Creating Congruence – Integrating your Shadow
In the previous post in the series I shared a little vision which can be used as a mantra to enable us to accept the reality that the universe and everything in it is perfect.
That means you are already perfect too.
When I say you, I mean the whole of you.
You see, much like the moon has a dark side and a light side, every human has this too. There is the side of us we present to the world and the side of use we hide away in secret, sometimes even from ourselves.
“All people are the the same, only their habits differ.”
What is Your Shadow?
A concept first introduced in to psychology by Carl Jung, the easiest way to define your shadow is that it is everything you think you are not.
If someone asked you to describe your personality and behavioural traits, you would present to them the light side of the moon. The side you want people to see. The exact opposite of that is your shadow, or you could say the dark side of the moon.
We are all human, and the capacity of all humans exists within every single one of us.
That means that the ability to carry out great acts of kindness and compassion like the Dali Lama is within you, but also the ability to commit atrocities like the Nazis is also within you.
Your whole contains both the yin and yang of the human psyche. It is just that you only choose to present some of it to yourself and the outside world.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that we are all secret racist genocidal maniacs, what I am saying is that we have that potential within us. It is the choices that we make around our thoughts and behaviours that render this potential unspent as we focus our energy elsewhere.
Under the hood all people are fundamentally the same. There are just different biological and environmental factors which manifest a different external projection and the formation of unique and individual habits and behaviours.
Is it Best to Let Sleeping Dogs Lie?
Think of a time you have got annoyed at someone? Was it because they were being lazy? Do you pride you self on not being lazy and that is why their behaviour annoyed you? Maybe, secretly, you want to be lazy too, and you ae actually jealous of their ability to simply not care and be lazy?
Every time you get annoyed at other people, you are actually getting annoyed at yourself.
The contents of your shadow are the key that sit behind this.
Everything that you reject in yourself is what you will also reject in other people.
If you can first learn to integrate your shadow and accept it in to your life, you can then make a conscious choice to not act in that way.
I myself am a lazy person. The people who know me would not think so though! I could happily waste hours of time messing around our bumming on the sofa. Knowing this, I have developed disciplined habits of planning and prioritising.
I even came up with the concept of scheduled relaxing time!
Only when you can accept yourself fully as you are, can you remove the fear of your shadow being exposed when you are not expecting it.
Once you accept all the facets of your being, you can then develop conscious strategies to manage your behaviour in alignment with the pursuit of your authentic purpose in life.
Yes, I can be racist sometimes. Yes, I can be chauvinistic sometimes. Yes, I can look at women other than my wife and think lustful thoughts. Yes, I can hear someone else’s kids cry on the train and want to throw them out the window.
I can think all of these things and then let the thoughts drift away and not act upon any of them.
I don’t need to push them down in to the hidden depths and ignore them.
I can look them in the eye then watch them drift on by.
It is not our thoughts that make us who we are, it is our actions.
Only when our thoughts can manifest freely and then float away, can we be truly free. Not feeling any guilt, remorse or shame. Simply allowing our whole self to exist and flow freely.
Accepting the whole of ourselves.
It is this ability to see our whole self honestly that will enable us to create congruence between our definition of the perfect human and our definition of me.
When we accept both the yin and yang can we then reside on the line of harmony between the two which exists within the present moment. It is in that moment, to quote Eckhart Tolle, that we can then discover the limitless possibilities of vertical living.
Ascending to new heights in our own conscious evolution.
Enjoy, for now.