Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The thing about Shadows

Shadows exist for so many reasons I cannot begin to count them all.
The thing about shadows is that most people believe they belong in the background, but what if, say what if they actually belong in the foreground?
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if people saw your shadow before they saw you?
Well, if you are some criminal or playing some dark role in a movie- then indeed to induce fear it is very good for people to see your shadow before they see you. Hollywood aside- what if your shadow came before you? 
A shadow by definition is formed when an object obstructs light. And I like this because - what your greatest weakness? 
Don't say you are a perfectionist because this is not a job interview! But, seriously take a second and write down your greatest weakness or simply think of it. My greatest weakness is procrastination. I do that a lot, even with my writing. If one line doesn't seem good enough I can always get back to it months and years down the line. So, if you take your greatest weakness and think of it as the shadow. It is mostly known to you always puts you in a state of denial. Just like the shadow is a result of light not being able to penetrate an object. Your weakness stops you from achieving something, not because it is hidden- but because you want it to stay hidden. I am not saying that you should go out and tell the whole world what your weakness is. I am saying that what if you switch positions and let it precede instead of tag along.
If you are working on a project or want something done and it seems like it is taking you forever; why don't you sit down and identify what it is that is preventing you  from  seeing it through. Most researchers suggest you take notes, make a journal of your progress, or simply take time to reflect on it. But, I tried something today (given that I had no coffee and miss my Sister and Nephew already) and it inspired this post. 
I sat down to write the first lines of a new novella I am working on. I was successful until the tenth word when I felt like hitting the "delete" button. I instead pressed down on CTRL + S and saved it.
See, if it was bad- then I still have time to review it.
But that is just to creation- what of a character trait? How can you simply spot your weakness and do something about it before it brings you down? Time. Yes, a movie takes months to shoot- but only two or three hours of it makes it to the premiere. A book takes months or years to write, but less than a thousand pages make it to the book shelves. A tree is cut down, but only polished bits of it makes it to our homes and institutions. Creation is a process. Human beings are constantly creating. You make things by words, thoughts and action. You make new friends. You share information, you work-you are always in the process of production. So, though you think you are in the foreground- you are mostly in the background, just like the shadow. You only get to step into the light or are noticed when in your creation process you produce something that can be recognized. This could be as simple and welcome as a smile, or even a beautiful work of art.
So, whatever your weakness is- I just learned today that it is you and you can take time to accept it and learn how to use it to step  out into the light.
Just think about that.

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Hate less, Love more: Fear less, Hope more.