Saturday 26 September 2020

knowing the size of your shadow

So, I have been watching this series on Netflix, “bloodline”, which is not half bad by the way, and it got me thinking...

It’s about this big, seemingly perfect, rich-ish family, which is deeply dysfunctional in a (literally) criminal way. And there’s this brother, the second oldest one, who’s supposedly the good boy, the reliable husband and father, the considerate and obedient son, the embodiment of trustworthiness and decency and honour and whatnot. And he takes upon him all the troubles his siblings face or create, all the worries and guilt of his mom, all the bad deeds of his dad, the responsibilities of his own family and job (and he works for the sheriff’s office) and basically the guy carries the weight of the world on his shoulders! Until...  nah, I’m not gonna give you any spoilers!

I kinda identify with that behaviour... I used to carry the weight of the world... I used to be the one grabbing every responsibility would come my way, no matter whose it really was, and make it my own... I used to think that all the problems of my dysfunctional family were mine to solve... and I suffered for years from this behaviour! Because, evidently, I could neither control nor solve everything! And as I was watching the hero in the series doing the same thing, I realised why he does it (and I guess why I did it too...): he does it because he thinks he casts a shadow much bigger than he actually does! And that all the mishaps of his family are within this huge shadow that he casts and therefore his to bear! He thinks that everyone else is in his shadow! And therefore he must help/protect/untangle them even though they are all fully grown adults! And they act pretty stupidly, might I add!

Well... I don’t do this anymore. I stopped some years back. I guess therapy has helped. Maybe the hero of the series would benefit from it too... Now I know exactly how big a shadow I cast and I can tell you that it is as small as if I’m standing right underneath the sun at midday! No one else exists within my shadow! Yes! Realising my insignificance has freed me from the burdens I was carrying most of my life! I’m not that important! I’m not a giant! I’m tiny! I’m an ant! I’m not responsible for everyone... in fact I’m only responsible for me (and Lucifer, as of late). So, I guess knowing the size of our shadow is important, “better than shoes” even, since it is perhaps the only way we can stop thinking others are within our shadow and stop carrying everyone else’s problems... me thinks...

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