Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Valleys and Summits

"It is not good for all our wishes to be filled; through sickness we recognize the value of health; through evil, the value of good; through hunger, the value of food; through exertion, the value of rest."   -Greek Proverb

This is exactly what I've been telling my family for a long time, although this proverb says it far better than I can.  I know my family cares about me.  I know that's why they occasionally encourage me to consider an anti-depressant.  My sisters absolutely swear by theirs and perhaps it's a good aid for them.  I consistently and (hopefully) politely refuse.  For me it would not be an aid but instead a crippling impediment.  

There are times when I am so overwhelmed with negative emotion.  I am so low it feels like I am in a deep fissure in the earth.  Inky darkness swallows away any shadow.  The cold snakes through my heart to leech away any warmth.  Silence pounds deafeningly.  The thick air is hard to breath.  It is a forbidding place and lonely because even the best efforts of friends cannot raise me from this pit.

Time spent in a valley is extremely unpleasant but vitally necessary.

It is only because of the valleys that my summits are so dazzlingly high, so brilliantly bright, so wonderfully warm.  It is only in comparsion to the dark that I can see and appreciate the full quality of the light.  Comparison to the cold makes the warmth warmer.  Comparison to the depth of the valley makes the height giddy and awe-inspiring.  Even if I could reach the summit without going through the valleys, without the comparison everything would be muted.

It's just basic physics.  If I trim amplitude off the bottom of the wave by chemically altering the depth of the valley I must, as a matter of natural law, lose an equal amount from the crest.  Without the deep troughs I cannot soar to the incredible highs found at the wave's apex.  As hard as it is to get through the valleys sometimes, I refuse to do anything to change that amplitude because I am so unwilling to give up the highs of riding the crest.

Copyright © 2011 Denise Duggan

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