When our children have a lot of toys, parents sometimes pack away and rotate them in covert overnight operations to help children maintain their interest in 'new to me' toys. In the past couple of years I have had the pleasure of going back through boxes from different periods of life. Books, toys, yearbooks, magazines, photos, etc. - I thought everything was important. To be honest I have yet to find much that I want to save as I am in a much different chapter of my life. One item I just uncovered that is eerily still appropriate for where I am on my journey toward a life of JOY.
A poem, handwritten on tattered paper entitled A SHADOW - fast forward to right now and I am taking my author's right to reread, change the title, and post it to the digital world.
A Shadow of Myself
Brian Armstrong (copyright 1995)
My shadow, right there next to me, to my right, my left, behind me, and sometime in front of me.
I can run, I can hide, but it always finds me.
A Game of Peek-A-Boo?
Maybe even a foolish game of catch the tiger by the tail?
Yet not so foolish!
What do you want? What can it be that would have you always with me?
Are you a reminder for me of myself?
On a bright sunny day you are there for everyone to see. On a dark day only there for me to see. As I walk at night you jump out at me as I walk under a street lamp. Almost as to say, "Here I am, did you try and forget about me?!"
Are you so fearful or ominous? Are you trying to push me to fear and anger? Maybe, just maybe, you are there as a source of comfort. Someone to be loved and cherished. Not to be pushed away from or turned from. Never to be forgotten! The answer lies within your silence.
You long to be embraced and loved.
You are there as a mirror for me.
I can't run and hide from my fears.
I can't forcefully remove my fears from my being.
We must fly, never looking back in fear. Knowing that together everything is possible. What a lovely union! Two beings coming back together after a long separation.
That feeling of Love. If only we had talked more. To know you are there for me, and I can accept your love.
As I look down at my shadow, I try to break down who or what it is.
I realize - IT'S ME!!
So as I realize my shadow longs to be Loved; I realize the answer to its' riddle.
To feel and emanate unconditional Love,
I must love and accept my shadow.
I must love myself to be able to accept love from others.
I must have self love to love selflessly.
Signed my shadow, my friend,
Live JOYful my friends!!