One day finding this balance will push me off the edge.

Whether or not you are religious, an atheist, spiritual, or generally just self-destructive, it’s hard to disagree with the idea that we’re looking for something. Seeking out things to complete us. To fill in gaps and crevices that hurt, fear, and doubt have left in us up to this point in our lives. I took this idea to heart for the first 24 years of my life. I was in a chaotic, hedonistic, destructive cycle of manipulation, drug abuse, and self deprecating behaviors. I remember making the conscious choice to feel as much as possible. To experience as much as I could manage; to push my emotional threshold to its ultimate limits.

Looking back, this seeking out of experience was always in me. I saw my life as a movie, and I wanted it to be seen and respected. To be idolized and worshipped. My suffering mattered so much to me that I wanted everyone to see it and be jealous of the beauty I created out of how deeply I felt for the suffering of human beings I had not met. Because it is true, I did and still do feel the pain of everyone I see and meet. The only difference is back then, I wanted everyone to know it.

I think most artists feel this way. They get lost in becoming important. If you give into this obsession with isolating yourself with an abundance of empathy, you can create beautiful art. However, you can end up feeling so deeply misunderstood and alone that you in some ways despise those who do not also trade in their mundane, normal lives to destroy themselves with empathy. To the one doing it, it may make them feel like a martyr. In some ways… they are, but to those around them, they are left to wonder why it is that their friend is feeling so misunderstood, when they are standing right next to them, feeling as though they would do anything for this friend.

But there is an inherent disconnect there. One friend has given up much of their ability to function in order to internally analyze the world around them. They do this in order to objectively see the world in a creative way. To use themselves as a conduit for a muse that can express the inner workings of the world through art. The other friend, while seemingly not as important, is the support for the other. The one that keeps them somewhat connected throughout their days of nonstop creatively analytical, isolation-inducing, thoughts.

A strange thing happens, however, when the modern day deep-thinker realizes they have no support. They awaken to realize that they themselves are responsible for providing that support to themselves. Personally, LSD and Psilocybin were conducive to this awakening for me. I realized those around me were unable to understand the way I saw things, and what I ultimately wanted out of life. I understood I was alone in this world. Not in a pitiful way, but instead in a powerful way. Ultimate responsibility can feel crippling, or it can feel empowering. I broke away from what the world made me feel obligated to do, and I was able to convene with who I came to understand God to be, in order to find a way of living that would make me feel at ease.

To be both the creative, chaotic, destructive force, and the strong, orderly, supportive force became a hard thing to manage in my life. To find a balance between pleasurable destruction and grueling, unrelenting structure can be comparable only to finding balance between good and evil, or the God and the Devil themselves. It is a dance between two equally enticing dancers. They swing and sway to beautiful pieces of music, reaching out their hands, as if asking you to fully experience the love and understanding they each have to offer. I have danced with both of these dancers, and I would love to say that one is ultimately better than the other. You would think dancing with God to be superior in most situations, but sometimes life needs some of the suffering and fears and doubts that come along with the demonic boogie the devil likes you to do. To neglect that would be a refusal to grow.

Now instead, I have found a day of dancing with both to be quite useful. As one of my favorite Incubus songs belts out, maybe the goal is to feel “Hell and Hallelujah every day.” Maybe we can dance with just one some days. Maybe we can dance with the devil just long enough to miss and long for the significant feeling of being held by the eternally supportive structure and understanding that is Truth. Maybe some days we can step back and wait until they decide to dance together. You can also remove yourself from the dance floor. Take a seat at the side of the room for a change. You have fought long and hard. You are probably tired. Your feet are sore and throbbing. Let the eternal dancers dance for a change. You will feel deeply glad that you are able to be apart of it from time to time.

Just look at them go.

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