I’m speaking in the metaphorical sense here, not the practice of enslavement through poison and trickery, or of the pop culture brain eating phenomenon.
Back when I was in high school, a combination of undiagnosed SAD and high stress, that contributed to actual depression, turned me into what I’ve called a walking zombie, still in motion, but more or less dead inside. It happened every year. I knew it was coming, and I feared its creeping slow onset. Once it took over, I couldn’t feel much of anything.
I remember being called up to the teacher’s desk for yet another exasperated lecture. My instinctive warrior’s temperament told me to show no weakness. I stood, stone faced, until they got done telling me whatever they thought might work on me. My lack of reaction worked nicely against kids who only wanted a cheap form of entertainment. But the teachers took it to mean that I didn’t care at all, and that only infuriated them more. The problem with the stone face is that if you practice it too long, it starts to sink under the skin. You pretend not to feel, and eventually you find that you’re not pretending anymore.
A good portion of my spiritual life has been a reaction against those times. My interpretation of how one should interact with the divine tends to be a bit more lively, or colorful, than what you normally hear about. I joke around a lot. I use foul language. I threaten and tease. I yell and scream. I break down in tears of joy and sorrow and anger. I confess my love quite often. I’ve broken a few unnecessary taboos while I’ve been at it too.
It has been working. The shadow work, and the light work, has been paying off. I’ve been working intensely with Ra. I took risks. I trusted him. It all seemed so strange, but it worked. I feel stronger than I did at this time last year. He gave me a name a year ago, when I finally decided to open up to him, and he’s been teaching me how to embody that. The name has always been there, but it takes encouragement to bring it to the front. He reminds me of what is important and what is not. He has taught me the same lesson over and over all year long: love, relation, connection.
When I want to be proud and aloof, he brings me back to my knees. When I feel cold, he brings me warmth. When I am alone, he tells me to spend time with the family. When I yell, he tries to find out what is wrong instead of yelling back or telling me that I’m wrong. When I feel unworthy, he insists that he will be the one to make that judgement. I call him “Sir.” I hardly ever call anyone that.
I stopped running, and finally admitted that I need him in my life. I’m stronger with him than I was without him. I’m more alive now, even in the dark side of the year.