Facing Your Shadow : Personal Responsibility

There’s a curious dynamic that operates when we are unwilling to accept the darker aspects of our own psyche. When the very fine line between us and them, or you and me, is blurred to the point of being indistinguishable. When spears hurled as shields only serve to muddy already putrid waters, where none can triumph and everyone drowns in a puddle of their own making. Revolting stuff and all too common in a world that abhors personal responsibility and waits for someone else to clean up that unsightly mess.

Jung teaches us that any part of ourselves we are unwilling to accept we tend to awfully project on to those around us. In close relationship – lovers and fighters, parents and children, partners and collaborators – it seems to happen more often as we are relentlessly exposed to the vagaries of our shadow self. Deep down this is why we have invited these teachers in disguise into our perfectly curated lives. As soon as the curtain drops and the real mess is revealed, so too begins the shadow boxing.

Any first step is awareness, as shadows tend to take a clearer shape when you whack the light on. And then this, the bitterest pill we each have to gag on and eventually swallow.

If you think someone – or something – else is responsible for the words you speak, the actions you take or your unholy behaviour, you remain your own greatest obstacle to the life you crave. If you cannot own the consequences of your words or actions, preferring instead to hide behind the wizard’s curtain and point the bone, those at the wrong end of the stick will not fight for your evolution. They will fight your blame and for their rights, cloaked in their own darknesses, or they will turn away.

We all have to learn to walk this tightrope, a bumpy ride made easier by owning your stuff. All of the glitter and shit that makes us a kaleidoscope of colours that can both shine and throw significant shade. It takes vulnerable, heartwrenching, fist clenching courage. I truly think it is the bravest and most admirable path to walk and then to stick at for evermore.

Your underbelly is still ticklish. We each need to learn how to make it laugh.

© Kerrie Basha, 2017
Graffiti outside @alohamanlystyle in my beloved home turf last week.