Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Both And - Life with the Shadow

I am sitting in the Mile Hi City
Visiting my amazing son and his amazing wife
Two young people who make me smile

It is early morning, and loud music is blaring outside their condo
motivating the apparently thousands (seems like millions) of runners
doing a half marathon in the street below

Go Tammy K. (a person I work with in Oregon is one of them).

As I sit here I am thinking about shadows

Not the shadows created by the morning sun
but the shadows that live in my soul
the shadows that we all have

The shadows that exist in every person I know

I talked yesterday about my friend Scott
He was amazing, a giving wonderful man
But he had shadows.  There was a part of himself that was
chaotic and dark and confused

I have my own shadows.  I try to pretend the dark side of my soul isn't there
but it creeps out anyone.  
I turn my back for second, and there it is!

We spend a lot of time denying this part of ourselves
And lot of energy
we create this container
into which we put the less perfect part of ourselves
the part we want to forget

But there is a problem
it is part of ourselves
and if we want to be authentic
and real
and grow
We have to accept our whole self
Every part of our self we do not love
Do not acknowledge, will become our enemy (thank you Robert Bly)

We can only cover up for a while
and the
the dark self will leak

those unackowledged thoughts and feelings will erupt
will come out of us
sometimes gushing
sometimes trickling

but it will emerge

the greed, the lust
the loneliness, the anger

and there we are
our self-righteous veneer in disarray 

So the self we must love
the self we must accept
is our whole self
we must claim the shadow
learn to live with it, manage it
work with it

For we are all both/and
both good and bad
weak and strong
righteous and deviant
givers and takers
kind and cruel

we are together, but also totally mixed up

it is how we are

and it is when we accept this 
when we let the light shine
on our whole self
that we can attend to
and forgive
the parts of ourselves we do not like

When courageously face even the parts of us that 
appear to be destructive can be transformed (F. Scardino)

It is amazing how freeing it can be
when there is less to hide

It is time to make friends with our shadow

1 comment:

  1. The 8th step in the 12 Steps of Recovery is, “We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.” so many many times I have seen people forget to put their own name on that list. I had to have that pointed out to me early on and one more time it has been pointed out again and was necessary. I have always said "Love the person and Hate the disease they are not the same". Learning to love that shadow is so spooky to me.
    Accept tolerate forgive Give Compassion yep but love, that's a toughie.