A Blog about Shadows, the unconscious patterns of belief and behavior that block access to my authentic, sacred masculine self

The very best use of life

...is to transform to the awakened state. Next best is to develop qualities. Next best and skillful use of life is gaining deep connection to capable mentor who promises to hold you and care for you even after your passing. The least useful is to say you are a Christian or a Buddhist and expect that to save you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Shadow of Emotional Superiority

As a man, I often hide behind a mask of emotional superiority to women by claiming that women are moody, overly emotional, needy and childlike. Curiously enough, I also recognize that women will claim the same thing about me and other men. The fact is, at times, we as human beings are ALL like that, regardless of gender and as long as we persist in putting it all “out there” rather than taking a stand for it in ourselves, gender differences are held in place and we get to be stuck in a quagmire of sexism. The problem I see with claiming superiority to another is that I get to be right about myself only by making others wrong. I get the “booby prize” of righteousness at the cost of my own and another’s “aliveness.” I get to be superior to women only by making them inferior to me.
I ask the question, how did I get “the mask”? I also answer my own question by saying “I have always had the mask and I will always have it to hide behind. By recognizing that I have this mask, this “shadow”, I always know that anytime I choose, I can choose to not hide behind my mask and to be authentic and alive instead, including being moody, overly emotional, needy and childlike, in other words, to just be myself. And when I let myself be human, I can allow others to be just as human as I am.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Shadow of Taking Things Too Personally

A co-worker of mine the other day appeared to be on edge about just about everything in her life, especially about how she felt she was being treated at work. I found myself at odds with her because I just thought that she was taking the actions of our boss, who I believe is trying to be equitable in her dealings with me and my co-workers in this slumped economy, so I just decided that she was being a bitch and was taking it all too personally. I also decided that she simply could not be trusted and that I had best avoid her whenever I could. This afternoon, I needed to follow her over to drop off a car to her mom and I was to bring her back to the store. What a wonderful opportunity to let her talk and me to just listen on the way back. I got to see my own shadow about taking things personally, that is, allowing myself to be vulnerable to my feelings of inadequacy and not being appreciated for getting the job done consciously and making connections with people rather than just doing the job “for the money.” I got to see into my past how I created so much suppressed anger and resentment around this issue of not feeling appreciation from others, while at the same time not appreciating myself for who I am rather than what someone else might think of me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Shadow of Murderous Rage

It has been awhile since I remember feeling this quite so intensely, but the other day I experienced the feeling of murderous rage towards a person I know who I perceive to show strong signs of a pathological disorder, in other words, a very sick woman. While at one moment she will sit slumped over in slumber, her body limp, (she claims to be diabetic), she will awaken as a person who cannot listen to what anyone says to her without interupting or ordering to stop, that she can’t listen because she is too tired and then in the next moment, trash the person sitting next to her who is trying to show some support for her with the energy of a zealot. Having this wanton urge to choke the life out of her or to wish her dead is not something I consider acceptable to feel, yet here I was feeling just that. I have taught and practice in my own shadow work that the place to look for my own shadow is by looking where I hold a charge for another, a charge that could be either of revulsion or attraction. Here I was, in a state of terrible sadness, one way I know I use to cover up my rage, feeling helpless with the realization that there might be as equal a possibility that either this woman was a psychopath or I was, and at that moment I knew that there was only one viable option, another being one with far more terrible consequences, that as I was the one who was even considering the possibility of my own madness, I chose simply to leave. Another person might simply call this an act of healthy disengagement and leave it at that, I see it as something more. While I consider myself a pacifist, I have often fantasized being the victim of a violent home invasion, and imaging having a cache of weapons at my command or the skill of a Black Belt to repulse the invasion like a Chuck Norris or a Teminator. I often slough off this fantasy quickly but here I am, this time and a day later, still feeling vulnerable and unable yet to shake my own feelings of rage and helplessness. This is the essense of shadow work, the entertaining of the possibility that what we see, we are, and it does not feel comfortable. And what of the woman? Does my realization of my shadow let her off the hook for her behavior. I think not, for whether her psychosis is real or imagined, the consequenses of her behavior are hers to account for, regardless of her intentions, as my reactions to her behavior are mine.