People pleasing and reluctance to notice what I want and risk asking for it is a learned strategy for avoiding disappointment. When viewed this way I have to bow down to the little kid in me who must have figured this strategy out long ago. It worked brilliantly to avoid major disappointment. But now that I’m older – and have the ability to look at this more deeply – I’m thinking disappointment isn’t so scary anymore. I’m thinking the risk of disappointment is definitely worth the gain of living more fully by noticing and feeling free to express my preferences.
I’m on a kick of exploring the truth. What I’m looking at is my personal truth. I’m trying to be completely open to and honest about what I’m feeling. Does the thought of brutal honesty make you nervous? No worries. I’m not communicating to others exactly what I’m feeling! I’m simply trying to be honest with myself. Not “brutally honest”, but “lovingly honest.”
While the shadow is not who we really are, neither are many of the other things we think define us. What we lose on the journey is the identification with thoughts of who we are. In this way, we awaken to the divinity that connects us with all beings.
Our greatest reward, our true being, comes when we are willing to face our fears and darkness head-on. When we are willing to go into the deepest part of the unconscious, called a transition zone, we can experience this as emptiness or a void. Following this path will bring you into contact with your real being.
The shadow holds the deep, unexplored and powerful energies of creation, destruction, and passion. Civil society doesn’t encourage, or in many situations, permit, expression of these deeper energies. However, when we develop intimacy with these aspects of our deeper self, we gain access to tremendous creativity.
Our unconscious mind takes us to a place of deeper meaning. Being afraid and confused will always be a way for us to find meaning in the world. But, we must be willing to deal with the deeper thoughts and feelings, and the pain that they carry, to realize a creative and fulfilling life. When you face it now, it changes your life now.
Our conscious mind is comfortable with what is predictable. However, we can get lost in and settle for roles in life that just work for us. However, this is most often unfulfilling. When we re-inhabit our emotional body, and awaken our unconscious minds we awaken to a richer and more fulfilling life.
Journeys into the unknown and rites of passage, understood as initiation, have been a part of most cultures. These are no longer an integral aspect of our modern lifestyle. We are more likely to dis-associate from our emotions and rites and initiations. As a result, we lose connection with the emotional aspect of our lives. This numbing or deadening is remedied when emotional eruption occurs and we give our attention to that something is not in balance.