People often describe a complete transformation taking place in their lives after the death of someone close. Something about death causes you to reach deeply into your soul – as I said when my sister passed away over 4 years ago, your “heart gets broken open.”
Although my relationship with my mother was very frustrating, there is no more intimate relationship than the one we have with the person who bore our body into this world.
Before her passing, your mother is NEVER “not there” in your life – even if she is emotionally or geographically absent. At an early age, you received your sense of yourself by looking into her eyes.
This relationship determines our relationship with ourselves, and with our intimate partners.
I am feeling layers of defense mechanisms shifting and peeling away, revealing more and more of my Authentic Self / Higher Self / Essential Self / Universal Mind. And I am less and less willing to show up wearing the same old Mask.
This is what the quote in the above photo means. The Mask we wear was put in place by our Shadow. It’s made up of our fears – all the defense mechanisms / coping mechanisms we learned to protect ourselves from what we decided was scary.
Unfortunately, when we go around protecting ourselves behind these Masks, we also keep a lot of Good from flowing into our lives – like career opportunities, the flow of money, good health, and especially, warm loving relationships which require open-heartedness and vulnerability.
Science tells us these protective mechanisms were put in place by the time we were 7 years old! So MUCH was scary to us back then.
The process of maturing into adulthood is having the courage to take off the Mask, peel away the layers, face and examine our fears, and LISTEN to them.
Why listen to our fears? We don’t listen to our fears to give them power over us, to reinforce our victimization, or to feel sorry for ourselves and wallow in self-pity. We listen to our fears so we know what we are dealing with, and therefore know how to handle them.
Our fears lie in our Unconscious Mind. Our Conscious Mind needs to know what’s in there so it can direct us to appropriate action. It is the alignment of the Conscious Mind with the Unconscious Mind that brings about transformation, and therefore greater Personal Freedom.
Once you are conscious of your fears / limitations / blocks / Shadow mechanisms, you can have power over them, rather than their having power over you.
This is true Authenticity. Authenticity is not shoving the fears to the side, disregarding the negative emotions, attitudes, or thinking – doing that is still giving it power over us and it will come back to bite us. Because it’s asking to be seen, to be heard, to be known.
True Authenticity is owning, claiming your Shadow side, bringing it to the Light of Consciousness, so it can be completely integrated into your Authentic Whole Self. This gives you Authentic Personal Power.
Once you KNOW what your particular fear / Shadow aspect is, you have a better idea of how to deal with it, and you’ve reclaimed the power to choose to release it and not act from it. When it comes up again, you now can recognize it, and know how to name it.
I read an article just this morning that mentioned a study showing that if you simply NAME your emotion, you start feeling it less. That’s because naming comes from a different part of the brain than feeling.
That’s the deeper meaning of the old Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale – the queen feared the loss of her first-born child until she could say his name. When she said his name was Rumpelstiltskin, he was destroyed.
In the same way, when we become conscious of our personal Shadow, it too dissolves. Sometimes it dissolves all at once, sometimes the energy dissipates slowly over a series of experiences where it comes up again and again, but each time a little less.
This results in true Personal Freedom – which is what I wish for you this coming 4th of July – America’s Independence Day. You may wish to do some kind of Shadow-freeing ritual this weekend to celebrate the release of what is blocking you from the having the loving relationship(s) you desire.
Some suggestions for Shadow-freeing rituals:
1) Look in a mirror, name your fear, say you are releasing it, and claim the opposite truth instead. Do this with LOTS of feeling and belief!
2) Write down your Shadow fears on pieces of paper. Then say each one out loud prefaced by “I am now releasing…” while ripping it up or burning it up. Again, really FEEL it.
3) Journal on an experience that feels emotionally unresolved and ask what part your Shadow mechanisms played in creating the experience. Then re-write the experience as though you had behaved differently, without the defense mechanism being present, coming from your open heart.
Happy Personal Independence Day!