Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of life...

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Hiding The Shadows - Toko-pa Turner

 What if [negative emotions] have something essential
to communicate to us and each other, and the real problem
is the misguided attitude that negative feelings make us less
evolved and need fixing?

In the same way that we hold others at arm's length when they
are too different from us, we avoid the inner encounter with
otherness, excluding anything that doesn't fit the image we've
been building of ourselves.

'Negative emotions' don't cease to exist because we ignore
them.  They just find other ways to express themselves.
Sometimes inappropriately, having confusing crying fits, or
feeling protractedly numb.  Most commonly we slip into 
depression and anxiety...

If not addressed in a person's life, these issues can harden into
ideologies which are then passed through the generations.
When you add to this equation a loud or charismatic leader,
movements like Nazism will be born from the corroborative
fear of otherness.

Most of us have been raised to be moral, good, and agreeable,
putting all of our 'unacceptable' qualities in what Robert Bly
calls "The Long Black Bag" we drag behind us, or what Jung
termed the personal "Shadow."  The Shadow is the place
where everything we have forgotten, denied, rejected, or not
yet discovered goes to live.

When we try to live up to the impossible image of a spiritually
enlightened, knowledgeable, selfless, forgiving, easy-going,
supportive, generous superhuman, the dark side of our nature
just gains in power...

You always have a choice to turn away or to look for redemption
in the shadows.  Sometimes turning away is exactly what you
need in the moment, especially if you're tired from toiling there.
Trust that whatever you decide is the right decision.  Also
know that if the issue being presented has roots, it will still
be there when you're ready to look at it...

We cannot simply remove the Shadow all at once.  It takes
wisdom, courage and forbearance for our shadows to reveal
themselves to us so they can be faced and dealt with gently,
compassionately, and firmly.

Toko-pa Turner
from: Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home

with thanks to The Beauty We Love


Photo - Mystic Meandering

This shadowy, sunglass-wearing figure revealed itself in
the grains of the cutting board I recently acquired - wearing
his silly little hat - as if hiding in the shadows behind a
curtain... :)


All comments are subject to moderation