this year more than other years i've felt a fight within me. and i think it has to do with the part of me i try to keep hidden, the part of me I leave in the shadows.
the light vs. the shadow/the dark
you can go down the rabbit hole and read a bunch about Jung's idea of the shadow and the shadow self, but we've seen and read and heard the ideas before. think of darth vader vs. anakin skywalker. darth vader is literally in darkness, on the dark side, etc. he is the shadow. he is the part of anakin that was always there, repressed, and that came out when shit got a little too real. and then, we see his shadow side recede when he is all like, don't kill my son and then on his deathbed is all, luke, you were right about me.
remember? no? you don't like star wars as much as me? okay, like, whatever. moving on...
anyway, i've been sort of feeling that struggle. i've written a lot about how angry i've felt in the past few months and even before. there have been several times when a strong, angry voice came out of me. the voice was scary to me, because i hadn't ever encountered her before. she felt animalistic. she felt violent. she felt like she was fighting for her life. and this voice would scream 'don't touch me'. and this voice would scream 'this isn't fair'. and she would want to throw something or punch a wall--she never did, or at least she didn't when others were around. she was tired of being ignored and held in...and mostly she was tired that me, charly, the version of myself that i think of as "me," was getting shat on and wasn't doing anything about it.
i may like the light, but the dark is useful too. the dark is what allows for the light. the dark can provide the fuel for the light to glow.
the darker side, the shadow side, the unknown side of myself has been coming out more and more because the lighter side, the public side, the known side, has gotten weaker and weaker. the light side has lost her voice. the light says yes when she means no, says okay, you are right when she thinks that person is hell wrong, says all right, i can change when she should really say no, lets compromise. the light side has said okay to things that were not okay. that just weren't okay at all. the light side lies in order to keep balance, in order to keep others happy. the light side puts her needs on the back burner. the light side worries about appearances and whether she looks good and whether she is likable. the light side has stayed quiet when she didn't really want to have sex or when sex was painful, in order to avoid making partners upset. the light side has taken on responsibilities she had no desire to take on and then suffered the consequences. the light side has accepted criticisms with a nod and a smile. the light side told herself over and over again that she is wrong, that she is too emotional, that she is the problem without so much as questioning the others involved. and it has all gotten to be too much. because all of these worries and lies have amounted to my sense of being being lost and hidden and diminished.
and my dark side has had enough of this shit.
my dark side is mad as hell. my dark side wants to start a revolution. my dark side is ready to fight. my dark side is a meat eater. she wants to taste blood. usually metaphorical blood. usually her own.
and it has been interesting trying to let the light and the dark find a happy medium inside me. i still think my instinct is to keep the dark down, to hide her, to tell her she is not fit for consumption. and yet, i am also beginning to feel how untrue that is. i love the light and all, but the light side of me gets quiet, she bends over backwards to try to make others happy, and she loses her happiness in the process.
yesterday, in therapy, i was discussing how something really pisses me off and as i was talking, my darker, shadow side came out a little. my therapist laughed and noted that change in my voice. that voice is a stronger, more grounded voice. that voice is powerful.
and she is right. i can feel that. and it is interesting that i am always harping on about finding calm and groundedness and strength...and while i've been sort of assuming it is about my light side finding groundedness and all of that...perhaps it is really about letting my dark side, my shadow side in more. she is already grounded. she just needs to some help in not going too far into destruction. just like my light side needs help standing on her own two feet.
of course, the shadow side isn't all good news. the shadow side also has all the thoughts and beliefs and ways of being that are deplorable. that are mean and hurtful. she can and will go too far. just as the light side won't go far enough.
i guess the lesson here, if there is a lesson, is that both of these sides are me. the fight they are having is because they don't believe they can coexist within me, but they do. they are meant to. jung wrote in good and evil analytical psychology: "To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self. Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle."
i'm trying to get to the middle because i have a sneaking suspicion that that is where i'll be able to be myself.
that is where i'm hiding.
(this is day fifteen of april love )