I have learnt that my life isn’t really about things and doing. It is about feelings and being. It is not about absolutes. It is about the subtle.
My son and I experience the spectrum differently to most people which affects the way we connect.
From January to the end of March I am struggling to see and feel enough blue light. I find it hard to process my own thoughts and what other people are saying. My 12 year old son keeps talking to me about his programming projects but unless I really focus and try super hard to understand by asking questions, the information feels like a blur to me. It struggles to get into my brain!
Then suddenly at the end of March, it as if the fog lifts. I can see and hear more clearly. However, rather ironically, when I see enough blue, my son stops seeing it. I ‘see’ this as a strained vacant expression in his eyes. He also becomes less hands on with things and appears less connected in his feet. I know he wants to take an interest in other people but he really finds it impossible to listen to any of my ramblings or suggestions! He is better playing with his friends online where the fun, humour and creativity manage to jump the gap between his desire and ability to connect.
At first when my son starts to struggle to connect, I feel all sorts of feelings – annoyance, anger and disappointment. But when I ‘get’ it, I realise these feelings are misplaced. My son is already in pain – feeling the pain of struggling to connect. He doesn’t need me adding to that. I have to accept him as he is, be patient and wait to hear his bright voice and see his quirky smile again. This will only happen when the light is more favourable for him. And lets hope that by then, it hasn’t become less favourable for me!
I was wondering today why our 12 year old son, who has atypical spectral sensitivity, comes to life after dark but only in the middle of June and October to December! Why doesn’t he come to life after dark at other times of the year? I have been so puzzled because after all, even being colour sensitive, in the darkness, colour should no longer be an issue.
Of course, I have realised today, it is because the light has given to him or been kind to him on those days. In June, even though the light is very bright, it feels more balanced to my son and so he has a better day. He feels good and can enjoy doing more things that he is passionate about. The brightness and balance somehow inspires and energises him. So by the evening his energy is actually in credit. He has extra energy to enjoy.
In the winter, the light may not be giving so much but it feels kinder to my son. In the dimmer light, the feeling of imbalance no longer rattles him in every cell of his body, like it does at other times of the year. So by the evening he is keen to find his torch and go walking in the fields in the dark. Or he is up for a badger hunt! Or he wants to go on a late evening picnic! On these sorts of evenings we see our son as he really is – confident, chatty, energetic and full of humour. He suddenly relaxes in the kindness of the light.
How is the light treating you today? Is it being kind, giving or is it taking away?
I wanted to be balanced – I really did – but that is not my destiny.
I live in a nearly continuous state of imbalance because of my reaction to the light spectrum. In fact, if the light ever feels balanced, I feel quite lost and don’t know what to do with myself!
Today for instance – another cloudy rainy day in the UK. Thankfully I perceive enough blue light to feel open hearted. However, I don’t feel grounded (low red light), I always have my friend, the violet light, though, energising, inspiring and pushing me on to higher and greater things.
I can do much with my perception of violet light. I can get to the heart of things and put on my analytical creative hat. I can work with data and make deductions and build theories. I wouldn’t become the crazy analyst if the light was balanced. I am pretty sure I would be doing something a lot more mundane!
Balance is nice if you can get it but maybe a little ordinary. It is imbalance that leads you into the extra-ordinary and and if you hold its hand, it will take you on the most exciting journey!
I have been thinking about all the things that influence our state of well-being outside of our brains, and our own brains are challenging enough for some of us! Or – is there no such thing as anything outside of our brain because our well-being is all intertwined with our relationship with the world?
With or without knowing it, we are all constantly influenced by:-
- Our visual perception
- Our perception of sound
- Our perception of smell
- Our perception of taste and texture
- Our perception of touch
- Our perception of balance
- Our proprioception
- Our perception of colour
- Our perception of light
- Our perception of temperature
- Seasonal Changes
- The Weather
- The Moon
- Our Health
- Our Cycles and Rhythms
- Our feelings and thoughts
- The quality of our family relationships
- The emotional climate around us
- Atmospheres of places and buildings
We can’t really separate out these stimuli and and the affects of them on our well-being. I got up today and saw there was sheep on the hill ouside our bedroom window (that weren’t there last time I looked) and felt comforted. I went to the other side of the house and the clouds were as black as black. I felt slightly less comfort but a sort of excitement as the light was bright on the garden, but the sky was dark. Then someone used the tap downstairs and I felt less comfort again, and rattled, and closed the door of the room I was in. Then my husband came in and told me how dark the sky was (!) and I automatically turned to look at it, without thinking first. The colour hurt my eyes. Now I have the sound of hail on my window which sometimes I love, but today I am not so sure about.
And so my day will continue . . a mixture of influences from my own thoughts and ideas, to the weather, light, colour, my son’s feelings . . . I am intrinsically connected to these things. There is no point in seeing them as rude interruptions or nuisances. They shape who I am and what I am going to do. I need to welcome them with open arms and let them move and inspire me.
What I do know today is that this exciting weather is giving me the energy and inspiration to write this post.
We are not islands when it comes to our wellbeing? What is influencing you today?
Having studied all the emotional psychological connections with what I feel in my body, that I can, plus all my reactions to the way I see the spectrum, I am now convinced that I don’t get to choose how I connect each day.
I thought I could heal and become all things I wanted – to be open- hearted, enjoy intimacy, give my gifts to world, have a strong powerful voice, follow my vision, be happy to be vulnerable, work with my cycles and rhythms and find where I belong.
And I have achieved all these things to a point. But it wasn’t the point I was dreaming of! I thought if I could become whole, I could just get on with things!
