Before I get started I want to say thank you to Jeremy over at Being Retro for giving me the Super Blogger award. I met Jeremy during the last A to Z Blog Challenge. He was one of the facilitators of this year’s challenge and I give him props for doing such a great job…he was encouraging and inspiring. Honestly, he went above and beyond as he was having some health issues for which he apologized for not feeling as though he had been doing enough…when most probably would have bowed out. Not sure if you’re supposed to do this, but as no one said that I couldn’t…I give the Super Blogger honors right back to Jeremy. It’s my pleasure to know you. Almost forgot to share a secret…almost twenty years ago I put the pedal to the metal upon spotting flashing lights in my rear view mirror…I was on the way to a hospital three hours away to see my mother who was being life flighted and rushed for emergency heart surgery. Yes I was speeding…yes it was dumb, I was young and neither had the money nor the time to deal with a massive speeding ticket. Wouldn’t do this now of course…I was a scared kid.
Okay now for the post…
In the first installment of this post I said that I would write about the darker side within…the powerful emotions which at times can frighten us because of their intensity. The ones I’m talking about are extreme anger, desire for revenge, the times when someone pisses you off or hurts you so badly that you would love nothing more than to double up a fist and let them have it right in the kisser…these sorts of feelings. We all have and/or are capable of these feelings but have been trained not to act out on them (hopefully). Some of us, most probably, have been taught that even feeling these feelings is something to be ashamed of…something to squash.
We have been told, especially as women, that feeling those sorts of feelings is something to be avoided at all costs. What do I think of that advice? I think that it’s a massive load of horse shit. Feeling the gamut of emotions which humans feel is natural…otherwise we either wouldn’t have them or at the least it wouldn’t be as common. I agree for the most part in restraining ourselves when it comes to acting out against others with these feelings (unless it would be appropriate, which I know is subjective but work with me), but feeling them is part of the human experience. So what do I think we should do with them?
I believe that we should channel those emotions into something useful. Write, draw, paint, sing; or lacking a creative outlet, channel that excess energy into cleaning out that closet that’s been ignored for months. A creative outlet is something which I really recommend though for more than one reason. First, intense emotions lend themselves well to creativity. Second, because creativity is an excellent way for us to process what we are feeling in a healthy and meaningful way. Think of different works of art, literature, music which you have appreciated and ask yourself if creating profound work would even be possible without intense emotion? I do not think so, and it goes for intensity at both ends of the spectrum…joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain.
Recently I have come to appreciate the value of feeling intense emotions…thinking dark thoughts. I’m realizing that they are not something to fear. They actually provide us with a great many gifts if used properly. We grow, we create, we learn, we greater treasure positive things as they come along. Working through all of this has inspired me to delve back into my imagination to write dark poetry which is coming along…although slowly. It is inspiring me to think of how I might be able to take what I am realizing and help other women to rediscover and put their dark sides to work for them. Yes…for them.
One thing I have also learned is that our darkness does not disappear just because we tell it to. It stays there…festering, building, wreaking internal havoc. Yes, becoming much more dangerous than if we were to face, accept, and express it properly. Bottling it up creates the potential for losing our cool in the worst possible ways, gives us high blood pressure, makes conditions in our bodies perfect for heart disease and cancer…oh yes my pretties…it’s poison. Trying to be a smiling, perfect, beam of sunshine isn’t only fake and gag inducing, it’s potentially deadly. So what am I going to do about it? I’m going to keep working on myself, continue writing dark poetry and hopefully some short fiction (which I’ll put out for publication as they become ready), and work on more art of which I’m sure some will have a dark aspect.
Last but not least…I will be working hard to keep stuff coming here which will encourage women to embrace their shadow selves. To step out in boldness…to not only feel but to own your feelings…to create things of power and beauty out of that darkness. This work has become very important to me because I have come to understand that we cannot create true light until we have embraced the darkness. It is my goal to expand upon this work and spread it to as many women as possible. I believe in the importance of it that much.
Just so you know, I am not excluding men…but I mainly aim this at women due to the fact that men are encouraged to possess these qualities already. However, if something benefits one of the lovely males who read here…all the better. As time goes by, I see more and more the value of balance…of how you can’t have one thing without the other (dark/light, male/female, happy/sad) and have things go well. So, this work really is for everyone.