"I look inside myself to find my peace"


Mustering the Courage to Face Our Dark Side.

Carl Jung, the famous Swiss Psychiatrist, named our dark side 'the shadow.' He taught that when we do not recognize our shadow side, or are unwilling to look at it, it tends to become demonic. We need to realize that our fears are apart of that shadow side. And when we do not bring those fears to light, they do tend to take us over in ways that seem crazy or demonic. Fear is expressed in a thousand ways. Fear is closely related to apprehension, uneasiness, anxiety and out and out panic.

Fear is behind rigidity, intolerance and fanaticism. Fear is at the root of indecisiveness and hesitancy to take action. Fear is behind much of our disorganization, disorderliness or sloppiness, or their opposites, nit picky organization, compulsive cleanliness or an obsessive need for order. When we bring our fears up for air and look at them in the light of day, they often are not as fearsome as we thought they were. Unconscious forces gain power when we hide from them, when we say, "I don't want to look at that. It's too frightening."

As we shrink from them, they increase their negative hold over us. When we face and name those dark motives, thoughts or feelings, they become less daunting. As we mobilize our heart's higher power, wisdom and love, we turn the light on in that dark space of consciousness. Shedding light on your scary dark side. As an example, perhaps you have a tendency to shade the truth, to lie. Hiding under that tendency is your fear of what might happen if you tell the truth. Your spiritual antidote could be to take the following steps.

1. Pray for the courage to speak the truth
2. Muster up the courage a second before the lie sneaks out.
3. Take a deep breath and speak the truth.
4. No matter what happens, congratulate yourself for winning a victory over your dark side. 

Take courage to look into your subconscious, to look into the unconscious, to bring your shadow parts to your outer awareness, to give them a name. Remember how Jesus named the devils before he cast them out? He would say, "What is your name?" For instance, before he cast out the devils from the Gadarene man, he asked the unclean spirit it's name. And the unclean spirit answered through the man, saying, "My name is Legion: for we are many." And the devils are then entered into a herd of swine.

The naming of the inner devils becomes a teaching for us today. Once you name a point of fear, it is no longer an unknown controlling force. You have defined it, circumscribed it and started to detach from it. The fear loses some of it's negative power in the very process of being recognized and named. It becomes a manageable energy that you can cast out and replace. And in that process of replacement you have a turn around in consciousness. You can replace fear with enlightenment. You can replace it with faith in yourself and your inner walk. You can replace it with equanimity in the face of misfortune. You can replace it with loving care for yourself and others. And you begin to realize it's a great life if you don't weaken!
Until next time....Enjoy the day.

*Copyright(c)2010.Post Created by Sherrie Vitello.Titled: Mustering the Courage to Face Our Dark Side.Excerpts taken from the book: Emotions; Transforming anger, fear and pain. By Marilyn C. Barrick, PhD.


How We Handle Anger

An old Japanese tale goes,  a belligerent samurai once challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell.  But the monk replied with scorn, "you're nothing but a lout...I can't waste my time with the likes of you!"  His very honor attacked, the samurai flew into a rage and pulling his sword from it's scabbard, yelled, "I could kill you for your impertinence!"  That, the monk calmly replied, is hell. Startled at seeing the truth in what the master pointed out about the fury that had him in it's grip, the samurai calmed down, sheathed his sword, and bowed, thanking the monk for his insight.  And that, said the monk...is heaven.

Anger is a trap. When we allow ourselves to dissolve into fury, we do damage to our soul and spirit.  Anger can come upon you suddenly, like a flash.  And you are engaged because it is a trap. It is a trap of the sinister force, the forces of darkness and it is a trap we lay for ourselves because we don't deliver ourselves from the dweller-on-the-threshold.
(The dweller-on-the-threshold is a term used to designate the anti-self, the not-self, the anti-thesis of the real self.)

But the will and the determination, the surrender and the consciousness of wrestling with ourselves to get rid of those points of darkness, that's something only we can do. Taming the wild horse of anger. We all remember times when we were angry or completely lost our temper. At other times perhaps we were seething with anger, altho' we didn't express it directly.  Some of us believe our anger is a good thing, and furthermore, you may feel better after you've yelled it out.  Frankly it gives me a headache after I exert anger & it highers my bloodpressure. Your health will be affected by anger too but not in a good healthy way.

Perhaps you see nothing wrong with venting anger. Yet when we understand how energy works, we realize that angry vibes, made even more powerful when we yell them, are explosive energy. It's an emotional bomb that disrupts clear reasoning.  And the aftermath of negative vibes doesn't just go away. It keeps us in a grumbly mood, pollutes productivity and impacts people around us. 

Most people don't like those vibes one bit. They usually forget the point they were trying to make midst the fury. Think of one of those times in your life when you were seething with anger.  Then ask yourself, "What was the point of my anger?  How did I express it?"  Now remember a time that you wouldn't say you were angry but you felt irritated, disgusted, annoyed or frustrated. When you look deeper, you'll discover that those feelings are simply variations of the theme, they all track back to anger.

Anger, a powerful destructive force, even when it's just simmering or seething within us, actually creates emotional pollution in ourselves, our relationships, our home, our neighborhood, our work place and the planet. What can we do about it? Checking a runaway temper is like taming a wild horse. If you have ever ridden high-spirited horses, you know not to let them just run, especially if they are jumpy or upset. You use the reins to guide them, a soft toned voice to calm them. You get much better results that way. We can do the same with anger.

We can bridle the beast. If we have our mouths closed, we will not misuse our power verbally. If we refuse to strike out with our fists or feet, whatever, we will not misuse our power physically. Even when our anger isn't a reaction to people but what may be going on in daily lives around us. Such as, the state of our country, terrorism, pollution from chemicals, trapping of dolphins in a tuna catch, the conditions of the world around us etc. All the causes we feel passionate about. Can eat away at us until we are pushed just enough & we explode into a raging, angry, irrational person.  

The principle of how we handle our feelings is exactly the same.  Whenever we are angry, we need to find a "constructive" way to approach the situation that is incensing us. We need to seek ways to take constructive action in our own sphere of influence.  Meditation i.e. yoga, pilates, getting out and going for a pep-step walk or any form of exercise can do wonders for anger (and stress). Anger is normal, every body has it, no one is exempt. 

But how we handle that powerful energy is our choice. We always have a choice.  If we adjust our perspective, we can take dominion over our passions. When we bridle our temper, we begin to tame that wild horse of anger within us. Now we can rein him in, turn him around and head off that display of human volatility. Keep calm & carry on.  

Written by Sherrie Vitello, Excerpts taken from the wonderful book: EMOTIONS Transforming Anger, Fear and Pain by Marilyn C. Barrick, Ph.D.