Pen's shadow in a dark cave.

Hello Darkness My Old Friend ~ Allowing Feelings to Heal Us

My teenage self would brood for hours locked in my bedroom. The lit candles cast shadows on the wall, and Simon and Garfunkel played softly in the backdrop. Feelings would rise like the tides and I rode the waves until they calmed.

Teen years are meant to be turbulent. Discovery of how to transition from childhood to adulthood is often fraught with confusion and despair. Entering into the sounds of silence was natural for me ~ a time for reflection, getting to know myself on a deeper level, and being able to make decisions about life from a more informed space. Today’s teens don’t seem to have that impetus. Instead, the obsessive stimulus of an electronic lifestyle has taken over. And it’s not just with the teen population.

Our emotional state is driven by our subconscious mind. Anxiety, sadness and anger happen for a reason. It is the barometer that tells us when we need to tune-in to our life situation, and allow ourselves to be fully conscious of what is going on within us and around us. Granted, it is uncomfortable to feel any emotion that is not peace or joy. Yet, running away from difficult human emotions is the least healthy path we may take.

I’m not suggesting that we wallow in self-pity or act out our temper tantrums. I recommend facing our shadows ~ the darker sides of our personality who are not happy and, frankly, don’t hold our best intentions. Let those thoughts and feelings be acknowledged so they lose their power and have the chance to be released. They are not the eternal part of us anyway, and our loving Spirit (that also dwells in the subconscious mind) can help shine them away if we are willing to surrender them.

The nice part is that we control the shadow ~ it’s not the other way around! We can claw the air and make shadow images that look menacing. Or, we can choose to give a little wave and create a more friendly impression. The shadow part of our subconscious mind knows nothing. It is an illusion born out of an ego driven, dualistic thought system. And it can be undone!

We have the free will choice as to what it is we do with our dark thoughts and emotions. But first we need to acknowledge them. If we are constantly running away from our feelings, it will seem as though gloom or anxiety is an ongoing, relentless condition that we have no power over.

Take some time in quiet contemplation and see what surfaces. Feel it to heal it. Then make the decision to surrender what it is you don’t want to keep. Ask for help from the most loving, truest part of you ~ your eternal Spirit ~ if it seems like painful thoughts, feelings or memories are being stubborn. I assure you, it will pass.

The age of electronics has become a time of emotional disconnection for many. People are constantly distracting themselves by spending hours tuned-in to their devices. Technology has brought some wonderful conveniences into our lives, but ask yourself if you’ve been feeling less fulfilled of late.

Give yourself time to feel and reflect. Don’t become estranged from your deeper emotions. Your joyful sense of Self will re-emerge and you’ll find yourself more often at peace.

I leave you with the wisdom of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend

I’ve come to talk with you again

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Within the sounds of silence

Pen's shadow in a dark cave.

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