Monday, October 15, 2012 12:00 PM
The Dark Side
Do you long to retaliate against a love that has hurt you and treated
you poorly? Do you long for
their Karma to activate immediately?
Well you are not alone, I have spoke to clients frequently who desire
that, or just feel as it is not fair that someone can be so cruel and selfish,
and find new love. The client then speaks
gradually they begin to feel guilty.
They struggle with their own dark feelings. Jung calls that our shadow self, it includes
dark and unknown aspects of our personalities.
The Shadow self is made up of choices.
We choose by acting or not acting in a certain way. When you choose to call the
boyfriend’s wife, that is a choice. When
you choose to let go and move forward, that also is a choice. Thomas Moore in the The Care of The Soul
says “The person we choose to be automatically creates a dark double-the person
we choose not to be.”
One of the most popular stories that illustrates the principal
is Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that
shows a man with who life splits because of it. It is almost like having a dark
twin that resides inside of us.
Though we live in a free culture in the USA, at times some
of own choices seem not free at all. The truth is we are influenced by our
upbringing and friends, our work. Women
are taught not to be as assertive and boys not to cry. Now these are very
generalized, but you get my meaning. Repressed enough and these feelings or
parts of our personality can become detrimental, harming ourselves and
others. This is true especially when
they are acted out. Anger, sexual
repression, lying and stealing even addictions are examples of this. They seem to unleash an almost “other”
personality to a normally well adjusted Person.
There are ways, numerous ways to cope with these parts of
one’s personality. The first I believe
is to accept, even embrace it. Why, you ask, it is human part of our
personality. The next part of this is to
find a healthy way to express it. I
always suggest expressing it through writing, talking to a safe person, through
exercise, art, there are many ways. I know a gentle man, who had what he
considered a dark side, and he did role playing games. Though not a fan of Shadow Run myself, it helped him. I never saw it manifest in destructive
There is a positive side to this. A seemingly gentle person who finally stands
up for themselves in an uncharacteristic stance, is also using a shadow side. It says, “enough is enough and I am not going
to take it anymore.” Or, “I am just
going to do it, I don’t care what people think.” It creates freedom, and even
ambition, positive change. These
characteristics need to honed and made a positive part of the person. They can
be part of a spiritual experience when people make broad sweeping changes.
The shadow represents what is repressed or hidden in us. A lot of times you
see it in a person both male and female in mid life. We call them crisis, but sometimes they are
that part repressed for too long pushing to the surface. These pieces can be integrated with the
person. Then a whole new life formed by
own them and examining them.
Assimilating one’s shadow is the greatest expression of a human life.
So when you think you want to call his wife, embrace it and
call a friend, or journal, or just go to the gym and exercise until you feel
it. Pause when agitated or doubtful is
one of the best pieces of information anyone has ever given me.
If you just need to talk, I am here tonight off and on until midnight.