Growing up I suffered from extreme anxiety and panic attacks. I recall many days as a child skipping school to avoid bullies. Going to the nurse’s office to remove myself from the chaos of teachers, peers and school work I was not interested in. I did not understand how to cope as a young teen and often found myself being angry with the world, my family and was left feeling resentful. This carried on until I was 17 years old when I really started to understand myself and how I could leverage my pain to spark positive change. As soon as I disconnected myself from the picture and took a 3rd party view of myself I realized I was extremely empathic. This led me to embrace others pain, problems, and challenges and I could not differentiate between what was my own and what was another’s issue.
I slowly started to realize that not everything I felt was my own, and since this was true there was something I could do about it. Instead of internally destroying myself and allowing these fears, anxieties, and opinions to brew within me I found a way to express these feelings in a constructively. That vehicle for me was writing. When I first began writing I was scared to share it but I noticed after writing about what I thought of my life, the world, societies issues, pain, heartache, etc… I began to feel better. Eventually, this translated into music. My senior year of high school I decided to make a move which I always feared and that was to post a video of me vocally covering a song of one of my favorite bands. As soon as I posted this video something magical seemed to happen. Through mutual friends on facebook, I came across a group of kids my age at the time who were starting a new band and needed a lead vocalist. Quickly I sent over my cover video to the members of this group and in a few days, we formed our band.
I slowly started to realize that not everything I felt was my own, and since this was true there was something I could do about it.
The interesting part about this was that we were a metal band. It’s common for most people to think that metal music is “dark”, “evil” and “angry”. The truth was after fronting this band for 3 years and playing with international touring artists I personally looked up to, musicians in this genre were the kindest people I ever met. I quickly realized that this style of music to was a way for us to express our pain, misery, and grief constructively. I hit the gold mine, I found a way to “Find Beauty In Darkness”. I found a way to express my anger, my hurt and my limitations in a way that allowed myself to heal.
A big issue I come across often not only personally but in the spiritual/personal growth industry is the idea that you always have to be positive. Reality is that is not how life works. Imagine your standing in the ocean and a 10-foot wave is crashing down towards you. Do you think that it makes sense to try to resist natures flow? No, because the wave is stronger then your ego is. Our ego’s often like to ignore pain by putting off experiencing the pain because our ego fears the change that may come from dealing with our issues. This occurs because growth is a scary process for the ego as it involves change. Internally many of us resist change because we are constrained to our habitual ways of thinking.
Our ego’s often like to ignore pain by putting off experiencing the pain because our ego fears the change that may come from dealing with our issues.
We must learn how to transition like the moth does before it becomes a butterfly. Think of your emotions as a signpost comparatively to a moths cocoon. Our emotions are a sign that we are changing, that we are experiencing a struggle or conflict and something must be done to resolve this. In the case of a moth, its cocoon becomes its coping mechanism as it transitions into becoming a butterfly. Our emotions are natural coping chemicals that we feel when in a situation that’s new or that causes stress and pressure. They tell us that its time to feel them through because change is on the horizon. If you can learn how to alchemize your emotional process you begin to master how you respond to life.
The truth is you already know you shouldn’t run away from how you feel. You can create all of the distractions and addictions you’d like to hide but the emotions will still be there trapped within. As this occurs you are held back by your own inability to allow yourself the right to feel. I think many people are scared to feel because they don’t know how to deal with it. We were never taught how to properly deal with our issues due to social conditioning, parenting, etc..So do not feel “bad” that you may fear your-self coming at you with the healing process. Your shadow can become your best friend if you find a way to express these emotions rationally.
The truth is you already know you shouldn’t run away from how you feel. You can create all of the distractions and addictions you’d like to hide but the emotions will still be there trapped within.
For me, I found out how to do this through writing, poetry, spoken word etc…I view these actions as tools to heal. When I feel lost or confused I can simply write a song about it and use it as a reminder of how I can deal with it. The situations vary and the challenges change but my ability to cope does not. Regardless of the situation, I am experiencing I find a way to feel through it. Some of the darkest days I have had turned into days where I learned more about myself than ever. This is what life is about, feeling everything and experiencing it fully.
There is no reason for you to fear to feel sad, lonely or depressed as long as you allow yourself to deal with it constructively. I personally prefer writing because you can burn your writings after to assist the healing process through detachment. Or you can keep them to look back on and see how much you have grown. The truth is life’s totality is amazing and I think it’s extremely important that we all learn how to “find beauty in darkness.”
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