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The Dark Side

Old 07-09-2008, 01:00 PM
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The Dark Side

From 52 Weeks of Conscious Contact by Melody Beattie

There's a dark side to us too. We all experience jealousy, envy, bitterness, resentment. How about neediness? Ugh. Who wants to shine a light on that?

What about all those fears? Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of intimacy, fear of going broke, fear of staying broke, fear of abandonment, fear that we're essentially unlovable, fear of the unknown, fear of growing old, fear of being alone, fear of being with someone, fear of losing control.

Then there are the parts of us that we would prefer to keep darkened and out of sight, parts such as greed, dishonesty, intolerance, disgust, hatred. Although some people have no problem showing anger, others of us prefer to keep that out of sight too. And what about out manipulative part? Who wants anyone to see that?

Some of us may even consider the dark side of ourselves forbidden. We may refuse to acknowledge it exists because we believe it's wrong. Not acknowledging our dark side doesn't wish it out of existence, any more than not seeing the dark side of the moon makes it disappear.

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Stand back. Don't be afraid. Shine a light on that dark part. At least look at it briefly. Acknowledge that it's there. Take some of the pressure off. Let yourself be well rounded, instead of one dimentional.

Take it one step further. Share those darker parts with others, so they can chine a light on those parts of themselves. Experience how much easier it is to not act needy, not to speak bitterly, and not to look disgiusted when you acknowledge those feelings.
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:28 PM
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Hey Barbara,

I wanted to thank you for posting this. I have been sort of off-and-on doing some reading and research on what Carl Jung called "The Shadow." Very interesting stuff.

Jung and many other psychologists suggest that when we have strong feelings about another person, that is our shadow revealing itself. If you just can't stand someone, take a look at what you can't stand about them, and it will tell you something about yourself. Also, if you are particularly attracted to someone, to the point of admiration, the traits you admire are also part of your shadow. Jung defined the shadow as the "unconcious" or "denied" parts of ourself. So, by this definition, it doesn't necessarily mean that our shadows are all negative. (I feel that negative and positive are rather relative, anyway.)

The point being, that once you acknowledge your shadow (we all have one), even though the so-called negative traits are difficult and uncomforable to face, you can then have some understanding and even control over your own destructive behaviors. For instance, if I deny that I can sometimes be a bossy know-it-all, I will never be able to change those traits. But, by acknowledging that part of me, I can then be aware of when I am acting that way, and even laugh at myself.

The other really cool thing about "shadow work," as it's called, is that many times there are absolutely beautiful, positive, creative, unique parts of our psyche that have been buried and denied right along with the not-so-desireable stuff. So, unearthing those things can really be astonishing at times. This is still very new to me, but I look forward to digging up all those unconscious skeletons and really getting to know who I am for the first time. How great is that?

L
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:31 PM
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That's a fascinating concept LTD. Hmm, one of these days I'm gonna have to find time to add some Jung to my reading list.
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:07 PM
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Another great book about Archtypes and the "shadow" is by Caroline Myss it's called Sacred Contracts. It goes over all the different Archtypes that a person can have and helps you identify yours as to help you find your "scared contract" with life.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:38 PM
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Here's a little trivia on Dr. Jung's influence on the origin of 12 step progams.

Carl Jung on alcoholism

Mike
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:55 PM
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Bump for Lilyflower, and for possible further discussion.

L
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:35 PM
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Great reading. Thanks.
Considering, most of us (myself included) believe it's our A's who are the real problem. These kinds of readings remind me I had my own problems long before I met my first A. He (and the other ones) just became a welcomed distraction. Well unwelcomed, in the end. If I am honest. Lol.

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Old 08-12-2008, 03:05 PM
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I know a couple of people where I work who just irritate the crap out of me. Not just minor irritation, but the kind that gets me red in the face at even just hearing their voice. I always thought they just had a personality that rubbed me the wrong way. Since I've learned about my own ACOA and codependent issues, I have started to recognize in them what appears to be some of the same traits. Now I find myself wondering if these two individuals are living with an alcoholic spouse, or had a childhood with an alcoholic. It seems the traits that bug me the most in them are the ones I denied in myself for a long time. Whoda thought?

L
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:41 PM
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LTD, I have thought for a long time that the things that bug me most about other people are things that actually bug me about myself. Very interesting.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:25 AM
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Thanks for bumping this up LTD. It's all very interesting stuff, definately worth looking into deeper!

Going back months here - At one point I was getting really annoyed with a person at work who just irritated me constantly as he was always complaining, moaning, groaning, the eternal victim, and it just sapped my energy to be around him.

I realised that I was spending all my time at home with the abf and feeling like a victim myself, and I really did not want to listen to more from him while at work. I did not acknowledge his issues as important to him as mine were so much worse! In my mind I was constantly thinking he did not know how good his life was.

Through my bhuddism classes I had learnt about compassion and empathy for others but I was in no mood to apply any sort of understanding to this persons sufferings, as I was so caught up in my own. Plus I was always allowing his mood to bring mine down, I couldn't keep cheerful when he was near.

Eventually came understanding, the poor fella has his own problems, which I may think are trivial, but to him they are important obstacles to his happiness. I developed empathy for him and compassion for his sufferings.

Now months later, we get along much better. He still complains, but not as often. We laugh things off instead of allowing the feelings to permeate the day. I have learnt to say things like 'you are just a ball of sunshine ain't ya!?' and keep it light, sometimes I ask him what he is doing to help himself out, rather than trying to solve for him, better yet, I am getting better at not responding to it at all!

The whole uncomfortable relationship we had was definately more about me than him. I changed my perceptions, and my relationship with him got better.

It is interesting that the more I felt like a victim I saw victimhood in him.

Lily xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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