Bangalore is doing a full on delayed, extra dry, extra-nippy-mornings winter. Our home is super well ventilated and gets plenty of light through the day, but not directly flooding through the windows. It’s well positioned, so well lit, but not bright. In winter, the cross breeze is insane, it actually howls while passing through the apartment is all balcony doors or all strategic windows are open. So of course, since we;re back form 36 degree humid weather, we’ve been cooped up at home with everything shut. Which also means less light, and somehow that does make it nippier still.
But, Bangalore also puts on a great winter sunlight. I mean, top-notch. Glowy, iridescent, warm sunlight that sits just alongside the winter air that is so crunchy it might crack if I could snap it in two. Biteable.
So, this morning, after a good two hours of chores, a workout and a super hot shower, I went up to the terrace to lie in the sun. I don’t know why I’ve never done this at home before. I lay there for a full hour, listening to a podcast. And I might have drifted off to sleep.
If someone had told me five years ago that the answer to feeling free, comfortable in my own skin, happy with myself and where I am in life lay in looking deep with the abyss of my darkness, I probably wouldn’t have wholeheartedly dived into this journey like I did.
I took a soft and easy approach, but eventually came to The Darkness. The shadow. The duality. The contradictions. The parts of myself I found unbearable and wanted so badly to remain in denial about.
Because that was my training. To always be positive. To be determined to work it out. To triumph at all costs. To be put together always. It’s very hard to be all of these things while staring down at the darkest parts of who I am. The two don’t go together. And slipping into the darkness and owning it meant letting go of the veneer that I was trained to keep up.
For years the work simply involved shedding the idea that The Darkness is bad. Or that I must overcome it. Not let it show. Long and painful work of creating an internal container that could withstand the steep drops that looking into this abyss, was th hardest part. But with enough of that inner strength, I’m finally able to see that The Darkness simply exists. As it does in all of us. I am not worse of or lesser than because of it. And its existence is not a marker of how much I have healed and grown.
If anything, being aware of it, acknowledging it, bringing it into the light, holding it lightly even when it often makes me feel like diving into nothingness, actually liberated me.
Yet another if life’s contradictions: to have tasted freedom in the depths, to have found lightness in the dark.
I told someone the other day, I feel like five years of shoveling the dust and grime in the dark seems to be paying off now. This, today, here, is the most comfortable I have been with who I am, where I am, just as I am. This is the free-est I have felt in all these years of seeking it.
What a ride.