It’s been a slow week, cold and getting darker
I’m still missing my furry purring companion but accepting now that I am not seeing him darting (ok, moving slowly ) around the house, just shadows.
While our southern hemisphere friends revel in the magnificent sunshine we northerners are getting ready for next week’s highs of 4-5 degrees and lows of minus …you’ve got to be kidding -3 !!!!!!
Alas, winter is fast approaching and with it more shadows and early darkness. Jake isn’t as eager to run outside in the morning …despite greeting me anyways with his ball at 7am….
Let’s not talk about Lilly…she doesn’t really get going before 9am…bark yes…move …NO!
I read a great piece by Mark (no relation to Marilyn…) Manson this week, interesting … it’s called “How to overcome your demons” and one of the extracts was particularly enlightening.
The Shadow and the Light
None of this is new, of course. Aside from Buddhists encouraging you to be pen pals with the worst parts of your nature, the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung wrote prolifically about what he called “the shadow.” For Jung, your shadow is all of the parts of yourself that you despise or loathe and therefore hide and avoid. Much like a shadow, it’s this dark image that follows you around, always behind you, always attached to you. It is impossible to run away or lose your shadow because ultimately, your shadow is a representation of you.
It is a beautiful metaphor, because no shadow can exist without a source of light. To rid yourself of your shadow would require you to rid yourself of the light in your life and thus, live in utter darkness.
Jung saw that denying our shadows and everything they contained—the good and the bad—was a source of a great deal of human suffering, and even argued that violence and full-on wars within and between societies were often the sad result of denying our collective shadow. As a culture, we avoid and deny the worst part of ourselves. We wage war on ourselves, threatening and killing our most desperate and vulnerable. We avoid and distract ourselves from our own problems by meddling in the problems of other cultures and societies. It’s all the same shit, just played out on a much grander scale.
Jung argued that we must integrate our shadow into ourselves by “turning toward” the darkness. That means embracing the dark parts of ourselves—our worst impulses, our worst shame, our worst fears—and owning them. Accept that they are there. But with that acceptance is a respectful disagreement.
Because you can’t have light without the dark. You can’t truly value something unless you also value the lack of that something. You can’t strive to achieve great success if you aren’t also paranoid about failure. You can’t desire wonderful relationships if you aren’t also terrified of those losses. You can’t have the light without the dark, the angel without the demon.
So be nice to your demons. And in time they will be nice to you.
Some useful nuggets of wisdom in there, embrace your worst attributes, acknowledge, accept, overcome and move forward.
I get flashbacks to the piece I shared “Assess, Propose, Implement”
Sounds easy when you say it like that !
Some alternate tunes streaming today , courtesy of Franco !
A last word from Seth…
A chance for better, Perfect is the enemy of good.
Of course it is.
But that simple sentence becomes more urgent when we realize that nothing (and no one) is perfect. How could it be?
And so, if your hero, your cause, your holiday, your background, your relationship… if it’s not perfect, does that mean you should hide it? Be ashamed of it? Be afraid of it?
We’re surrounded by injustice, and yesterday was even worse. It’s so easy to find things that are imperfect and criticize them or worse, shame them.
Better, I think, to find glimmers of good and seek to amplify them. Mistakes can be seen, errors can be improved upon, progress can be made. But only if we embrace the chance for good.
The imperfect is an opportunity for better.
That was it for the week …until a fresh gem from Seth…seemingly always at the right time
(But then again there is no such thing as coincidence …Gibb’s Rule # 39 😊)
When things get difficult, is your instinct to invest the effort to make it better, or to set a trap so it all gets worse?
Because if things get worse, well, then you won’t have to deal with them much longer.
And if things get worse, then you’re off the hook.
No longer your problem.
If we don’t trust ourselves with making it better, if it’s too fraught with risk or emotionally painful, it might feel easier and simpler to simply make it worse and walk away.
Investing in a system, a place, a relationship, a project–that’s a commitment. It puts you even more on the hook. That person who is right in front of you becomes more real and the problem becomes even more urgent.
And it might even be worth it.
That’s it, Saturday over and out …and some freezing weather ahead !