There Is No Shadow Without Light

A girl’s smile. Lips twitching. Nervous look to the left. Behind those eyes a person, a soul. Behind those eyes a lifetime of experiences. Behind those eyes a frantic search for meaning in a chaotic world. Justice. How can you say there is justice in a world full of insanity? Full of terrible suffering? What do I know about suffering? Perhaps love and suffering go hand in hand, sides of the same coin. There is no shadow without light.

Throwing the phone on the sofa. Deliberating over a text message. Am I being too needy? I send it anyway. And it comes across, of course. The question is how can I stop being so needy if I do care? Perhaps in realising that caring is not the way to go about it. Perhaps in realising that the very wanting is the very altering of the natural course. The very wanting is the swimming upstream, the friction in the fabric of nature. Perhaps then a call to stillness, an acceptance of the now, is needed. But does this not come at odds with a growth mindset? Does this not come at odds with taking matters into your own control? In saying that, finally, for the first, second, or even tenth time in your life, you are finally going to take things into your own hands? That you will stop letting life happen to you and become the person you want to be? How do these two ideas pair? Well perhaps they are not so mutually exclusive for the latter necessarily involves the crafting of a world of your own in which a certain element of selfishness, that is focus on one’s self, is required. This element of selfishness necessarily reduces the amount of caring for others’ opinions, for in setting one’s own standards, following one’s own passions, finding one’s own way precipitates a narrative that says: I am enough as I am. This is me. Take it or leave it.

But what of the man who has his own world? Has his own passions? Has his own plan? Yet wastes his mental energy worrying and attempting to craft the perfect text? What about the man whose emotions seem to have control over him? Logic tells him to stop yet he keeps messaging again and again. Perhaps he should appeal to logic one last time: A text is a text and nothing more. Text on a screen is nothing to a conversation. Perhaps he should appeal to patience — your time will come. Stop trying to force it. If not this person, there will be another. You say that you realise you are enough, yet you keep searching frantically for someone else’s approval. For someone else’s love. Perhaps a narrative adjustment is yet again needed: You don’t need anyone else’s love to complete you. You are complete just as you are. That is not to say that you do not need to rely on other people in life — no — but rather that love should come from a position of strength, not one of weakness. So ask yourself next time, “Am I coming from a position of strength?”

Even then the question remains: What about being vulnerable? What about those times when you want to open up and you are in a position of weakness? Those should be reserved for those you have established relationships with already, not those with whom you know very little. Not those you have just met. Not unless you want to set alarm bells ringing and cause those you wish to know to flee.

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Mathematician | Writer and Content Creator for the University of Nottingham | Self & Personal Development. How can we get unstuck and achieve our goals?

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Sean

Sean

Mathematician | Writer and Content Creator for the University of Nottingham | Self & Personal Development. How can we get unstuck and achieve our goals?

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