Having always vacillated between light and shadow, I would be lying if I told you that there weren’t times in my life where I lingered too long in both places. Balance was a struggle for me, especially during the times in my life where I felt that I was not in a place where certain parts would be accepted. Even now, especially being an Empath, there are very few places where the shadows are free to roam.
The confines of my own thoughts, numerous hand written pages (now a blog) and a select few confidants gave those shadows safe haven. However, there was a place where the shadows were completely free;
Free of judgement,
Free of shame,
Free of being misunderstood.
It was my Dark Eden.
It was a sacred place to me, because within it I had vested aspects of myself that I never truly felt safe enough to express anywhere else. It had been quite some time since I was able to go back. As fate would have it, I was given the opportunity and was only too happy to return. When I arrived, it felt like I had never left. I was welcomed warmly, and though some things had changed over time, the most important things were exactly as I remembered them. I felt like I had come home.
As anyone would be when revisiting a place that is special to them, I was excited to spend time in each of the places that I enjoyed the most, especially the heart of the garden, which was the most exquisite part. To most others, it would not look very appealing. Emily Bronte said it best:
“A source of little visible delight, but necessary.”
When I got there at long last, something new had appeared amid the darkness. A great tree, much like one in the Biblical Eden, and this too was a tree of knowledge. However, there was no warning not to eat it, nothing was “forbidden” here, so I picked the fruit and ate of it.
It was bitter, almost rancid tasting, and after I begrudgingly swallowed, something happened…
The most terrible feeling washed over me. I felt as if I were caught giggling at a funeral, and every onlooking pair of eyes glared at me as if I were the widow who wore red. I was confounded, and yes, angry. I had done nothing wrong, in fact, there was no “wrong” that could be done here. Then it occurred to me;
My shadows were no longer welcomed there.
The Empath (as well as the highly empathetic) sometimes endures a variation of what they call white room torture. It is a form of psychological torture where the prisoner is placed in a room where virtually everything is white. There is no sound, no color. Everything the prisoner touches, eats or interacts with is stark white. The lack of contrast and sensory deprivation causes the prisoner to feel isolated and lose all sense of themselves. This is how truly vital darkness is, and living in a world that would prefer we stay in the white room, where to be an Empath means love and light “or else,” our dark Edens become just as vital; and here I was being expulsed from this my most sacred and treasured place.
As the gates closed and locked behind me, I felt the most horrible rejection I had ever felt in my life. My blue-violet paradise was now a cold, grey tomb. It is a loss from which I’m not sure I will ever completely recover.