Today I was discussing the practice of mindfulness on the phone with a very good friend. I was relaying to her how I always feel a connection to Kali because of my bipolar disorder. I suppose I’ve always felt that Kali would be our patron saint of those who struggle with bipolar or mental health in general. When I think of Kali, I suppose I always think of two major extremes in her personality.
If you know her legend, you might envision the wild-haired, red tongued, dark-skinned Goddess on a blood rampage. Kali faces a battalion of demons who are bent on destroying everything good in the world. She is empowered with the weapons and powers of the other Gods, who are unable to face these demons without her strong will. Kali discovers quickly that when she strikes down a demon with her scimitar, the blood which falls to the earth sprouts yet another demon. Because of this swift multiplication, the Goddess is forced to drink the blood of the demons to keep them permanently disabled.
Kali is so enthralled in the battle she doesn’t notice the rage building inside of her. After defeating the hordes of demons, she continues her beserking and begins killing innocent humans. The same humans Kali was sent to protect. The Gods quickly summon Lord Shiva, who throws himself into the path of destruction. During her deathly dance, Kali steps on Lord Shiva (her mate) and sticks out her tongue. Some traditions will say this is because the Goddess was embarrassed and others will say it’s because Kali found humor in this. Whatever the reason, Kali is forced from her extreme state into a more peaceful role.
Then you have Kali the compassionate. The same Goddess who will protect women, champion the weak, and uphold universal balance. She can be merciful death, the Great Mother, and the one who destroys maya matrix (illusion.)
If you’re a person with bipolar disorder, I think you could appreciate the delicate dance between these two states of being. That is why I think I have always related to the Dark Mother in such a strong way and why She has continued to help me along my journey.
Today’s journey into mindfulness is realizing that there is no “control” over the anger I feel inside. There is the awareness and the actions I take to protect folks from what the bipolar disorder can do during a mania episode. I am proud of how far I’ve come and look forward to where the road leads next on this amazing adventure. Thank you for reading.