Some lies… (introduction to Shadow Work)

…are so deep…
…we don’t even know we tell them,
or that they’re lies.
Much less what truth they’re trying to hide,
or why

But come!
Don’t run :<
Let’s find out.
Bring curiosity and compassion,
the rest will follow.

Sometimes we suck,
others blow,
but we always give a fuck.
Just so you know.

Why do we lie?
Sometimes truth is so scary… And usually lies hurt even more.
The currents of truth and lie carve their paths in us and our cultures, strengthening their respective tendencies.
What if the path is so deep already that it seems impossible to change?
Luckily that snowball effect also applies to truth, honesty, openness and courage, which also strengthen when we practice them. Little by little we can build up our truth (telling and seeing) muscles.
As we are more truthful to ourselves about our inner world, including our feelings, thoughts, intentions. preferences, values, etc., we also begin to see deeper into the truth about others and the world, by recognizing the same processes there that we have experienced in ourselves.
It takes one to know one.

Courage gets there before certainty

The culture of lying, hiding and closing up is rooted so deep. We tend to pretend we don’t do it.
But we do… …A LOT!
So the collective lie grows bigger, and unsuspecting(?) newcomers to Planet Earth have to carry the weight of their peers’, parents’ and ancestors’ fear in addition to their own. (Pondering on this may blur the lines between “mine” and “not mine”…) And because we don’t talk about this much, we often don’t know that the maddening conflict that’s presented in our lives and relationships, is not just about our personal maladaptation or madness. It is also very much a collective problem, and denying it shifts unreasonable amounts of its weight onto others…
I hope to inspire you and me to look deep within and carry our part of our responsibility in untangling this mess of dishonesty and unconsciousness that’s plaguing our existence.

Those dark uncomfortable places in our psyche where the light of consciousness doesn’t shine yet, are referred to as our “Shadow”. Because we don’t fully (allow ourselves to) see these shadows, all kinds of nasty stuff can go on behind the scenes, that we wouldn’t do if we were fully conscious of it. We get a nice little feedback loop on top of this because what’s going on in the shadows seems so nasty that we don’t allow ourselves to recognize it. Otherwise we would have to revise our self-image, and we like to think of ourselves as good nice people, right? This is not to say that we are “evil” either. We can transcend that dichotomy right away…
The point I’m making is: It’s better to make the unconscious conscious; Whatever need the unconscious part is trying to fill, consciousness can do it in a way that is better for everyone involved!

Hiding and lying can seem easier in the very-short-term, but to me it seems clear that working on openness, honesty and truth is the sustainable way forward, that brings cumulatively more harmony into Life.

Shame is a central driving force to our dishonesty.
Another one is fear of punishment, rejection or other kind of pain we might encounter (or cause) if we were open and honest.
So, to start telling and knowing the truth more deeply, we need to feel safe enough to face the initial discomfort that stands between us and these great treasures. We can build the safety for example by testing the waters of truthtelling while trusting that even if it brings up some conflict, we will live through it and be purified in the process. Also we might want to steer towards relationships where the truth is appreciated.

Shame can’t stand much sunlight. I often feel an immediate release when I reveal something that shame was trying to prevent me from sharing.

If on top of all the internal conflict, we need to face external punishment (social or legal) for telling the truth about ourselves, we’re even more likely to avoid taking this quite likely difficult trip into our Shadow.
Thus we need to build a culture of compassion towards these Shadow elements in our selves and each other. When we get to know it, we can understand it, become more compassionate towards it and transcend it. The Shadow Work we do, lightens the load for everyone.

• The process starts with allowing ourselves to recognize the unpleasant or difficult aspects of ourselves,
• then finding out what needs we are unconsciously trying to fill through them,
accepting those needs and aspects as parts of us and
• learning to get the needs met consciously and openly, with less hurt.
• This releases repressed potential of our consciousness to join our Self in whatever our Quest is in Life.

We can start relating more openly. We can tell each other what we are distressed about. Even and especially if it’s something in our relationship with that person.
I’ve had so much anxiety dropped off my shoulders after revealing my discomfort or insecurity. It opens up the door for authenticity and intimacy.
We get a chance to harmonize the thing bothering us, and if we don’t find a state for the relationship that we want to continue in, then we know that and can continue our separate ways. Hiding keeps conflict under the hood, where it can do more harm than it ever could if it was out in the open.
If and when others are not open to this level of transparency, but we feel it’s right for us, maybe those relationships deserve some distance.

Of course I’m still sometimes afraid to reveal myself like this, but truth builds momentum and it becomes easier every time.
We get stronger every time we are truthful and act in integrity with out highest morals. This is not an easy mission!

We release more of our consciousness to work with us when we integrate pieces of our Shadow into our conscious Self. We also become more grounded and less conflicted.
It’s like releasing prisoners and integrating them back into the community. The community becomes stronger and more diverse, as well as the former prisoners get a humane life.

We are so much deeper, more diverse and beautiful than we allow ourselves and each other to be.


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