The Split FaceMay 28, 2021
True awareness comes from the understanding that we all have a dark and light side. It's not about living life fully in one or the other but more about how well we are able to control either side. How balanced are we?
For years, I buried decisions I made in situations of survival and struggled with who I saw in the mirror. The struggle wasn't about not liking what I saw but about misunderstanding who I was back then.
The fact is, the judgement that we place on ourselves is far more detrimental to our well being than any judgement the outside world can display.
So the real question is How...
How do we find the balance with our light & dark sides?
The conversations I started to have with myself always resorted to asking Why. Without context of what I was struggling with, it's hard to follow along, so below is a short story to give perspective...
Many people have many opinions about life in the hood but from my experience it's a never ending "survival of the fittest" sort of living. Days of true relaxation are few and far between, always consumed with the wonder of what situation is going to happen next. Food is scarce towards the end of the month and the beginning of the month is a week long celebration. Time moves slow but life passes fast as the youth fight over the things everyone is in lack of. In those time zones, finding a job wasn't hard but keeping a job was difficult. Unreliable transportation was to blame but the reality is I was too weak to stand up for what I needed on a regular basis...my car. So instead of choosing a consistent fight for what was mine I chose an occasional one. This fight was to go make the money in a single night that I would have made all month from tips. How was this possible? Escorting. I took on the role as "sugar baby" to a man I had vetted and sized up for the position. That's right...I was the one sizing him up and making sure HE was qualified for the part. This relationship became a regular agreement between me and said man for a while. It was an easy thing really...too easy. In full disclosure the situation became an escape for me. A way to get away from the everyday life I was living. Sad to say but this guy treated me better than the man I had at home which made the agreement all the more easy for me to stick to. It was something I looked forward to and a situation I relied on for my sanity.
Asking Why isn't the hard part. It's how deep you truly have to go in order to move on from what has already been done.
Digging deep caused past experiences to surface plaguing my body with the pain I never embraced. Emotions that I had to hide to survive flooded me at random. I was so consumed by sadness that I found myself collapsed on a bathroom floor, rapid tears pouring from my eyes, and a physical pain I had never witnessed before. The release of what I held in for so long was as intense as the raging waters of a river. But still I held on...
As sadness came and went, anger coupled with my long lived paranoia set in. Here's the thing about anger...sometimes it feels overwhelming and the only way to release it is by letting it show its devilish face. And here's the thing about paranoia...if you don't address it properly it can become an anxiety that dictates your every move in life.
So these two extremes decided to come out and play at the same damn time. One night, I found myself spiraling out of control. I went 7 days with no sleep, had an extreme amount of alcohol and the shadows of my past self danced around the space I was in.
As light started to drift, darkness narrowed its sight on me, and overwhelm almost pushed me over the cliff. Knife to my own throat, tears streaming down my face, screams escaping my mouth and the two sides of my individual self separated in disagreement.
I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the computer screen everything stopped.
I placed the knife down on the table. My tears dried up, a heavy breathe escaped my body and then silence covered me. I couldn't do anything but be. And in that state of just being came peace.
In a short amount of time after that moment I started to do a lot of research. I came to realize that in order to have a balance between the light and dark within, we have to have an equal respect for both.
I analyzed my past and found myself in a state of openness. It was then that I truly had respect for the fact that I wouldn't have survived without my darkness. On the other hand, happiness would have never found me again if it wasn't for the light.
My new knowledge of self grew into individual relationships that I hold with both sides. As part of my research, I started to have conversations with my right eye and my left eye simply asking what either was in search of. Both said the same thing.
When my conversations deepened my internal scale started to even out. Soon it wasn't a struggle to "sit at the table" anymore to speak about the past. It became an open discussion.
This experience deepened my perspective, awareness & compassion for those embarking on their own healing path. The strongest people are not the ones who live in denial about what once was, but the ones who address it with courage.
Embrace both sides of self and soon you will begin to understand...
The Split Face
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