November 01, 2017
Loving Your Monster
Many of us have a part of ourselves that lurks in the shadows, grumbling and rattling its chains, looking for a way out. It can be a nasty, jealous beast, perhaps even rageful at times. We don’t want this to be part of us, however, as it makes us unlovable. So we chain it down in our cellars, and cultivate colorful flowers of positivity in its place, and other personality topiary that makes us look exceptional.
It is important to realize that these monsters we have created ourselves. They are not evil demons that possess our souls, they come from the depths of our psyches. While demons have their realm, these monsters are unacknowledged parts of ourselves that have no outlet for expression. Aspects of our personality that are socially taboo, such as being “too” insecure, sensitive, or emotional, have no place in our culture, so we pack them away. When our sensitivity becomes too much, our emotions run too high, or we feel especially small, these repressed parts burst through to the surface, to our horror.
June 01, 2016
The Perfectionist’s Trap
You see it in the fine print of advertisements, the subliminal messaging that there is a state of perfection that you have yet to achieve. It may be your looks, your ability to earn, your social status or even your health but something is amiss, and until you fix it, expect to hide in shame.
Many of us are indoctrinated into this belief system by parents who know that part of mastering their own drive for perfection is having the perfect child. You were marched into formation and asked to tow the line, given rules to live by and standards to achieve. In the process, however, you rejected the parts of yourself that aren’t perfect. When we put our imperfections in shadow we can only see them externally, in our judgements and pity of others. Many, ironically, try to overcome these divisions by helping others change to their ideal.
November 01, 2015
Many of us, with our huge hearts in hand, reach out and help our fellow beings in their struggles and times of need. While this is a natural extension of our human capacity to love and care for one another, there is an archetype called the Rescuer that is a much different animal.
The Rescuer starts off innocently enough, as someone who wants to help, but they soon become seduced by the power of their role. When we help someone else we are in a position of strength that the other person is temporarily without. If all we do is reach in and help them stand up again, we have answered a call of service. Many of us learn early in life that by rescuing the struggling members of our dysfunctional families we feel better about ourselves. When we start doing it for personal gain, we are no longer performing a selfless action.
March 02, 2015
Owning Our Emotions
Having feelings of loss, sadness, hopelessness and fear are part of the spectrum of emotions.
While they are feelings we want to process and overcome to come back into balance, they are not "shadow" unless we put them there....
Shadow is in NOT owning them in yourself and seeing them only in someone else... and judging them for it.
Behind every judgement is a fear.
Ask yourself, instead, why the expression of these emotions scare you....
December 30, 2013
Does It Really Have to Be A Drama?
Looking at DRAMA and how we create it instead of speak our truth, especially when speaking our truth makes us feel vulnerable. We act out instead. We withhold, we provoke, we defy... But as Newton noticed, every action creates an equal and opposite reaction.
The problem with drama is it involves other people. The more responsible thing to do is own your feelings, work through them, look at their origin, process them in your journal...do ceremony to release them...communicate that you are doing this... and then, if necessary, speak what needs to be said, not the words that make you come out on top, but your truth. Then let balance unfold as it is meant to be. True, speaking your truth is going to create an effect as well but it usually brings you back into balance rather than further away from it. Our truth is the true North on our moral compass. Please, let's use it!
December 18, 2013
Cockroaches and Termites
We are remodeling my bathroom to put in a tub (!)...but as we tore out the old nasty shower stall and uprooted the flooring we found the pipes had been leaking for years... the old wall wood was riddled with termites... and under the flooring lived a colony of cockroaches... It got me to thinking about shadow.
December 08, 2013
The Shame of Imperfection
Reflecting on the great shame our culture asks us to feel about not being perfect...So many crimes against self, and others, start here. The crimes of self include not recognizing our own imperfections as our medicine. As Lao Tzu reminds us, true perfection seems imperfect, yet it is perfectly itself... but we are taught early that if we don't align with arbitrary standards we should be punished or feel shame.
The crimes against others shows up as seeing our own unowned "perfection" in others and resenting them for having it. When we stop seeing our imperfections as flaws and can instead see them more like the way the addition of lead to glass creates beautiful crystal, we can dance in the light our prisms shine instead of hide in its shadows.
November 01, 2013
Unwinding Unconscious Beliefs
The Law of Attraction tells us we attract what we think. Many of us go to great lengths to think positively, intending to attract that perfect someone, job, car or house – but when we have unconscious limiting beliefs running beneath the surface of our conscious ones, they derail our positive intentions. We can tell ourselves we matter and deserve the very best but if we have unconscious programs from childhood lurking in the shadows, telling us we are bad, undeserving, forever a victim or must be punished, we can chant affirmations until the cows come home but we won’t manifest our dreams.
Pioneering psychologist, Carl Jung, termed the parts of ourselves, good and bad, that lay unclaimed within us as “shadow.” Our limited and unconscious beliefs act as the chains that bind these parts and keep them hidden, even from ourselves. The only way we see them is if we project them outward onto other people and circumstances. Because we cannot see them it is very difficult to access and heal these parts without help. We know they are there, however, because we are locked into destructive patterns and illnesses, unable to claim who we want to be.
October 30, 2013
The Withholder’s Drama
The Withholder's power lies in the drama WE create in response to their withdrawal. Our reaction, in their minds, then further justifies their actions. Can you resist the bait of taking their actions personally? Do you really need to indulge in high drama...? Usually when we do, abandonment and rejection are part of our old stories. When we do our personal work around these issues then a Withholder is just that... someone left standing there holding onto the ball they took out of play.
October 27, 2013
Dealing With Shadow Elements In Another
Reflecting on how to navigate the emotions that arise when dealing with another person's shadow actions. We all have things we cannot see in shadow, things that, if they are not brought to light, can come out and nip at others when we least expect it. Being on the receiving end can hurt and/or make us angry, but often the other person does not even know they are doing it. Forgiveness, compassion and gratitude are the high vibration emotions that take us out of defensive positions and put us in that more mythic, Hummingbird state, allowing us to rise out of the muck of being hurt. An eye-for-an-eye begets another eye... Compassion, for you know you have done it too... and Forgiveness, allow us to drop it and move into neutrality and joy again.
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