Relationships are much like sunlight flirting with shadows or like the scurry of bird’s feet speaking with the earth -- just before flight. Relationships evoke emotions that ride with waves that kiss the tempest inside of us; with learned trust we are rarely not too far from a lighthouse that will bring us closer to the sea caves of our awareness. This is a place of fierce love. That bold, shy, quiet, raging holiness where we see for the first time, again and again, that our mistakes are our gifts.
Our heated complexities double-bind us until we stop running from our shadows and embrace them as one of us. Instead of exquisitely trying to deny and displace them. Such are the projections we narrate that ‘they’ could not be ‘us’ and yet ‘they’ are ‘us’ in the most extraordinary way. This isn’t easy.
However, when we begin to see clearer, we can step into our shadows and befriend our personal eclipses. Our conflicts, distrusts, poignantly distressed relationships, as well as golden ones are almost certainly there to teach our soul the colors are within. And maybe, as we continue to walk along this bridge, we will understand that this love is real as it is whole and holy us.
When sadness comes, welcome her as you would joy. She has a message too. Joy is simple to share; there’s something warm to hold onto.
But with sorrow, there’s an abyss that struggles to find the narrowest ledge. Grey drains to empty. The sands underneath shift with torrential rains. Midnight stays, and songs lay low with the bass of sorrow’s belly.
Sorrow is a warrior’s instrument reaching inside and using rib to strum heart. She is alone. Thoughts can drown there. Tiny opaque birds will peck at the remains of the shedding skin too small for what is to come.
In sorrow’s snare spiritual growth isn’t vertical; it wanders like plankton far out to sea – lost and speaks a language of eyes-closed-dreaming-wild. Its words burn defeat.
Sadness will engulf all successes and erase them to a dried shell abandoned on a beach. And there, the carcass waits for life to circle through.
Sorrow’s tears are the sea healing what feels insurmountable. The passage of time ends to let wind blow through the hollow holes of loneliness.
Only those who can recognize will hear the oboe’s lament. A bittersweet song of hope.
Author + Psychotherapist
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."
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