Overcoming Blackness

You’ve heard me. I’m steeped in black, as I say. I tire of it more than I can even say. I don’t want to write about darkness anymore. I don’t want to sing about it. I don’t want to be surrounded by it. I don’t want to be black anymore. I want out of it. I want out.

I make commitments to myself. I make resolutions. I will persevere. I will overcome. And this just all goes — to shit. It really just does. I don’t follow through on my commitments, I break resolutions. I don’t overcome – I succumb. I fail. I fall. I feel weak. And in swoops my wicked negative voice to relentlessly beat me up. This is where that voice thrives. It thrives here. Holding me harshly to commitments I can’t really make. Seemingly setting me up only to strike me down viciously. These are commitments I can’t keep right now, says some voice within. Cannot do it right now.

This all reminds me of a time in my mid-20’s. I smoked cigarettes for years. I tried to quit again and again. I quit and quit and quit. More times than I can count. Berating myself with each failure. Finally —- after years of trying to quit, I DECIDED. That’s IT. That is enough. I’m done. I actually quit quitting. I really did. Done with beating myself up, I decided to SMOKE until I was good and ready to quit. And, boy did I. I smoked until I couldn’t bear another puff. I don’t know how long this took, less than a year. I was so done. Disgusting. I couldn’t smoke another cigarette. I’m DONE. Just like that and I’ve never gone back.

So what. So what. So, somewhere inside me is a voice that knows exactly what to do. It knows so tremendously. When I find it, it wins out over that doubter, hyper-critical voice. It just takes time. My true voice is quietly strong. And then it is loud and insistent. So, here goes. I will immerse myself, very willfully, into blackness. For now, I will NOT overcome, I will succumb. Lay down in darkness. Let it fully engulf me. Bring it. Bring. It. I see myself sinking in an ocean of inky black. Octopus tentacles pulling me down through ink to depths of cold, dark, heavy water. I will lay quietly here with my hands at my sides. Feel the weight upon my chest. Bite into black. See what comes. Trust. Trust myself. Trust the water. Lay still until I’m ready to rise. This totally beats out that critical voice. It seems so strong, but it’s just scared and weak. In the face of my strength to go into the dark, that voice just fails. It floats away and leaves me to lay at the bottom to find my power. The power of all that I am. I’m starting to see it.

4 responses to “Overcoming Blackness

  1. Mary Jo, I have never had the courage to go into the darkness. Instead I’ve taken medicine. I hope you will rise soon with the tree saps and bright bulbs, you will buzz with energy and purpose. I admire you so much. Love, Barbara

  2. Mary,
    I have been in the black, several times in my life. It felt like it just came and took over until it was time for it to go. Certain events triggered it for sure.
    Afterward, I felt that i had gained wisdom somehow. I felt everything was more intense after that too, especially my happiness and appreciation of all of life. After the first time (I was in my mid 20’s) I knew that I would not allow myself to be hurt like that again. I learned to focus on MY OWN PATH.
    Just know you’ll move through it, past it.

    • Oh Audrey. So true — the intensity often feels crushing. But when I do have moments of joy (often!) the intensity is exquisite. As if in slow motion, like an eel coursing up the length of me, I feel sparks of bliss pass through what seems like every cell in my body. It is why I embrace the black, I suppose – because I’m rewarded with moments of ecstasy as well.

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