At times it may feel to us as if we were living inside or underneath a shadow; nothing can be seen clearly, it always feels at least a little cold, and any movement seems constricted. Once we venture to take a look around us we usually find that the whole world is not a shadow and that, with a little effort, we can feel warmth and contentment once again. We may also discover that the cold and darkness can be chased away, or at least swept to the side so that they cannot bother or hinder us. The more of our own warmth and light that we can inject into our positive and uplifting thoughts, the more we’ll have to spare for other dark and forbidding things that we wish to shed light upon. At the same time we must recognize that shadow and darkness are not always the bad guys. If we stop to explore the shadows and search within the darkness we may be surprised by the amazing and wonderful things we may find; they may even be positive in and of themselves and be of value to you. Don’t you think we should fully explore any and all of the shadows before we encounter before vanquishing them?
During a lot much of our growing up years, and even afterward, we are told, and we hear, that the straight and narrow path is the easiest and the quickest way to take to get where we should want to; where everyone’s ambitions should take them. We will have all our decisions made for us, we will follow other peoples’ rules, we will have the same feelings that everyone else does; consequently we fear that we will become less and less able to take real joy in something, anything; or to be able to feel strongly enough about something that we might actually want to do something about it. There can be no problem associated with an offering of guidelines or suggestions, but to put someone between narrow lines and expect them to color their lives within those lines is unrealistic at best, but also cruel and limiting to them and disastrous for you, your perceptions of yourself and of them. Without being given, or taking, the leeway to glance to either side and the ability to take an alternate path when that course is desired or warranted we could lose all the characteristics that makes us human. Wouldn’t you rather swerve from the straight and narrow than turn yourself into an automaton?
At times we can be seduced into following a certain course or a certain person and we are not quite sure how it happened. We saw someone or something that instantaneously captured a part of us, possibly without its own knowledge, and it won’t let us go. Whether it feels good to be held in thrall, or we’re indifferent to pro’s or con’s around our capture, or we’re terrified and screaming for rescue, what we must remember is that we can make choices. We can look at our behavior or feelings and take the initiative to decide to continue with our seduction and see where it leads or to break away and pursue other avenues. Breaking away may be difficult, especially if you have been enticed to follow someone or something that is nebulous and you cannot quite bring them or the circumstances into focus. Nevertheless, the choice is ours and we must remember that if we reach an undesirable conclusion to the journey we have convinced ourselves we were seduced into. We may have been seduced into a positive journey as well, and undoubtedly there were positive aspects and things to be learned about ourselves if it did not end well. Once we find ourselves yearning to follow, shouldn’t we wait a moment, and follow, if we will, with open eyes?
Among all the other things that can happen while living, occasionally we can get high-centered. We can have been journeying, either physically or mentally, when an unexpected event occurs and we find ourselves stuck in a place we’d rather not be, with no perceptible way out, and on top of it all, it’s raining. How we choose to conduct ourselves in such situations can lead us to our extrication from trouble and to a learning experience or can see us more even more stuck and spinning our figurative wheels. The first thing we must do is to determine how we ended up in our predicament in the first place; then not to resort to what if’s but to decide if we can back out or if we must move forward or sideways in some way. Again, moving too quickly in any direction, unless in imminent danger, could lead to further complications. Therefore putting a little distance between ourselves and the precarious spot we’re in and using calm intellect to chart a path is clearly the best way to proceed, if possible. It’s hard to be calm and accepting of the fact of one’s difficulty but necessary nonetheless. Being calm and stepping back can lead to resourcefulness in almost any part of one’s life and is a practice to strive for and use whenever possible; though the best thing to do is the generally the first thing to flee our minds when in trouble or in doubt. Don’t you think practicing on small troubles would help with larger ones?