Sewing Light to the Ugly

We only show the perfect moments, sealing the darker cousins behind closed lids, only to seep out the corners in spurts and fits and only to the ones we know won’t run away.

It makes sense. No one wants too much to soon, or even one more drop of unpleasant information settling into the reservoir. We want to beautify what we can in our world so that the ugly becomes more bearable, so that we transform the everyday into cherished details and the special moments into the everyday. We don’t want others to have to wear the burden of our pain.

Even those of us who know that vulnerability is a molten source of power that flows from the blood, even we forget that when we bind the wound, we also stymie the light. And that for the wound to heal, it needs to be exposed to the air.

When we do let the dark tentacles out of their air-tight box, their slippery tendrils often wrap their way around what’s pleasant, suffocating the good with their grip and punching holes through the tidy box that contained them. Then the regret sets in. We want to push them back inside the box, but it’s too late. It can no longer hold the contents, our insides are out in the open whether we like it or not. It feels vulnerable, raw and like relief pouring through and purifying what’s left inside of us.

But when others recognize our darkness and criticize its existence, pointing out how it hurts them and how it keeps showing up, we want to throw darts at their truth. Sure, we might have these flaws, but talking about them like that doesn’t help. Our shame makes us suddenly protective of our demons. Whether we revealed a long harbored jealousy, told our lover an impression or idea of them we hoped to deny forever, or simply showed a selfishness that we never wanted anyone to see, the guts are there. And when there is someone else involved, it feels like sitting in a mercurial hot spring  made for two, the noxious cloud of elemental forces forming impenetrable binds around the two of you, ones that will either force you both down or break you both apart. The only options become: while away in the poison, or build a way out. Let the binds immobilize you or find a way to untangle the metallic sinews.

Gradually, the way out becomes clear. You can let the radiation kill what’s still alive, or you can take the ugly parts revealed and hold them hand-in-hand, using them as strongholds to lift you out of your mutual misery.

When we share our darkest places with another — be the person a lover, friend, family member or stranger — whoever they may be, we braid a tether between us, a tether that prevents us from sinking so far down the next time. Creating a counterweight to those things that weigh us down with that which raises us up.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Shay July 26, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Elizabeth,

    I needed this today.

    Thank you <3

    Reply
    1. esensky7@gmail.com July 26, 2015 at 8:47 am

      I’m so happy you got something out of it <3

      Reply

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