Polarity vs. Polarization :: the rhythm of healing

Rhythm exists in everything, and everything exists in rhythmic relation. Rhythm is the result of the interaction of opposites, of polarities in communication. For example, the rhythm of night and day is made up by the dynamic relationship between light and darkness. Each morning when the sun rises in the east we are basked in growing light. As the light wanes we notice growing darkness.

Here is a list of some polarities:

hot and cold
far and near
up and down
light and heavy
forward and backward
black and white
wet and dry
inside and outside
straight and curved
limited and infinite
hard and soft

It seems that any particular thing you can imagine has an opposite.

Try it.
Pick a thing.
Any thing.

Say it out loud….

And now, ask yourself “what is its opposite?”

Wait for a few moments and don’t make it too precious. Come to a still ness and just listen for the first thing that comes to you out of the quiet.

Some things have a clear factual opposite, like big is the opposite of small, while others have a more dreamlike opposite.

Take for example: “hair”

Actually, wait… take “butterfly” as an example.

I like this one because it is an image that has shown up many times while working with my daughter after a nightmare.

Usually it is invoked as the opposite of the-scary thing that is dominating her nightmare, say for example, a monster.

After asking her to describe the monster, its color, shape, dimensions, heft, etc. I would ask her, “What is the opposite of a monster?”

She would say, after a few moments of feeling like there could never be anything other than the monster in her consciousness….”butterfly”

So, for her the opposite of a monster is a butterfly.

So what does this have to do with rhythm and healing?

Basically, my point is that every single thing on earth finds itself in motion and rhythm. The result of existence and polarity is rhythmic movement.

In the context of Myth Mending, this means that polarities are also a part of healing. In my opinion, one of the main tragedies of post-modern times is the way unresolved trauma actually blocks our ability to move between opposite poles in the myriad polarities we traverse daily.

The result is the natural rhythms that emerge from polarities become the broken polarization of ideology and/or extreme emotional states. We live in a dominant culture that is, in truth, discouraging and depressing and yet we are invited, even required, to present as happy and adventurous.

Rather than wondering together in inquiry seeking mutual solutions, we fight to be heard, compete for appreciation, and take care of ourselves first.

There are critical voices, but it’s just not enough to point out what is wrong…

We need to restore the rhythm of our bodies, mind, relationships, and communities.

There is a split right now between damage centered therapeutic models of healing and positive psychological based coaching paradigms that side step the reality of trauma and wounds.

In my experience, we need both, we need regular support for our missions to the underworld, for navigating our deepest traumas, but we also need this to be balanced with viewing ourselves as whole and complete and capable.

This is why I am not (and will never be) a licensed therapist, nor will I be exclusively a coach or community activist. I know, at the very core of my being, that we need both… repair of damage and honoring of desire.

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