Into the Light
The piece, Into the Light, was inspired by my muse, J.J. Brawley and his journey with Shadow.
For far too many years of my life I tried to pretend you didn’t exist; that you were nothing more than a figment of a young boys imagination. As a child I was entertained for hours by your ability to follow me everywhere I went. So the only way I could escape you was to treat you as though I could not see you. As you are keenly aware, I went through much of my life ignoring you and evading you and I want to say to you that I am sorry. I did not realize how integral to living my life free of fear, shame and guilt that you were or could be. I had no idea that pretending you did not exist would cause us so much harm, or for that matter that you would lash back out at me in pain. But now we are both hurting and I think it’s time we call a truce.
I’ve grown up and I now that I see the light, I’d like to invite you to step into it with me. I know this may sound frightening to you, maybe even impossible, but I am asking you to trust me as your guide on this journey. I’m only a few steps ahead of you but I’ve stopped to come back for you. I hope this simple gesture proves to you my commitment to our living together in peace and harmony and that you can forgive me for my many years of abusing you.
Shadow I am certain you are aware by now that I can’t hide any part of myself from you. You know me better than anyone. You see me for who I am truly am. You know when I am in my heart; you know when I am in my head; you know when I am in my body. Yet still, you have this innate ability to hide parts of you from me. Sometimes I am so unaware of what it is you are hiding or why you would chose to hide things from me that it is dumbfounding. I want to work with you shadow. I want to take responsibility for who I’ve been, and I want to end this war we’ve been entangled in.
For far to long you’ve come at me with these feelings of doubt, feelings of unworthiness, feelings of being unwanted, feelings of being unlovable, feelings of being unlikable, feelings of not being enough and you know what shadow, I am so done with all of this. Enough is enough! Look, I’m not your enemy and it’s become clear that we’re gonna have to live together so I’m afraid I’m going to have to take control of our life from here on out.
I must admit that there have been times when you’ve come in handy. Your ability to hide the truth from me has helped me survive some pretty treacherous parts of my life. Like the time I was homeless or the time I’d been through a rough breakup, or those months I was depressed and suicidal. You were there for me in those times, convincing me that I deserved that pain and misery, but I now know you lied to me. You are good at hiding both the good and the bad and letting me believe that what happened was just par for the course, and that I deserved exactly what I got. Damn it though, in hindsight I now know I could have done better. I could have taken charge. I could have taken responsibility. I could have stepped things up. I could have done more. But you had me convinced I deserved all the bad things happening to me. You had me convinced that I was unworthy and unlovable, you had me convinced I was not enough and that no matter how hard I tried I would always end up a loser.
Thankfully though Shadow, I’ve come into the light. I’ve been exposed to a whole new world and now I know. Now I know that when it comes to you, there is nothing to fear, except well, me. Turns out, I am my own worst enemy. I have a knack for creating stories in my head and then believing them to be true and then blaming them on you. Guess we can both own that now can’t we? But things have changed. I’ve got a new outlook on life. I see things differently. I see you for who you truly are and now that I do, I am going to drag you into the light with me so that you can never again gain control over me again. You will never talk down to me again, you will never tell me I’m not enough again. You will never tell me I’m unworthy or unlikable, or unlovable again. You know why shadow? Because I like myself. Because I love myself and because I love the man I’ve grown to be. You can’t take that away from me and now that I’ve faced you and brought you into the light, no one will ever be able to shame me again, tell me I’m not enough again or tell me I’m unlikable, unworthy or unlovable ever again.
I learned a lot from you shadow and I want to thank you for that. I just hope that from here on out you will let me do the leading because we’re in this together and I’m in it for the long haul. Thank you Shadow for hearing me out.
With love, compassion and gratitude
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