Are You the Lightning or the Rain?
Edward Sullivan

I think the metaphor is fine. I think your writing is clear. And I certainly think it is bad to try to live in a way that is pretending to be something or someone else. Metaphors like this can help increase awareness around personal alignment or lack thereof.

However, the way you set this up, you also make it completely static: you are what you are. Perhaps this is true. Perhaps not. But it seems unhelpful to me (from a personal development/growth/raising awareness POV) to import something so static. I have seen myself shift over the years, back and forth. As I have changed and evolved and as my circumstances have changed and evolved. In some contexts I am in, I am certainly more one than the other.

The other thing I find problematic is the insistence to stick to who you are. In my work I have seen signs where this belief leads to a self-righteous sort of attitude which erodes the deep respect for the other type. “I’m a _______ and you will just have to deal with that” and “I’m good at _____ and all the other stuff I’ll leave to other people” it’s like playing the role a bit too hard. It’s as if these people are afraid that if they have to deal with anything that remotely represents the other side, it will necessarily diminish their “true” self. It becomes an outright refusal to even try what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes. To develop that empathy. Even if just for a day, every once in a while.

Instead of thinking of it as a spectrum of opposing poles, you can think of it as two independent capacities. You have more of one than the other. And one of them you enjoy more. But developing a bit of extra rain capacity does not actually diminish your lightning.

None of this, however, should discourage you from continuing to work with this. As I said above: I like it. It’s simple. Clear. And it feels fresh which is the work we are doing in some ways. Taking important old ideas (“know thyself” comes to mind as an earlier but harder to apply version of this) which have become stale and cliche. And make the fresh and meaningful again in new contexts.

I really hope you will not just stick to your lightning brilliance but also tap into a bit of rainy power, and keep developing this. To take the time and effort to work on the nuances, even if you feel tempted to just leave it to someone else to “work out all those little details.”

I have been there. I have been all lightning. To an embarrassingly arrogant degree. Rejecting and refusing to rain. Because I thought it was my “true” nature.

If you want feedback or thought or engage in dialogue beyond this public forum just DM on Twitter (@thnkclrly) or Whatsapp +1.347.987.5098

Keep it up. Much love.

— Mathias

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