The journey of self-discovery has its polarities.
The law of duality exists in all aspects of life as consciousness - or Soul expressing itself outwardly, in the world of form. To realize this is to accept that the Soul wants to play and experience! But most of all, it aims to ‘see’ itself…form is the only way in which it can. The physical experience is created solely for this purpose.
A big part of my healing journey has been to recognize ALL aspects of myself. This means both the light and the dark. Transmutation of the darkness is possible only by shining light onto it. To ignore, suppress or deny these parts of ourself, only serves to keep us prisoners to our pain. True liberation comes from seeing the programming we have become so identified with. Once we are willing to fully see all aspects of ourself we are able to consciously choose how we want to be and experience life. We no longer react out of old habits. We quit creating karma. Healing of our deep ancestral wounds begins and any emotional traumas or pains are gradually released once and for all! By exploring the ‘shadow side’ more and more during the last couple years, I can finally see the necessity of this deep work.
How may one explore their shadow side?
There are many ways. Some of which have helped me are…
- Connecting with smoky quartz crystals - I keep a large one on my bedside table as I sleep
- Vipasanna silent meditation
- Anywhere from 9 - 40 days on the Master Fast System (masterfastsystem.com)
- Support groups such as the 12-step program, CODA (Codependents Anonymous) and men or women’s circles
- Romantic relationships - The BEST by far to see yourself, one could call a very clear mirror of oneself
All of these things may assist you to see that which you have been unable to identify within yourself. The darkness stored in your subconscious. This pain is literally the root of all our suffering. Valuable insight into my personal suffering has been gained through romantic relationships. Over the fast few years I spent much time alone. I was doing my ‘work’, or so I thought. But it was only until I opened up enough to let in a romantic partner that I could see some very deep wounds. Its almost like their ‘seeing’ me, allowed me to see those parts of myself that subconsciously I wanted to deny. The shadows have been illuminated! This is where we jump for joy!!! Now the important work begins and we gain the hope of liberation!
I do feel called however to take a moment here to mention my belief about the Soul and it already being free.
It is not only free and beautiful but it is perfect AS IT IS. It is not the Soul, or our true Self that we need to heal. It is the aspects of ourself that we identified with that is not in alignment to our highest good or the highest good of all. However perfect the Soul may be, YOU have experienced emotional pain / trauma and carry within your cells the memory of your ancestor’s pain and suffering. These negative emotions can make up who we are as we are more than simply a Soul. We have a body and a mind too! We build up defenses to ‘survive’ in this world with all these pains. We learn to stiffen, build walls, and react. This reactivity is like a computer program, it may be completely wiped out and re-written. Otherwise it is continually acted out. Reactivity no longer serves us! We must learn to sit back, as the ‘watcher’ or else the thoughts may cause reactivity. Know that they are not us! We can break the patterns and choose our ‘own’ reactions. Observe the emotions that arise when there is a sense that you must react instantly to a particular situation. Feel them as they arise within the body. This helps us tremendously. We begin to get comfortable with feelings rather than being consumed by fear every time an emotion arises and reacting in unhealthy ways. We learn that our emotions pass and that we don’t need to hide or escape from them. Most of us use drugs, alcohol or other unhealthy means of escape like sex addiction, shopping, gambling etc. We are looking for that immediate change in perception or brain chemistry as a means of relief. These habits do not empower us. They are dis-empowering and lower our energetic frequency - or in other words, in the long run they bring us down. These habits once served us. We built up different types of protection from the things that frighten us.
These unconscious defenses do not serve our highest good.
I personally feel that by being completely myself, my highest good and the highest good of others may be revealed and assumed. Being truly yourself is who you were before all the defense mechanisms. Something I have recently realized about myself that no longer serves me is the unhealthy defense mechanism of ‘cutting off’ from people. The person may not be able to provide me what I want or need from the relationship and therefore I freak out and try to be ‘strong’ and ‘independent’ and enforce that we should not talk or have any kind of relationship whatsoever. This is the overly dominant, scolding, disciplinary father figure within me. (We all have one!) Things must only be black or white with this father, all or nothing. Well how about creativity? Through this harsh disconnection from people in whom I’ve loved but disconnected completely from, the lesson was found in the extreme pain of the separation. While I was looking to ‘escape’ from something I anticipated would cause pain in the future, I was actually creating pain in my present. Had I have been able to accept the person, fully as they are (not how I wanted them to be) and adopted a new idea of how the relationship could be mutually beneficial there would be peace and contentedness.
