Shallow Dance

by Matty Sullivan

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'Baby, We're Gonna Make It Through' - Thoughts on a Song in Progress

There should be a recognition that the good times are here with us, but they may not always be. But I don’t want to be morbid or pessimistic. Acknowledgement is a powerful thing, and when accompanied by love and acceptance it may become beautiful. At the beginning of the change into less-than-pleasant times, even when the first whispers are heard, it’s good for them to be accompanied by the assurance of some things that will definitely not change: love, meaning, truth. Our commitment to these things is not provisional. We know that the sunshine is followed by rain, and that the rain is followed by sunshine. We are moving forward along a line that goes through all types of terrain, and this line is the only thing we should expect to rely on. What appears to be change is in truth just the recurrence of something that has happened before any number of times, so it’s really nothing new, just another spin around the wheel. When the summer ends, there may be some sadness, but we know that summer will come around again, and the only way we can be there fully present and joyous for the next summer is to be fully present and joyous here, during the storms of winter. The line doesn’t disappear just because it runs through shadows. Hold before you the light of love and acceptance, even during difficult times, and you will see that the line is still there, as clear and defined as during the times of brightness. Keep fast hold of that light; without it, it is all too easy to drift off course. The summer comes again, but we are muddled, having lost track of our straight line in the shadows far behind.

This won’t happen to us, because we’ve been through it before. We recognize the shadows when they draw near, and we understand that they are not the ones approaching us, but us approaching them, and the only way to avoid going through them is to stand still. When it comes to our experience of life, there is no true separation of light and shadow, joy and pain. The thought of one without the other is absurd, impossible.

So, to appreciate the light is to appreciate the shadow, for to choose one is to choose the other, and to deny one is to deny both. When the storm clouds appear on the horizon, greet them as an old friend coming to visit for a while, to help you complete the sweetness of the summer and to gather your love for its return. In the meantime, learn where your strength lies and how to access it. This is not only when you need it most, this is where it comes from.