One day, not all that long ago a thought came to me. What if there are undiscovered, untapped sources of potential and energy within me, resources that I am completely unaware of but that somehow - if I can just figure out where to find them, how to access them well then somehow these resources would become available to me and I would blossom into this new and improved, energized, motivated superwoman who is faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane. No… it’s just me having tapped the mother-load of energy.
They will soar with wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary;
They will walk and not be faint.
We all know the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde written by Robert Louis Stevenson or at least we know of it. The story is a metaphor for the good and evil that exists within each one of us, although I have to say that when we’re kids and we first learn about this story whether by reading or indirectly that aspect really isn’t made clear. At least it wasn’t to me. That, of course is an indication of how much even the adults around us do not get it, even some of our teachers.
I digress yet again.
The shadow knows.
Or so Orson Welles said back in the 1930s. No truer words were ever spoken, even if he didn't know the extent to which he had hit the nail on the head.
What evil lurks within the hearts of men.
Well… that would also be true however, and this is very important, along with that evil is everything that is NOT evil but that we were lead to believe is evil, wrong, inappropriate, not acceptable, pick your poison. And that is exactly what these messages are… poison. Poison to the human soul. Deadly to the intrinsic creative spirit that exists in each and every one of us.
You see this is a problem. That shadow is always presented as evil. A monster lurking within each of us capable of violence and destruction, anger, hate, jealousy, selfishness. Everything that the average person does not want to be. Everything that we have been told all our lives we are not to be.
However here is the kicker; That is not all that is contained within the shadow aspect of ourselves and the truth is that it isn’t very hard to figure this out. All you have to do is poke around for a few minutes.
Some of the aspects of my shadow include:
· Emotions like sadness and grief equate to weakness.
· Don’t talk about yourself.
· Don’t need anything.
· Never, ever let them see you cry.
It would be easy for anyone in the know to see that these messages telepathically sent to me throughout my formative years resulting in full-blown denial of those aspects of myself (e.g. sadness, need and thus relegating them to the shadow aspect that I tote around like a thousand pound weight) can cause some pretty serious difficulties in the therapy room. One can hardly start working on emotional issues when one has developed what presents as a physical inability to discuss said issues. I have to first climb a mountain simply to get to the mountain that I need to conquer.
Our shadow is everything we don’t know about ourselves, everything we deny about ourselves, everything we are ashamed of about ourselves and everything (and here’s the coup de grace) on which we expend tons of energy in an effort to keep them at bay.
So it seems to me that if I could figure a way to a) determine exactly what exists within my shadow and bring it into the light then I could b) stop wasting energy trying to keep those aspects tucked away in the darkness and turn that energy towards things like:
· Stopping speeding bullets
· Leaping tall buildings in a single bound
· Inventing new, good stuff
· Running cross-country marathons
· Riding in the Tour de France
· Writing poetry
· Playing Mozart
· Living and loving life