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The wisdom we thought we had

I have a book reserved for writing song lyrics in. I’ve been writing songs since I was about nine, but I started this book in 2013. It’s a space I have cyclically attended, at the times of my life where it has felt like the only way to let the feelings move through me is with words and music combined.

Recently, I connected with someone who helped me to reconnect with my inner musician, and I found myself returning to the book. Not to write, but to visit. It’s not that I had forsaken it, but I had come to see it as less meaningful in recent years. Which, I should know by now, is a sign in itself that something is wrong. I have been working to rectify that.

It often surprises me to read my own writing back, when it’s old enough to have been more or less forgotten. It can be even more bewildering to sing my old songs. Because they seem so much wiser than I must have been. Or so much more applicable, still, than I think they should have the capacity to be. Because I feel them in my body still – they still, literally, resonate. I would always like to think I have made more progress than clearly I must have, if my past self is there teaching me a lesson that I still, apparently, need to learn. When she so perfectly articulates it for me, but I already know she dove head first into the very same problem, the very same pattern, the very same mistake.

I’d like to think I’m safe from all that now. But she must have thought she was safe back then. She must have thought she was on the other side of it. After all, she’d found the answer. And yet, her relief was temporary; her recovery incomplete.

I think the wisdom is always within us. I think we always have the answers we seek. It’s our ability to align with them that makes the difference. And our ability to stay aligned when things come along so perfectly designed to knock us off course.

I saw the light, and then I plunged into the darkness. And then I found the light, but I sank into the darkness once more. Then I escaped to the light, and fell back to the darkness. And each time I got better at recalibrating and navigating my way back to where I wanted to be.

The darkness will always be there. And so will the light. It was never about finding safety. It was more about the finding the freedom to move at will between the two. I will choose to be grateful for the time I took exploring the dark landscape, because it taught me many things about being in the light.

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