According to the Google machine, it is “the state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association”. Last night, my beautiful and spiritually rooted friend, Angela, and I had an interesting conversation about contrast and it has sparked a theme for this entire day.
We were talking about a situation where someone was spewing negative energy, complaining about everything, spreading discourse and why there are always people around who are like that. “They provide contrast,” Angela said. “They’re here to teach us how to navigate through life.”
When I was about to fall asleep last night, after a stellar day of visiting with friends, being productive, and spending some quality time with Greg, Angela’s words kept running through my mind. I fell asleep feeling something shift in my awareness and, when I woke up this morning, it was as though a window I had been looking through-the frosted glass kind that you find in bathrooms- had suddenly been opened and I could suddenly see clearly what lay beyond.
How many times in your life have you found yourself in a situation where the majority of people surrounding you – be it your work place, a group of friends, a volunteer group, etc. – are happy and positive and like-minded, but one or two people are die hard energy vampires who constantly complain, look at the glass as half empty, create angst, or spew negativity like lava? In my life, these people pop up everywhere and, until this morning, I have always wondered, aloud and in my head, why these people can’t just fuck off and go make someone else miserable. I have always lamented having to put up with these kinds of people and resented the fact that they are in my space, treating me and other people like shit or just plain bitching about anything and everything.
I finally understand it.
As I worked outside this morning thinking about this and feeling the sweet warmth of comprehension flowing through me, something else popped into my awareness. Just as these types exist to help us grow as people, so does the contrast within us. We can’t be all kind, loving, caring, giving, super compassionate beings 24/7. We need all of those things to be balanced out by a little darkness, a little asshole, a little apathy. Balance is a huge part of learning and spiritual growth and the contrast within all of us is a valuable tool to use to keep ourselves balanced.
I giggled when, later in the day, Ang posted a link to a podcast called Heart of Gold, Soul of Steel by Derek Rydall. It was, of course, all about contrast and learning to accept, rather than fight and feel ashamed of the darkness we all have within us. Spiritual warriors get that there needs to be a yin and yang to all things, especially ourselves.
What this day long journey has made me realize is that, for all the striving to improve my awareness of the world and my self-awareness, without contrast, I wouldn’t learn a gosh darn thing. We just can’t learn or grow without contrast-in ourselves and from others.
As an aside, I always find it funny when something so obvious can be lost on me until someone actually points it out in passing. It just goes to show that even the most tuned in people often miss what is right in front of us and we all need the help of others to see clearly. I am always humbled by the means in which the universe brings me enlightenment and tonight I am really grateful for all of my connectedness.
We are one and we are love.
One love, people. One love.