Becoming the sun

Sun and Leaves

A decade or so back, dur­ing a strange and dif­fi­cult time, I paid a visit to a ther­a­pist who came well-recommended by friends. While I remem­ber very lit­tle of the ses­sion a sin­gle line from our con­ver­sa­tion has haunted me for years. “You’re like the moon, and you need to be like the sun!” His voice car­ried both urgency and what struck me as exas­per­a­tion, and at the time, it left me reel­ing, baf­fled, and not a lit­tle chastened.

You need to be like the sun. What was he talk­ing about? It was all that I could do at the time sim­ply to keep afloat.

I left the office feel­ing over­whelmed. I never went back. Still, the fiercely spo­ken words some­how stayed with me. Over time, they came to serve as a sort of koan in times of dis­tress and doubt. Over time, I began to lis­ten, to ask what they have to teach me.

The moon takes on reflected light. The sun gives out its own. That was the first and most obvi­ous asso­ci­a­tion. Often the image rises up as I pon­der a rela­tion­ship, espe­cially as I make (not always suc­cess­ful) efforts to choose more wisely.  What am I hop­ing to draw from another that I might become the source of? And this becoming-the-source-of, how might, I go about that?

I’ve been in a bit of a slump dur­ing the past week, hard to say exactly why. There are rea­sons — there are always rea­sons  – but some­times they fade to the back­ground, while at oth­ers (now for exam­ple), they take cen­ter stage.  Maybe it’s the heat wave of the past few days. Or com­ing to the end of a big project, with space open­ing up on the other side, yet to be filled. Maybe it’s the fact that I need to move house and have yet to fig­ure out where. Maybe it’s a cer­tain kind of alone­ness that’s been weigh­ing on me lately, cou­pled with a sad­ness around sev­eral friend­ships appar­ently on the wane. Most likely it’s a com­bi­na­tion of these things and likely oth­ers too.

You’re like the moon, and you need to be like the sun. Yes, it’s about giv­ing off light but also, I find myself think­ing now, about occu­py­ing the cen­ter, not revolv­ing around. I’m at the cen­ter of my own life. The sun is at the center.

© 2012, amy gut­man. All rights reserved.

11 thoughts on “Becoming the sun

  1. And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
    And if there is no room upon the hill
    And if your head explodes with dark fore­bod­ings too
    I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.“
    Snakebite recently posted…This Was Banned???My Profile

  2. How dare any­one tell the moon she should be the sun?!!!

    It is her nature to wax and wane. She is dif­fer­ent from the sun, and that is pre­cisely why we need her. How should we sur­vive the heat and glare if we did not have the wise moon to give us respite and romance? The moon has always rep­re­sented the essence of womanhood.

    Was that ther­a­pist a man who thought every­one should be like him? Or per­haps like that sun he thought he should be? He didn’t mean it as a com­pli­ment, but I take “You are the moon” as a high compliment.

    The sun is one kind of strength — or maybe twenty-seven — but there are other pow­ers. The power to return from dark­ness is a dif­fer­ent kind of strength — one that the world must have to sur­vive. The power to light the night gets us all through; it gives the dark­est times their own glow­ing luminosity.

    The moon should be the sun? Balder­dash. The moon should be the moon. We need her. We love her.

    • What a fas­ci­nat­ing response, Penny — and also fas­ci­nat­ing that I’ve never thought of this before, though of course, being a yoga girl, I know a lot of the moon lore.

      Per­haps the harsh dis­missal was part of why I reacted as I did–leaving not to return. At the same time, I do think, harsh­ness aside, there was some­thing impor­tant for me in what he said. (Harsh­ness is never help­ful, though, in fair­ness, it did get my atten­tion.) I hear the words as call­ing forth an inter­nal self suf­fi­ciency, akin to the Bud­dhist exhor­ta­tion to be a light unto your­self. Also, the being at the cen­ter thing, which struck me today. Ulti­mately, it seems to me, it’s about bal­ance–& there are times when invok­ing the sun feels right and empow­er­ing to me.
      amy gut­man recently posted…Becom­ing the sunMy Profile

  3. I absolutely under­stand where you stand today. I have been there and done that, as most of have. You artic­u­lated it beau­ti­fully. I also have dis­cov­ered some cool tools to enhance what I do. It is about being in the ques­tion via http://www.accessconsciousness.com and was brought to me to at just the per­fect time. I had a huge “crack­ing open” last sum­mer and had pretty much inte­grated it. How­ever, I was left with an empty feel­ing. What next? Where do I go from here? Appar­ently the uni­verse heard me :) It always does and I could receive pre­cisely because I had no idea about what direc­tion to go in. I lis­tened to my guid­ance and con­tin­ued to do what I was doing, try­ing to be in the moment and then my sign-dandelion seeds and the trail led to Access Con­scious­ness (smile) If you want to know more please feel free to e-mail me or just check it out for yourself-even bet­ter!
    Go For Your Joy!

  4. As I noted on my face­book repost­ing, “I was deeply moved, and gen­tly but directly re-centered, by Amy Gutman’s lat­est post in Plan B Nation, “Becom­ing the Sun” …” You’re a pow­er­ful source of soul-rectifying energy, Ms. Gutman.

    • Thank you so much, Peggy. This time, sim­ply writ­ing the post didn’t lead really put me in a dif­fer­ent place (unlike what hap­pened, effort­lessly, with 40 ways to appre­ci­ate a kid­ney stone) but what *is* start­ing to shift things for me is the affirm­ing sense of con­nec­tion that comes from being heard–from know­ing my words really landed. You’ve been a big part of that from the start–indeed from long before I launched the blog. I am so grate­ful for that. :-)
      amy gut­man recently posted…Becom­ing the sunMy Profile

      • I (in my most lunar-like man­ner) wish to reflect your state­ments right back to you, Amy — you have been an inspi­ra­tion to me since I met you — and I’m so pleased to be able to share your voice with oth­ers — shine on!

    • That is so true! I think about that a lot. So many of my posts & essays begin with seem­ingly ran­dom mem­ory scraps that unfurl into much more. One of the great things about blog­ging is finally hav­ing a way to piece such things together. It’s also why my Twit­ter han­dle includes the descrip­tor “intel­lec­tual col­lag­ist.” :-)
      amy gut­man recently posted…Becom­ing the sunMy Profile

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