One of the insidious aspects of shadow is that it can and will color my reality, just like colored sunglasses, often to the point that when I interact with another person, whether a stranger or a significant relationship in my life, I will passively view that person through the filter of my shadow and not be able to see or really be with that person. On the other side of the passive shadow is the active side of perpetration, where I will actively engage in the process of causing damage to the character or sense of aliveness of an individual or group of individuals by gossip or its more passive counterpart, withholding, along with projections, judgments or anything else that allows me to avoid responsibility and accountability, at the cost of intimacy, authenticity, vitality, integrity, in short, the cost of my aliveness and the aliveness of the other person. On the other side of the cost is, of course, the payoffs, such as righteousness, being comfortable, saving face, and most importantly, not having to be responsible.
I have lived most of my life going for the payoff of righteousness, comfort, saving face and not being responsible. I have finally reached the point where the payoff is no longer important enough to cost me my aliveness or the aliveness of another. Not only is it not important to go for the payoff anymore, just seeing the payoff itself stacked up against the cost of my aliveness has tipped the scales for me to see that by giving up righteousness by seeing it as a cost rather than a payoff, has allowed me to see that aliveness, along with the intimacy, authenticity, vitality, and integrity that aliveness brings with it, is the real payoff.
I have realized that the power in discovering my own perpetrations with another is that it also provides the opportunity for me to clean up the perpetration by communicating to the person with whom I have the perpetration, but only if my communicating is equally compassionate to the other as to myself and that also allows the communication to contribute to the relationship and not cause further injury or damage. The chance of further injury should be the measure by which I decide whether to communicate my perpetration or wait until my motive is as clean as the communication. To do otherwise will do more to hold the perpetration in place rather than to further the aliveness of the other and with that, the my own aliveness, as well.
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!