While I was taking martial arts, one of the main ways we practiced on our own was through shadow boxing. You pretended that your mirror image was your opponent and you tried to outsmart and out fight your reflection. Its a good way to see if your form or combinations make sense and improve them.
I found that for a couple of years, my biggest obstacle was the internal struggle I had with my emotions. The physical fighting, the physical strain of maintaining a posture or controlling my body, allowed a panic and turmoil within me to boil out. Sometimes it won. My fellows in the dojo certainly didn't understand. Sometimes when the shadow self won, they saw me giving up or not trying. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
And yet, during this time I learned things my High Priest had been trying to teach me for years. I didn't understand the context of what I needed to integrate. Now, in the role of mother and High Priestess, I want to be able to fix that struggle for others, and yet I know, like my struggles in the dojo, I can't fight for them. I can provide the mirrors, the dojo, the classes, the rituals, but they have to fight their reflections.
I started struggling with depression when I was 8. It is possible that although I will get better at it, I may always deal with the slipping away from the sun into solitary darkness. I learn many lessons here. I have more active, caring support than I ever did before, so hopefully, I'll be able to keep a better perspective on things from now on.
I look at 2009 and 2010 with gratitude. I lost my struggle with the dark during this time. I was abducted and at the mercy of Hades for a time. Without losing the battle temporarily, I would not have had the compassion, empathy, or understanding of others in their struggle. When it was time, I was able to return to the land of the sun. No trial ever lasts forever. We always have the chance to endure, change, rearrange, and make something new of ourselves and our lives. I am grateful for the challenges that have made me stronger, tempered my will, and helped me know myself.
The darkness will come again, and in that night, I will be able to see that which is hidden in the light of day. When the dawn comes, I will walk into the new day, with new wisdom and new insight.