In the dance with yourself, who leads?
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We all do things we don’t understand. We may believe we have a good thing going and then—wham—out of the blue we do something out of character and derail it. We trip over unawareness of ourselves and sabotage our best efforts, messing up without being sure why we’ve done so.
This behavior occurs when we have unacknowledged or unfulfilled needs or desires which we keep under wraps. We don’t recognize them and therefore don’t deal with them. We push parts of ourselves aside in favor of the persona we want to be.
Problems arise when we continue to deny portions of our nature. These parts then shove to the fore of our existence, often at the least convenient of times, in ways we don’t anticipate or like. They grab ownership of our choices and actions, leaving us with someone unknown controling us.
These guerilla parts were referred to as “the shadow” by Carl Jung: “Everyone carries a shadow and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” How did we end up with uncharted portions of ourselves, and why do they end up running the show?
As we progress through life, we push portions of our awareness aside because they are uncomfortable. We also learn situational coping mechanisms, which we repeat in other inappropriate instances because they once worked for us. It’s as if we are at a formal dance, having forgotten we once knew how to waltz, and trying to tango, regardless of the music played, because we once tangoed to great effect.
How do we change that? How do we recognize all parts of ourselves and get them to work in harmony for out benefit? How do we deal with the shadow?
The first step is to own the shadow. It is not some strange force making us do stupid and unwanted things. It is part of us and cannot be eradicated. Even if we could expunge it, we would not want to do so because it holds value as well as discomfort.
In order to make peace with our shadow, we must welcome it and recognize it is necessary. When we have acknowledged and welcomed it, then we can proceed to understand it and collaborate with it for our overall benefit. We can begin to harvest the benefits of functioning as a whole person.
Let’s take a few minutes, with the assistance of our inner divinity—our sharing within—to explore acknowledging a hidden part of ourselves. We will let our breath guide us through this exercise. We’ll allow its rhythm become slow and regular, as we picture our sharing within as a ball of golden light in the center of our chest.
Every inhalation feeds the light and strengthens our conscious connection with divinity. Every exhalation spreads awareness of divine interconnection throughout our body and surroundings. We’ll continue until we feel relaxed, even, and sure—signs that we are in conscious connection with our inner divinity.
We will think of one recent situation in which we behaved in an unexpected and, for us, untypical way. We revisit the scenario and breathe golden light into it. Then we’ll invite the part of us who was in charge of the situation to chat with us about what happened and why.
Perhaps we verbally insulted a coworker for no apparent reason. Perhaps the individual asked us for a favor. Perhaps the coworker’s voice reminds us of a sibling. Perhaps that sibling frequently asks us for favors. Perhaps, in childhood, it always seemed that the sibling’s needs superseded our own. Perhaps that part of us feels unfairly treated compared to others we see as being of similar status.
We’ll shine golden light on that portion and own it as part of our whole. We will beam unconditional love and acceptance to it, asking it work to together with our conscious mind for our benefit by finding a new role, one that suits its talents.
Perhaps this part of us can be our equity sensor. It can help us keep interactions with others in balance and fairness, simply alerting us when interactions are out of balance. We can allow our conscious mind to choose our actions, but this portion of our unconscious mind will clue us in to awareness.
We’ll thank this repurposed portion of ourselves for its presence and assistance in our life. When we are willing to step out with it, rather than resisting, resenting, and burying it, life is easier and much more fun. Let’s dance!
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Divinely unique and beautiful reader, what buried part of yourself have you repurposed? Please share…