Dec 20, 2008

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Bringing Your Shadow Out Into the Light


It’s been awhile since I have visited with the concepts of the mature archetypes and their underlying shadows.  Lately I’ve been having some pretty intense and very vivid dreams.  Some really wild stuff.  I suspect it is all part of my subconscious wrestling with my id and ego and trying to come to terms with just what it is that lies ahead for me. I think it is in part my shadow stuff sparring with my higher purpose.  Challenging me on whether or not I even have a higher purpose,  Clearly, doubt is having a field day some where inside my psyche,  My dreams seem to be where this all gets worked out.  I think it is like that for everyone.  I’ve tried really hard to get myself to pay attention to what goes on in my dreams.


I’ve died in my dreams, a number of times.  I know you are not supposed to survive that but I have.  Maybe in part because the dream does not end with my death.  As part of the dream I leave my body and actually attend my own funeral.  For the record, I have also killed a lot of people in my dreams.  In both film noir and full blown warrior settings.  All without remorse.


And I fly….. alot.  I love flying in my dreams.  It is better than sex and it all feels very real.


  I have no idea what any of that means but I am sure it means something.  But mostly my dreams seem to be about a dialogue.


For example, the dream I had last night:



      I was at some self help or pyramid scheme type seminar.  There were a lot of people there looking to make money.  At some point I stood and said, “If you think making a lot of money is going to make you happy in and of itself, you are dead wrong.”


  The seminar leader then asked me if I was happy.  I toyed with that for awhile.  Then in my dream, I smiled and said “Yes.  But not for the reasons you’d think.”  I went on about my MS and how it had forced me to readjust my life and then I added, “But the bottom line is, I am happy because I feel fully self expressed.  I feel I can say what I want, when I want and not get thrown by others reactions.” 


  Now, I don’t think that last statement makes me unique.  I think it was more a matter of my subconscious just taking the time to remind me that I am okay.  A few weeks ago I was feeling beat.  My body had broken down and I was questioning everything.  I even made the potentially fatal mistake of telling Dorry, my wife, over a dinner out that if I died tomorrow, and I’d be fine with that because I felt complete.  Not the sort of thing someone who is looking forward to spending at least the next 20 years wit you wants to hear.  But a funny thing happened after I said it.  I just felt lighter.  I slept well, had a great dream and was just feeling at peace.  And then my body started getting its act together.   Te aches and pains started to melt away, my walking started getting better.  And then I had the dream last night that I guess just put the exclamation point on it.


Oh yeah, one important pat of all this.  I did not leave Dorry time to dwell on what I had said.  The next morning, I thanked her for giving me a safe place to say what I needed to say.  I made sure she heard me say, I was feeling much much better and I made sure that she knew the previous night had nothing to do with her or us but was just my stuff.


So what’s my point?


As scary as it might seem in the moment, take the risk to speak your mind.  Do it without the drama.  Do it after you can articulate it in a way where you have clearly come to terms with yourself that it is al about you……. because it always is.  Even if something that someone else as done has triggered something with in you, count to 10, count to 100, whatever.  Just don’t speak until you have figured out what part of your shadow just got nudged and embrace it then speak your piece.  But make sure it is all about you.



So let me offer the following few questions to assist you in identifying the shadows that have been following you around most of your life. If you go to the site map you can find other entries that will talk to the interplay between the shadows and the mature archetype energy that might be resonating most strongly for you right now.


Be honest, there are no right answers:


I am not even sure these are the right questions, but they have helped me.  So feel free to pose your own questions.


The Lover


  How do you relate to emotion?


·        Is it difficult for you to really feel any emotion around your personal life?


·        Is it difficult for you to empathize with what others may be feeling?


·        Are you uncomfortable around others who are emotional?


·        Do you tend to avoid conflict?  Or do you precipitate conflict?


Which of these emotions is most present in your life?


Anger   — Sadness – Fear – Joy — Shame


Which is present for you now?  Why?


Do you wear your passion on your sleeve or are you embarrassed by what you feel passionate about?


Are you able to communicate what you are feeling to others?


Do you envy men who appear to be successful with women?


Is sexual prowess important to you?


What ideal are you most passionate about?



The Warrior


As a child were you impressed by other boys who excelled athletically?


Do you strive to be a great athlete?  If so, Why?


How do you relate to power, authority and control?


Do you feel in control or are you most comfortable being controlled and lead?


·        In your life have you attempted to dominate others, including animals, to reinforce your self esteem?


·        Or have you physically or emotionally tested yourself to prove that you were worthy?


When faced with a conflict is your initial response to fight or is it to flee?


What makes you angry?  Why?



Do you initiate conflict?  If so is it because someone pushed your button or is it to right a perceived wrong?



Is there a cause you would literally be willing to fight and die for?  If so, what is it?



The Magician


As a child were you impressed by those who seemed to have all the answers?


In your life have you been a man who controls a situation by appearing to have all the answers?


Or have you been a man who avoids responsibility by claiming “I don’t know’?


How do you relate to knowledge?  Does it represent power or responsibility?


Is it important for you to be in the “know” and to have a handle on what is going on and about to happen?


Do you enjoy surprises or does the unknown make you anxious?


When watching a movie or reading a book do you get satisfaction from figuring out the plot?


When asked to make a decision, what do you consider?  Facts?  Others opinions?  Your gut?


What are you most afraid of?  Why?


If there were one question you could have answered, what would it be?




The King


As a child were you impressed by the kids that had the biggest, best or newest toys?


In your life have you craved attention and always felt you weren’t getting what you deserved?


Or were you a man who hoped to remain invisible and always feared that others would find out that you had more than you deserved?


How do you relate to money?  Do you have all you need, all you want?


Do you control your possessions or do they control you?






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