So, after spending a few tough nights earlier in the season and having my ass kicked by the goddess Berchta, things are on the upswing. Although I know myself pretty well, I really did have to confront some things about myself that have caused me troubles in the past, and I feel a bit enlightened. It's not that I am fully in the clear, though. The wishful thinking aspect is still posing some challenges. That is what leads me to tonight's meditation.
How can I leverage the shadowy aspects of myself? What positive things do useless hopes and wishful thinking bring to me?
Well, that crazy, almost utopian desire to construct peace and harmony actually has translated pretty well in many ways when in my conscious mind and set into positive action. I would wager that the bright aspects of that hope and approval-seeking lead to diplomacy, conflict resolution, and even to successes I have had in teaching students with severe behavioral challenges.
The shadow sides can lead to creativity and outside-of-the-box solutions. I used to write poetry (and occasionally still do) in order to express the shadowy thoughts in a safe form. Aging, maturing, and shifting my mind made the shadow sides less disruptive; it takes certain triggers to bring them to the fore... some of which include the disruption from migraines, but if I feel I have been wronged or that an injustice is happening somewhere around me, the shadow sides can become problematic for me.
That mind shift really did help when I took on the Urglaawe identity. The acceptance of the totality of myself was liberating... at least as far as accepting myself goes. I am still not always forthright with aspects of myself to the whole world. Part of that may be a general Baer sign (shared by many Libras) to compartmentalize segments of one's life from other segments. That has its benefits and it has its drawbacks, and that may be a meditation for tomorrow.
The whole approval-seeking thing is not so much of a problem as it used to be, but it does rear its ugly head. When I was younger, my father took some time to talk to me about some things related to approval-seeking, and he always encouraged me not to give in but instead to take on an "I'll show them" attitude. Good advice for the conscious mind, actually, and it has paid off once I had that mindset... but, for my shadow side, that "showing them" still required approval to be slaked.
My own view of myself is still ambivalent. I know I try hard to live deliberately and to do the right thing whenever I can. I know I am intelligent and that I have some skills that not everyone possesses. Those have served me well over the decades. However, my mind's view of my physical self has required a lot of work over the years. I still view myself as a short, skinny kid who is clumsy and not good with eye-hand coordination. Despite being one of the fastest kids in school, setting running records and being on the state's cross-country team, I always had a discomfort with my physical abilities. The lack of a dominant hands is something I joke about now, but, when I was a teenager, it really was a problem for me. I bore a lot of that dislike for my physical self through my 20's.
My 30's brought an end to that insecurity on the conscious level. I recognized that I could work out every day of my life and never be muscular. I get thinner and more defined. I became more comfortable with myself in general, but that insecurity just dove down to the shadow side.
It pops up at weird times. It actually brings up imposter syndrome, which is something that I know a lot of my friends deal with. However, despite all of that and some of the occasional shadow attacks on myself, I generally have come to accept that I am a pretty nice guy who really is trying to make the world a better place. The creativity has gone from angst-ridden poetry to writing rambling musings on the shadow side during Voryuul, but I am ok with sharing this stuff. I think it actually is part of the effort to help others.
Somehow I have taken this meditation into a spiral... but the Voryuul musings will continue tomorrow.