Shadow work

“According to Jungian Jolande Jacobi, in psychic inner reality the archetypal Shadow is a symbol for an aspect of the self (1959).    When we cannot find a way to work with our shadow through our dreams or in other ways, it becomes a symptom in our outer world. ” From http://www.eupsychia.com/perspectives/defs/shadow.html

In the compilation of shadow essays called Meeting the Shadow, M. Scott Peck writes,

“If evil people cannot be defined by the illegality of their deeds or the magnitude of their sins, then how are we to define them?  The answer is by the consistency of their sins.  While usually subtle, their destructiveness is remarkably consistent….
A predominant characteristic, however, of the behavior of those I call evil is scapegoating. Because in their hearts they consider themselves above reproach, they must lash out at anyone who does reproach them.  They sacrifice others to preserve their self-image of perfection….
Scapegoating works through a mechanism psychiatrists call projection…. Since they must deny their own badness, they must perceive others as bad….
Strangely enough, [they] are often destructive because they are attempting to destroy evil. The problem is that they misplace the locus of the evil…” (178-79).  (see here for more info on the book)

 

I think that when we cannot accept a certain aspect of our selves, we are then on hyper-alert for that aspect in others. This is why politicians and other public figures should shut up.  I’ve lost count of how many prominent figures have loudly decried sexual misconduct and then have been found guilty of that same “sin.”

We are loudest about what we hate in ourselves.
And the only way to combat this effectively is to accept those parts in our selves which cause us to be ashamed.

But we can’t if we don’t have a safe space to be vulnerable.
So not only is the accusing person hiding secret shame, he is in an environment which fosters such deceptiveness.

Where is grace?

Why is grace so difficult to give?

I’m noodling on grace because my mother was unable to receive it.
And because of that, she couldn’t give it.

I wonder if that is true across the board. If you haven’t ever received unconditional acceptance of who you are, right to your marrow, can you give that to anyone? If so, how?

I am also still formulating what my definition of grace is.

I experience it on a daily basis from my husband. I make mistakes. I get psycho/neurotic/depressed–and there he is, accepting that I am in a particular space, but I am still the beautiful girl he adores. This means, usually, that he walks with me through that valley all the way through to the other side.

Humility. That’s the key to grace.
And you can’t be truly humble if you don’t accept all parts of yourself, and you can’t accept them if you can’t see them, blinded by pride as you are.

So.
This week I’m reflecting on all the ways I experience grace, and I’m looking for it in Mama’s life, too.

 

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