Diane Sermon 4/14/2018
The shadow side of us is the part of us that we would prefer not to see. Those repeating patterns that I wrote about two weeks ago all have a shadow underneath them that can be difficult or impossible to see. The shadow remains hidden in the darkness of our lessons, creating the same scenes over and over, while avoiding recognition.
In therapy and at personal or spiritual growth groups or events, we are looking for our patterns, the ones we would prefer to stop, the realities we have created that we do not like. We often take our loved ones with us to correct their patterns that we do not like. When we write intentions, we endeavor to create a new reality, one that moves away from the current view that we have been creating. By the way, we do not write intentions to correct others because that would be what I call black magic. General intentions for the well-being for others and the world are fine. However, correcting them for our own benefit is missing the mirror of your own shadow.
The Despacho, the give-away ceremony of creating a bridge between the nonordinary world from our ordinary world seeks to bring into existence a new reality. To do so, the Despacho contains symbols to correct your life or set you into correct relationship with the world, with God, with the Oneness. “Be sure you want what you ask for,” I say, “because the Despacho can and will correct your life.” Unfortunately, the shadow is strong and we can easily resist correction. We can run away and hide in the comfort of our usual view of reality if we choose.
The absolutely main reason we do not change is not actually resistance or denial because resistance is simply a manifestation of our fear. Fear is the power of the shadow. Shadows can be scary even if they are illusions of some past reality, like childhood or the past. Have you ever seen a funny video of a baby who is crying and running away from their shadow on the ground? To adults it seems funny. But to the one running, the shadow is terrifying.
So many of the old ways of uncovering our issues or shadows for people was very intimidating and full of confrontation. Part of the reason for the unpleasantness of these techniques was based on the human desire to avoid looking, of the humiliation ones feels and the fear underneath it all. It was believed that one needed to be sort of held down and forced to look at the shadow. One usually becomes a child when getting triggered by this type of remembering. However, what was overlooked is the beginning days of confrontation of fear is trauma. In others words, you can easily be traumatized again and again when overloaded with fear again and again to uncover your issues or shadow parts.
To put this problem more simply, if you are dealing with a frightened traumatized child, full of fear and feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, humiliation and other terrifying feelings it would be helpful to offer some comfort through the process. The comfort offered is most beneficial if one can offer love and comfort to their own baby running from the shadows. The baby does not know the shadow isn’t real or is no longer necessary. It is our job to offer love and support and in so doing preventing more trauma from the process of healing.
In the book, Games People Play, Eric Berne says you can tell you are in a game because you have a bad feeling. Berne said, “A game is an ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions… with a concealed motivation… or gimmick.”
It is actually very easy to notice the bad feelings others offer but much more difficult to notice the game you are offering. If you say or do something that causes someone else to get a bad feeling, then you are in the game. You offer something like a simply sentence or request and get back some kind of bad feeling. Noticing your game is noticing the shadow. Instead of playing the game, look in the mirror and repeat the correcting statement: “I am the love of my life.” It is important to remember that we energetically can draw the people to us who will play our games. If this person is someone you often offer a game to or who often offers you a game, then be grateful for this opportunity to look your shadow in the eye, the one who is afraid, who dwells in fear and lack because this is opportunity to choose love instead of fear. By the way, if you play this game often with someone, they will be confused when you are not playing, silent and looking inside for a new way. They may try to lob the ball in your direction a second time. Send love back.
As peacemakers, we are practicing inner peace. This peace does not require us to be perfect. It just requires us to choose love again and again, even when everything about our past and present tempts us to play games of fear. Choose love and create peace.
Today’s compassion lesson and practice from <em>A Year of Living with more Compassion – 52 Quotes and Weekly Compassion Practices </em>(Edited by Richard Fields) Selection 37 (pp 113-1014) by Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD who chose this quote by Karlfried Graf Durkheim from his book, The Way of Transformation (1988).
He said, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”
Let’s practice. Take a deep breath, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. When you breathe in, place your attention on the air, the Prana or life force that you are taking into your lungs. The life force is full of energy to sustain and nurture your life. As you exhale, fully release the used air and relax before your next inhale. Place your attention into the center of your being and imagine a beautiful and comfortable chair is sitting inside a expansive open area of your inner self. Your inner self is without walls, without boundaries, and seeming to go on forever because it does. The chair is beckoning you to sit down and relax, to bask in the light that streams in from every direction and this area is filled with indescribable colors. As you sit down, a mirror appears that shows you all the parts of yourself that you fear and all the parts of you that you love. Slowly as you breathe and relax, the two parts of you become one. Love and fear integrated are now something you have never known, an infinite loving being filled with humility and compassion.
Take another deep breath and bring that image of yourself back with you. Namaste.