Cutting off from someone you love or even care about, does not serve your highest good.
I am not saying thought that one should remain in unhealthy situations or toxic relationships by any means. But if you truly want someone in your life and there is mutual love and respect, than adapting to what the relationship actually IS, would be ideal. I understand that one feels they need to ‘protect themself’ but hanging on to negative or hostile emotions toward another person and simply leaving their life only serves to keep you bound to them through negativity. Being forceful or mean to oneself by not allowing yourself to go by how you feel each day and setting strict limitations also does not serve you. One must truly show care for their own inner child. Care is expressed through gentle kindness. Recognize the desire to cut off from someone simply because they don’t agree with you, or maybe because you feel they have ‘wronged you’. Even if they spoke ill of you, it is not healthy to cut off from them emotionally. True health would be to express your feelings with them in a way that does not put the blame on them and expresses your desire to ‘own’ your emotions.
Some of you may know that I currently identify as a codependent.
I have had many long term romantic relationships that I feel taught me a lot about myself. They have not lasted. I have always grown in a different direction and felt the need to end the relationship. I discovered a book called, Facing Codependency in a free library down the street from my home earlier this year and asked myself if perhaps this thing called 'codependency' has been my problem. Perhaps whatever this is, is the reason my relationships have not amounted to finding my life partner, which I have always truly desired. I read the symptoms and fully identified. Cool how the answers are shown to us once we are ready for them! One of the things I have learned about my codependency is that in romantic relationships I have a fear of abandonment. I fear the person I love will leave me or I will lose them somehow. I'm sure many will relate, however this is experienced to different degrees. This fear leaves us vulnerable to actual or perceived distancing in a relationship and can lead to an unhealthy emotional reactivity.
This deeply rooted fear of abandonment goes back to my childhood as both my mother and my father worked full time and attended University while I was just a child. I felt abandoned as I felt I had no one to talk to about my feelings. I felt there was no one to be apathetic toward me. I craved more affection, love and attention but did not receive as much as I needed. I do not blame my parents, they did the best they knew how. They always loved me and my sister and were working hard to support us and provide for us the life they wished they had been given by their parents. But I recognize how this made me feel as a small child and how this shaped me later in life. Now, as soon as I feel the person I am romantically involved with taking space from the relationship, I become clingy, needy and frightened. The fear may also stem from the feeling that the person does not need me or value me. While this is never truly the case and only a fabrication of the mind, or old programming, the fear of abandonment is real. The issue is there is this drastic shifting back and forth from being totally enmeshed with another and then being totally cut off. Here are the steps involved in healing this vicious cycle.
First I had to accept that as a codependent, in past romantic relationships I felt that…
- You and I must be TOTALLY into each other, agree on everything, share everything - This was an inappropriate involvement
- Love = fusion / enmeshment
- My sense of wholeness comes from the relationship
- Enmeshment = love
I have learned that I would put all my sense of self and wellbeing in the hands of another. By doing this I feared they would misuse this power and I gave all wellness, calmness and a feeling of being okay about the relationship to the other person. I had no sense of control over my own wellbeing.
In healing and recovery from codependence, I reduce my fear of abandonment and reactivity by…
- Stopping enmeshment - Refusal to give power away to another
- Stopping equating love and fusion with another to my sense of self (enmeshment)
- Stopping abandoning myself (by not ‘owning’ and expressing my feelings)
- Stop abandoning others (by cutting off emotionally)
- Setting healthy boundaries and caring for myself
- Not rejecting the people I love and care about (judging, cutting off etc.)
- Knowing that emotional cut off is not necessary - and that this cutting off only intensifies the fear of abandonment and reactivity
- I view and accept that space is healthy and does not mean I am unworthy or unloveable
Overall the work is to heal our view of love and create a new paradigm of love within ourselves. This radiates outwardly and attracts to us that of the same high vibration. Our lives improve. The dramas lessen. We are free!
May all beings be happy.