top of page

Brighter the Flame, Bigger the Shadow

The brighter the flame, the bigger the shadow. There are some quotes you hear in life that never leave you; for me, this is one that has remained steadfast as I navigate relationships, both good and bad. So many of the amazing people I've met, those who have had the most profound impact on others, me, and the world, have also often had enormous shadows. Demons chased them and almost seemed to fuel them, even if the product itself was pure.

The trope of the tortured artist has this odd paradox of the art gaining increased depth only as the creator performs through the pain. We see it on their faces and we hear it in their voice and we, the audience, eat it up.

Without realizing it, we enable those demons to prosper.

The nature of the world, however, means that this love of pain may unknowingly root itself in you, not just in how you perceive your idols. As much as it may sound like I am advising to run away from pain, I'll take this time to add that the compulsory nature of OCD gets worse the more you attempt to escape pain; living in freedom with any anxiety disorder means leaning into the wind, even if it's cold and unknown.

The absolutely insane irony of all of this is that we, as mortal beings, would rather feel pain than nothing. The artist would rather be crazy than boring. Those who give themselves over to this life, those who truly learn to "let go", have so much to offer to their environment. Unfortunately, it so often comes at a significant personal cost. No significant individual has ever walked a easy, level path.

Those who give every ounce of their being to the world and feel both the love and pain that comes with the territory are those whose steps leave the most striking imprints. The stoic man who sits on the hill, far removed from the stressors and the emotions below, is not the wise entity he may think.

No, the person at the bottom of the hill, in the bustling village below, the man or woman in the arena, they are the ones whose judgements on life have legitimate merit. It is an unfortunate, yet extremely necessary, cardinal truth of life and this planet we exist on. The ancient adage of “No glory without struggle "may be one that needs to be repeated each morning, as we seem to all wake up with this obsession to resist discomfort or the day's anxieties..

Be determined to make friends with pain so that you are never alone. Do not run from struggle. Embrace it. Bask in the ice bath of reality and the beauty of consciousness. Remember always:

The most magnificent 10% comes at the cost of a hellish 90%.

Recent Posts

See All

When Is It All Going To Make Sense?

“When is it all going to make sense?” The tension between the temples that seems to never be satiated. A world void of any apparent rhyme or reason. Confusion about why we are here and what our ultima

How (Not) To Think

The worst part about being trapped in your own mind is being trapped in your own mind. We’ve all been there. There is some event in your life or some comment that was made that hit just a little too c

This, Too, Shall Pass

“This, too, shall pass.” I wish this message could be tattooed to the inside of my eyelids. No matter how many times I read it, it still seems difficult for me to fully digest. Regardless, I repeat it


Grow with us.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
bottom of page