This Journal entry is written with a special person in mind with whom I spoke this day. This lovely being is at a crossroads in life, a transition from a past persona into the one who is the authentic self, the one who is becoming a new persona of authenticity.
Today is day #202 of this year. I shall write the last 4 days of contemplative daily writings from Richard Rohr’s book On the Threshold of Transformation, Daily Meditations for Men. I have referenced this book in past Journal entries.
Since we are all half male and half female, this book applies to every one of us, another point I often muse about in this Journal. Moreover, I often make the point that we need to improve the mothering in our world. This would solve many of our problems, especially the problems we currently face because of 2000 years of patriarchal mismanagement.
This book is good to read for both men and women. So, if you have a special man in your life, I suggest this book for that man, and you read it also. You will need to keep up with him, OK?
The book is written by a Christian teacher who understands Unity Consciousness and Source. If the mention of Jesus and Biblical passages bothers you, then the following passages may help your evolution out of your current judgment state.
Let’s have a look at Rohr’s writings for Days # 199-202. I am simply going to write them out in full.
All of these important contemplations are essential knowings for our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual journey. Rohr ends each day’s meditation with a contemplative question, which I have written in emboldened words for you.
Please consider the Shadow:
Day 199 – Learning From the Shadow
“The shadow self is not the evil self; it is the unacceptable self. It’s the side of us we don’t want to show to the world. But we need to understand that the desirable qualities are invariably accompanied by their opposites, which live in the unconscious or ‘shadow self.’
The shadow contains all the parts of the self that we have scorned and sent into exile. Yet we must eventually welcome them home because they have essential lessons to teach us. The stones we rejected in the heroic building of our tower in the first half of life become the source of the greatest lessons we need for the next part of the journey. Or as Jesus puts it, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’ (Mark 12:10).
In the second half of life, we discover that we have actually been linked to our shadow by our harsh judgments against it, like people who participate in crusades against pornography or homosexuality, while being secretly involved themselves. (Read Ephesians 5:11-14 for a good scriptural meditation on this.)”
What aspects of myself did I reject early on but which have turned out to be useful in later experience?
Day 200 – If You Spot it, You Got It
“If we don’t confront the shadow in ourselves, we’ll spend our time and energy despising or fearing the same material in others. We can’t help but be fascinated when we see evidence of our game playing in other people, and our first instinct is to attack or expose it. If you find yourself railing against someone else, or lost in conspiracy theories and paranoia, odds are that you’re seeing your own issues in that situation. Once you see it clearly, the game is over. Shadowy material needs to stay in the dark to survive, which is why the Scriptures are always telling you to come into the light, why Jesus tells demons to ‘show themselves,’ and why the twelve-step program says that ‘you are as sick as your secrets.’”
Given the faults I notice in others, what might be existing in my shadow self?
Day 201 – Learning to Laugh
“Facing your shadow is the task of a lifetime, and it demands courage, humility, patience, and compassion for yourself. It will never stop but will take you deeper and deeper as you learn to patiently grieve over your sins, to weep over your silliness, and to confront your inconsistencies and contradictions. It is Paul’s thorn in the flesh that keeps him from getting too proud (2 Corinthians 12:7).
In the end, you will actually learn to laugh at your shadow games. Laughing at the shadow self is the final freedom and victory over it: you see it, name it, recognize the illusions, and then laugh at your poverty and weakness. Laughing happens only when you no longer need to hate or attack things, but you have clearly spotted the game and are thus free from it. Maybe this is exactly what Jesus meant when he said ‘Weep now, for you will laugh.’” (Luke 6:21)
Which games and illusions in my shadow self can I name? Am I ready to laugh at them yet?
Day 202 – Shadow and Persona
“In the first half of life, the young man dutifully builds his tower, but he is simultaneously constructing his shadow self and doesn’t realize it. You see, shadow and persona are correlative terms. Persona is the chosen self-image that you want to project, and the way that you want others to think about you. The stronger you are attached to any persona (‘mask’ in Greek), the more shadow self you will have. The less persona you are attached to, the less shadow self. Much of Jesus’ advice about doing good things in public ‘for others to see’ is precisely addressing this issue. Thus saints such as St. Francis and St. Philip Neri would go out of their way to walk through town advertising that they were not saintly or holy! (Walking in underwear and playing childish games being Francis’ cover, while dirty jokes and wine bottles were Philip Neri’s disguise!)”
How would I describe my persona—the self I want to show the world?
Crestone and Beyond
The four writings displayed above are good for a lifetime of Shadow work. Shadow work is what I call “honoring your Grief Box.” Our Grief Box is the repository of all subconsciously and consciously perceived traumas which we are reflexively triggered into reenacting daily via the operation of shame and guilt in our lives. The Shadow, therefore, is all of the traumatic memories and persona evolutions which we shun, and we also project.
I work an exercise with clients which I call the Grief Box exercise, and this exercise seems to assist with some needed clarity. The theme of the clarity effort is that we have a cluttered up and unhonored Shadow/Grief Box which is informing our present persona mechanism and continues to set us up at a vibrational level for attracting more of the same Shadow Grief which we are feeling, thinking, speaking, acting, and being.
The First Rule of Holes is this: when you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.
The Second Rule of Holes is this: before you climb out of that hole you have dug yourself into, just stop, and relax. Take a nice healing breath. Look around at the marvel of your life and what you have made it through and persevered through, and smile and laugh in your Heart. Just practice this, will you?
Honor your Shadow. Quit judging it. It is in the past now, and it no longer needs to continue to inform who you are becoming. It is now just a story that forms the basis of your new healing journey.
You are OK, and you are Loved.
Signing off from Crestone and Beyond.
Love = You