wanted, how it worked. And it was good to learn more about her, because she is a part of me that will run my life from a subversive and unconscious place if I ignore her. I don't always understand why she wants to leap into the hurtful things, but I get the sense that she is the part of me that wants to experience everything, whether it hurts me or not, whether it hurts others or not. She wants this simply to be alive, to have all of the experiences, to vibrantly suffer and cause suffering, to willfully and joyfully enjoy earthly delights. There is some beauty in it, I can't deny that. Her gift is to balance the light wolf, who dwells in the theoretical and ethereal, honorable and virtuous but apart from the guts and gore that is corporeal life. The light wolf loves from a place of grandeur and morals, logical, sweet and calm.
To focus only on the dark wolf led me to spiral a bit into self-pity, wondering why doing what I seemed to want to do caused pain. Allowing every whim to surface and be followed through on got a bit chaotic. To make sense of it, the mind tried to impart meanings where there were none; make up stories to fill in gaps and create histories that were false. Deciding that I WAS the dark wolf - selfish, seductive, crafty, epicurean, lazy - framed all of my thoughts and actions for the time. But I am more than that. I am also the light wolf - brilliant, creative, generous, thoughtful, industrious.
I suppose the union of the two wolves is the best idea, instead of starving one and bloating the other, then switching which one gets to be fed. Balance is important. In remembering that I am not only darkness but also light, my entire being is returning to a state of peace. I feel closer to being ME, and not just aspects of myself. Isn't it interesting that we need to swing the pendulum far out in both directions in order to remember that we don't have to be fully on one side all the time?
This weekend has been one of rest and rejuvenation. I am really happy to remember that I am allowed to simply BE, even if I only remember it for a little while. Baths, candles, fresh food, music, friends. Life is good. :)