Transmuting the Shadow
Compassion, forgiveness… Forgiving what seems utterly unforgivable in ourselves.
Where have you held onto severe judgments of yourself?
They are in the deeper layers of the self, where we keep hidden, even from ourselves. And like little monsters stuck in the cracks of the floorboards, they creep out; small, dark, hairy, petrified, raisin-fingered pointing at you, like a poison-dipped arrow splaying your heart open like a butterflied pork chop.
Shame. You drop to your knees in complete supplication. For shame is the carrier of self-abandonment. “What have you done now, my little wicked one?” the shame monster blinks closer to our tiny hidden shadow crevices.
The child-parts of ourselves that were rejected or unattended to. The terror at engulfment or abandonment. The fear that we will NOT get what we want, for we do not deserve it! Batten down the hatches, set sail for self-loathing and rejection. We still have unlovable qualities, even with vast quantities of self-examination packed inside our hearts’ labyrinth chambers.
Do you stand at the threshold? Will you risk a peak? Will you walk hand in hand with your shadow?
The part of a woman who experienced her father’s unavailability and inability to show affection as proof that she was not worthy of real love and holding from a strong, open man.
Or the opposite…
The part of a man who experienced his mother’s uncensored neediness of his love as a contract for seeking approval and perfection in order to keep her and all future women bolstered up.
Often, these parts of ourselves we notice for the first time while in our earliest love relationships. We are shocked when we fall in love for the first time and then have a breakup so devastating that we secretly close down our hearts for business. During these first loves, we may behave in the ways our parents inadvertently taught us to, and our love interest does the same. Over and over, clients will retell these tales from their teen years with such awe, regret and bewilderment. What happened?
- Not having a healthy overlay of what a relationship can be in its complexity, glory and bloody guts.
Relationships are multi-layered with the interweaving waves of two people experiencing past, present and future from different lenses. Even with great communication skills in your family of origin (which most of us do not have), communication is tricky and often over-relied upon in our mature adulthood. How do you know that what you are experiencing is your truth, when there can be so many layers influencing it at any given moment? Not to mention that words stem from the mind, only part of our human-spirit package.
- Not knowing your truth; or its vital companion, not speaking your truth….
How do we get to know our truth? Understand that like the ancient Greek philosophers, truth can be debated for centuries. Like a rose, there are layers of petals that cover the seed bud. Letting our truths find us is a vital skill in a healthy relationship.
For your exploration, I have unpacked the process of mindful, embodied self-examination to illuminate a deeper truth, that withstands the test of turbulent, fleeting emotions. Try sitting with these questions regarding an important issue or pattern that is surfacing at this time in your life.
To blossom into your own highest truth, contemplate:
- What is occurring in your body at this moment in time?
- What have been your shifting feelings over the past couple of days?
- What feelings, thoughts, images have repeatedly occurred?
- What do these experiences have in common?
- What associations do they have from your childhood, with your parents or other significant relationships?
- Keeping the attention on YOURSELF, what are you learning about yourself right now?
- What aspects of yourself are you bringing into consciousness through this awareness?
- Can you see the rose petal layers of truth, the complexity and simplicity, paradoxical, yet a complete whole?
- How can you deeper accept these aspects of yourself as part of your complex perfection?
- What do you need from yourself or others to support this blossoming aspect of yourself?
Be brave, my tender raw blossoms, unfurling your sweet petals to reveal your inner most self… Let yourself be seen, be experienced, just BE.