I'm feeling quite down. I don't know whether to be angry with myself, my spouse, my kids, colleagues or friends. I'm thinking "all of the above." While I was busy being dark and depressed, I came across a Facebook post by Tony Robbins that talked about forgiveness and how important it is to happiness. Mr. Robbins claimed that expectations are the root of all unhappiness. So I guess I expect too much and forgive too little. What to do? Turn to my favorite form of Prozac, of course, my beloved books. My books can always take me out of myself, which is a good place to be right now. And what better book to read than one that reflects my mood--The Dark Prince by Christine Feehan. This is a classic in the paranormal fantasy genre, and, in fact, it's such a classic that I'm reading the author's cut. Pretty cool. Makes me think about what other author's cut books would be like--I'm thinking Dragon Bound, Angel's Blood, One Foot in the Grave, but I digress).
he hero of the book, Mikhail, is an overbearing ass at times, and he's the eponymous Dark Prince. Basically, this means he acts like I feel right now, doing an excellent imitation of Eyeore. Except, supposedly, he can't feel anything. That part was kind of confusing. But the no-feeling thing sounds pretty good right now. Anyhoo, Mikhail is on his last emotional legs and is about to give into despair. He's lost the will to go on.
Until he meets Raven, his lifemate. Which is great. Except she's human. Which isn't so great. But the salient point here is that I'm feeling a certain affinity to the darkness in the Dark Prince and I need a little light, only I don't know where to find it. Mikhail looks to Raven to light his darkness. She's willing, mostly, until her own darkness threatens to overwhelm both of them.
I'm guessing (I'm in the middle of the book) that both Raven and Mikhail will find their way to the light and that the sound of joy eventually drowns out the sound of darkness. But what about the rest of us? How can we dispel the gloom that surrounds us when we get into a dark place? I decided to take a poll and see what kinds of solutions I could find.
One friend told me to turn my face to the sun and let the light erase the shadows. Good advice as far as it goes, but beyond a splash of freckles across my nose from the UV exposure, I wasn't sure the physical nature of the suggestion did anything to counteract my metaphysical woes. I love the sun, and if I'm sitting beneath it in my favorite bikini on a Caribbean beach, it's possible my mood would improve (as long as I'm not looking too closely at my tummy). Barring that, however, I felt I needed more.
Enter friend number two, who recommended that I not paint my life with one brush. Huh? Again with the analogical tips. "Whatever do you mean," I asked my friend (in truth, I might have said something more along the lines of "WTF, woman?!" but it wouldn't be polite to say so). She calmly explained that while some aspects of my life may seem bleak at the moment, she knew for a fact that some parts were working well. She told me that there was no reason to paint the entire canvas black, the Rolling Stones to the contrary. She had a point. Often, when I'm unhappy about one thing, everything seems off kilter and not the way I want it to be.
A third friend suggested I look at the world through rose-tinted glasses. Not the rose-colored ones that Pollyanna wore, but ones that washed everything I looked at in a hue of appreciation and love. Sounded good, but I wasn't sure of the execution. It wasn't clear how to trade in my progressive lenses--the ones that get darker automatically when you go outside. My progressive glasses get darker when my outlook takes a header and my mood plummets with it. Guess I need a new prescription. Or I needed to turn the binoculars around so that I could focus my attention on the light and not the darkness.
Any way I sliced it, I needed to either embrace the shadows and wallow in my misery (with or without company, although I prefer my misery with a side of fellow travelers always, as I've written about before). I was leaning toward the wallowing activity, and feeling a strong connection to the Dark Prince. He seemed so noble in his unhappiness. Why is that, anyway? Why do women love to love men who brood? Men definitely don't love women who brood. But I'm getting off track again.
I'm not sure there is a solution here except to grin and bear it and assume that the sun will eventually break free of the clouds. I'll be able to listen again to the pitter patter of the light instead of the bass notes of the darkness. And maybe I'll find someone like Raven to light the way for me. As Albert Schweitzer famously said, "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." Indeed.