I woke up this morning andthe skies were overcast. My living room was dark and dreary.I found it difficult to wake up. I sat down to write at my computer and found that I had to turn down the brightness of my screen if I wanted to be able to see the keys over the glare of the screen without turning on a light.
Then I realized that the blinds were still drawn from the night before. While it didn’t look like it would make much of a difference, I decided to open them. Suddenly, the room was filled with light. It was still diffuse – the sky was still overcast after all, but the act of opening the blinds made the difference between a dreary day and one with soft light.
As usual, my brain works in metaphor, so I immediately wondered what mental blinds were still drawn in my mind and how I could open them up to let the sun shine in there too. I started rooting through my head to see where I was down about things, feeling hurt or depressed. I worked on how I could re-frame those thoughts – look at them from a different perspective, one that might make me feel better. Here’s an example of what I found.
The latest thing that has been bothering me is that my friends don’t seem to know me anymore. I’ve been working really hard on being softer and more vulnerable, on putting down the warrior façade that I have lived in for the last 10-15 years. And I have succeeded fairly well in that goal. The problem is that the friends I have who don’t see me very often are still treating me like the warrior. They beat on me verbally and this causes me to have to step back into that role to defend myself. This had been depressing me – the facts of not being seen, getting my feelings hurt and being forced to defend myself against my friends and the knowledge that I created all of this for myself by who I had chosen to be for so long. I was stuck in judgment – my blinds were firmly drawn.
I could stay in this mode with my blinds drawn, or I could reframe the situation. I chose to reframe. Now I see this huge disparity between the world that was mine and the one that is mine now (I’ve found some new friends who appreciate the new me) as the proof of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown. It’s still sad to me that I’ll have to leave some of these people behind, but it is inevitable that as I grow, there will be some people who just don’t fit in my life anymore. I can grieve the loss without being hurt and angry (at them and at myself) and that’s what I’m choosing to do.
Then I looked at where I was being less of me than I could be. After all, that’s another form of drawing the shades. The shades not only block the light coming in, but going out too. I started to look at where I don’t quite put myself out there all the way and I’ve started to take action on those things too (this article is an example of that).
So here’s the question – where are your shades drawn? What anger or upset are you attached to that is making your life more dreary? How are you not putting yourself fully out into the world? Start looking for those things. They are insidious. Some of them have been with us for so long that we don’t even recognize them anymore but when we finally strip them away, the sun comes streaming in and the world is a very bright place indeed.