I think everyone has shadows in their past. Some dark corners that don't look very pretty when the light of day shines upon them.
Maybe I just think everyone has shadows in their pasts because I have so many. Or maybe others have too many too. Or maybe very few really do, but it is comforting to think they do.
It occurs to me that I can't base my life on what happens to others. It's true, I think, that we all need to feel that we're not alone - that others share some of the same things we don't like about ourselves. But we all bear the consequences of our own actions - and looking for faults and shadows in others is no way to fix the faults in me or shed light on the shadows I've buried deep beside the path of my life.
When I was younger I used to think I had an infinite amount of time to fix things that needed to be fixed; that I had plenty of time to repair the bridges I've burned, or hurts and pain I've cause others.
But no matter what stage of life I was in, I never had an infinite amount of time left. It just seems that way when you are young. As I grow older and see the time in front of me growing shorter and the time behind me stretching endlessly to a horizon that I can barely even see anymore, I realize that I may not have time enough left to scrub away all of those shadows that hide in the dark corners of my past.
Time caught up with me and the shadows still follow me.
So I need to try to find a way, if not to wash away some of these shadows to at least lighten them, I find myself being the same old me and looking for an easy way to do it. That's why I look for shadows in other people's lives. At least, I tell myself, if others carry shadows around with them, then I'm not alone.
But, I am alone. We're all alone. We all come into this world alone and we all leave it alone no matter how many are standing around us at each end of our lives. I can't erase or, at least lighten, shadows in my own life by finding that others have them too. It just some sort of flaw in me that makes me look for things to make me say - "Hey! I'm not so bad." But, the shadows remain and the fact remains the time I have left to do anything about them is limited to the time God allows me to reside on this earth.
I know that I'll never erase all the shadows in my life. I know that even if I had fifty more years left, I couldn't do it. There are too many that I've buried too deep for any light at all to ever fall upon them.
I tell myself tomorrow I'll start erasing as many as I can. Again I catch myself creating another tiny shadow. Something I'll feel just a tiny bit guilty about tomorrow. Because, when tomorrow comes, I will put it off again and tomorrow will turn into today and then yesterday and I'll still be promising myself to start erasing them "tomorrow". At this rate I'll be dead before that "tomorrow" ever comes.
I'll start erasing some of these shadows of my own design today. I catch myself looking for the ones that are the easiest to shine light on - ones that aren't too embarrassing or too hurtful for me to examine in the light of day.
The same old me, I think to myself. It's a good thing that no one can really feel what I feel or hear what I am thinking in the those deepest of private thoughts. I think they'd find a mess in me. I am beginning to see more and more that I'm not like anyone else. I used to think this was a good thing. Now I wonder.
I can imagine what others are thinking as I spill my guts in this train-of-consciousness blog or essay or whatever this is.
I'm not too much like you. My shadows are deep and buried and I don't even know where to start to begin to dig them out and try to at least let a little light fall upon them.
I wish now I would have been more careful in my youth and middle-years to not make such a crazy menagerie of shadows and then bury them deep trying to hide them from others.
Now I have shadows I can feel but cannot see because I've spent too many years hiding them from myself.
Shadows are best never made in the first place - and it's a bit late for me to find that out now.
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Published 5/2/2008 - All content is copyright ©2008 by Cloudeight Internet.