"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." Mary Oliver
I initially had difficulty with this quote – yet it resonated strongly with me. I asked myself why that was.
Then it slowly dawned on me that it was because my greatest gift is my intuition and the reason I have that (almost off the scale in Myers Briggs) is because my father, at times a violent alcoholic, ensured that I had to develop what I believe is my strongest 'muscle', my intuition, to avoid harm.
The way he walked up the 'close' in our Scottish tenement block, or put the key in the door told me whether I needed to be around or not.
That 'gift of darkness' enabled me to rise to the position of local government Chief Executive without any university degree, as I could read and understand people and not only see possibilities but also achieve them in unchartered situations.
I could also deal better with personal emotion and anger and see possibilities for the future. Then of course I suffered depression for the last 24 years...
So what has that 'gift of darkness' done for me?
It has, due to my feeling how bad life can really be, made me far more comfortably leave work that 'steals my soul', where politics, power or money are placed before people, principles or morals. It has also moved me to read a more varied selection of materials about values, trust, leadership, emotion and mental health.
So I am now I trust a far more rounded and 'wise' (EQ) human being, with much of my time chairing a youth befriending charity and working with organisations on values, trust and leadership. (This as opposed to being 'clever' (IQ)).
I still suffer depression, haven't been able to close that door yet but am far more understanding of others and able to deal with any situation which presents itself, especially human emotional ones. I constantly offer the thought that character (EQ) is far more important than competence (IQ).
None of us wish to be mentally 'ill', yet I believe that what it offers is an opportunity through insight, which makes us re-evaluate what is important in life.
As was said on Moodscope BlogSpot recently "welcome to this wonderful community of lovely people who share very personal experiences of tough times in order to help others going through similar bleak periods. We none of us claim to be experts but operate very much as a "self-help" support community. Those of us who post and blog often do so from a place of darkness." Thanks to Frankie for that.
"There is in the worst of fortune the best chance for a happy change." Euripides
A Moodscope member.