Sunday 2-2-14 The Dark Side

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” ~ Rumi

Happy Sunday!

Over a year ago I was introduced to Debbie Ford when she was on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday program.  They spoke about how Debbie’s ministry was related to going into and revealing your shadow.  At the time this seemed very scary to me, like going over to the dark side (a Star Wars reference) and really looking at evil.  My whole life I have sheltered myself from thoughts and images of violence and evil; I remember thinking as I watched the interview between Debbie and Oprah that Debbie’s shadow teachings were not for me.
About a month ago that changed and I knew that I was ready to purchase Debbie’s most acclaimed book “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” and do my shadow work.
It was while I was reading Llewellyn Vaugh-Lee’s book on Sufism that the next step on my path became obvious that I was to work through my shadow side.  Now looking over my book shelf I am thinking perhaps all of the books I read last fall were leading me down this path of transformation: Echoes from Eternity’ which spoke on alchemy of the soul, ‘the Alchemist’, Thomas Merton’s ‘Thoughts in Solitude’ all spoke of the work needed to transform, turn lead into gold, or as Rumi puts it, to polish the mirror of the heart.  Llewellyn’s book had a chapter on polishing the mirror saying that “inner work begins with confronting the ‘shadow'”.  He said that this terminology first became popular from Carl Jung and the following quote was provided:
“One does not become enlightened by imaging figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.  The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore unpopular.” Carl Jung
I found myself asking for the means to go deeper within myself.
The answer came into my awareness that I was ready for Debbie Ford and that her book would give me the information and processes on shadow work that I would need.
I began reading “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” last weekend and by Monday night I was using the book to transform myself.  At work I found I was getting aggravated by someone who was calling much attention to himself by continually saying how he did things differently and better.
That evening I read in Debbie’s book that when we encounter a trait in someone else that disturbs us that this is the Universe mirroring back to us a trait within ourselves that we have buried within our shadow; we have made a negative judgement against this trait and deny that it can be part of us.  If we are all part of the Oneness than we all contain everything; as a cell contains all the dna record of the whole body so the individual contains all the traits of whole that is God, Universe.
Debbie said we need to learn to accept every trait within ourselves – how to do this is to declare ourselves as having the trait and then we need to look at how that trait has brought gifts to our lives.  Her book gives examples from her own life and those she has helped to make understanding how we deny and hide traits from ourselves. She teaches that once we are truthful with ourselves to accept these traits we are brought peace and joy.
I saw from the examples that what I was feeling for my co-worker was an aversion to arrogance.  I worked my way through the process outlined in the book.  I began by declaring that ‘I am arrogant!’  I thought of times in my life that I have been told that I acted snobbish and ‘better than’.  I repeated several more time that I am arrogant until the act of saying it didn’t make my heart sore.  I then thought about the gifts that I received by being arrogant.  I thought of my youth and that I think my ‘better than’ attitude protected me from following along with wrong or illegal behaviors in friends that I would later have regretted.
So I learned to accept the arrogant side of myself and now I feel happy when I think about this trait within me that previously I hid and wouldn’t acknowledge as it brought shame.
And, better than just feeling acceptance for this trait within myself, I find that I can accept it in others without irritation.  I now feel empathy knowing that it is a trait (and gift) that they may choose to utilize to deal with their personal issues.  I can accept that.
I am still reading the book and working through the exercises to learn to embrace the shadow side of myself just as I have learned to love the Light side of me.  This is definitely work that is necessary for me to do to keep progressing.
I am in constant amazement how God sends me the next lesson I must learn and I laugh with joy at how each unfolds in my life.  There seems to be a process where I am introduced to something but either shy away because I am afraid or I just know I am not ready.  I will move along learning my lessons when something new will be needed of me and I will then recall the thing I had previously turned away from and know now I am ready.  And then the best, fun, joyous thing happens – that during the lesson some form of validation will come.  On Wednesday a situation during the day had me recalling the parable of the two monks (see below).  That evening when reading the book, there was the same parable told.  I laughed.  Saturday my ACIM lesson explained the same process of noticing irritation, realizing it was a personal interpretation, and then turning inward to understand why; for me this is the same process for learning that Debbie had given me (ACIM pg. 1373)
Happy Sunday!
Zen Story of Two Monks

Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed.
As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out.
“Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!”
“Brother,” the second monk replied,
“I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her.”


One thought on “Sunday 2-2-14 The Dark Side

  1. Pingback: Sunday 12-29-19 Core beliefs to resolve - Tricia Today!Tricia Today!

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