But wholeness isn’t all about me. I can’t be whole by myself. It isn’t possible. So God made me really sensitive to the light spectrum just to make sure I knew that!
But, ever ambitious, I have had a similar attitude with the light spectrum, almost expecting to be able to outsmart my reaction to it. After all, if I don’t perceive enough blue light, then I just need to be a bit more open-hearted. If I don’t perceive enough red light, then I just need to be more aware of my physical connection with the world
But how far can this new insight take me, I wondered?
If I just open my heart, could I get on the next plane to the Middle East and help refugees?
If I just let in trillions of support, could I foster a houseful of children?
If I do everything I can to make myself feel really secure, could I jump out of a plane?
Aaaargghhh!! NO, I CAN’T
I can heal myself, which I have done, but now I have to be part of the world. I don’t perceive enough red light in February so I don’t even feel grounded enough to bake a batch of biscuits, let alone jump out of a plane! I can’t make myself feel grounded. I can only do things that help to give me a greater feeling of security.
I can’t make myself feel anything. I can only be open to feeling. I don’t get to choose how I can connect each day!
Passionate about healing, I have always had ‘connection’ in my sights. I have been blessed enough to have a lot of insight about connection and disconnection and felt that in time it would all come together and I would feel truly connected.
However, this wasn’t to be my destination. I had to learn that no matter how much I healed, was self aware, stayed present with myself, none of it was enough.
I am not just me or not just me in relationship to others. I am also me in relationship to my environment. And this is where I get to feel what it is not to be in control. I can’t sort this relationship with my environment through therapy or self development. No, I have to surrender to it.
As a farmer has to surrender to their relationship with the weather and a fisherman to their relationship with the ocean, I have to surrender to my relationship with the light. I have to let it shape me and change me and bring out all the power that is within me.
I can’t choose to get up and ‘be’ creative. The light will make me creative or not make me creative. I can’t get up and choose to be a home-maker. The light will make me a home maker or not a home-maker. I can’t get up and choose to be a truth speaker or a leader. The light will lead me there or not lead me there. I am not in control. I can’t choose to connect with my emotions or with my intuition or with my physical energy. And I can’t choose total connection.
Today I don’t perceive enough red or blue light. This means that I can’t be really grounded or really emotionally connected, no matter how hard I try. I do perceive a lot of ultraviolet light that is giving me the energy to write this post.
Many of us are looking for total connection. We try to find it through yoga or exercise or the latest cleansing diet or using our breath. There is nothing wrong with these things but the truth is that there is no such thing as total connection when we are looking simply inside ourselves. We can try to apply all the latest health technology and fill ourselves with the latest super foods and vitamins and minerals but we will not find our place of total connection.
Connection is found in trust. When I can’t feel all the connectedness I want, I have to trust – I have to believe that connection is there.
Connection is found in knowing. When you can’t ‘feel connection,’ that can be frightening, make you insecure, and be disorientating. Knowing is FAITH that connection simply is there. It is more real than anything we can try to create or think we have.
No . . we can’t really find connection. We simply HAVE connection!
This is a sequel to my previous post ‘Some Days I Just Don’t Feel Much’
Some days I feel way too much. I get up in the morning and immediately I feel emotional. This morning I felt emotional when I couldn’t find my lists on the Waitrose website! I can feel emotional just trying to choose whether I should write an e-mail or put the washing on first!
I feel everything more sensory-wise too. I noticed the softness of the water on my hands when I washed them this morning. I noticed how hard my sandals felt on my feet. The car seemed to be faster and bumpier than usual and the hygienist (which was my destination) – well don’t get me started . . .!
On days like today my head seems to whir with thoughts and my heart seems to buzz with feelings. When I talk to people I want to express so much and suddenly realise the limitation of words. When I have spoken to people I think of how our conversation could have been more meaningful or how I could have been more transparent. Nothing seems to satisfy my intense desire for connection. My husband can give my a demonstrative squeeze but seconds later that feeling has gone – blown away on the wind.
What Do I Do?
Firstly I accept my deep feeling self
Then I do anything that satisfies my need to feel deeply, recognising that this isn’t always easy especially if you really need to make a Waitrose order! This is why I was looking for my lists – because I wanted to engage more deeply with our family’s needs. I knew this would make me happier than just randomly shopping or shopping without a list.
And most importantly I trust that I am giving and receiving enough even though it doesn’t feel that way. I accept that the insatiable hunger for emotional connection is a sense – a feeling. My feeling of unsatisfied need today is not the truth.
The truth is that I am enough and I have enough and that my heart is the wellspring of life always.
Some days I just don’t feel much. I wouldn’t say I was depressed because depression probably leads us to cut ourselves off from the world and our loved ones. I still very much connected with most of myself and the world.
But on days like this I look at my husband and think “Hmm, is this the man I married?” or I look at our home and think “Hmm, did we really paint the kitchen that colour white?” Everything seems to be questionable which makes it a terrible day for making any big decisions! It is all questionable because I just can’t feel things with my heart as I usually can.
What do I do About It?
Well, this experience gives me the opportunity to try out my capacity to trust. I have to live sort of blindly feeling-wise. I have a bath and have to trust the water is making me feel good. I eat a snack and have to trust my choice is right for that moment. I open my mouth to speak and have to trust that the ‘right’ words come out for the situation.
The hardest thing is not really ‘feeling’ my relationship with those close to me. I tend to think they are being off with me or abrupt or uncaring. However they haven’t changed. It is only me that has changed. So I have to trust their every intention to be good and have to notice their smile and the touch of their hand even if I don’t feel it.
Most of all I have to trust that I am loved.