To grow we must experience new things, immerse ourselves in new situations and step out of the very place we feel most comfortable. But, what about when the growing is that of an inner matter? One that directly affects the very behaviors central to our daily life. The subconscious ones; our instinctual reactions to people, places and situations. How do we heal when certain things feel as if they bring out the very worst parts of us?
Full. Conscious. Presence.
In order to create new behavioral patterns we must be fully aware of the ways we currently react. For me, specifically, it means that before I speak I must process. I cannot let words run out my mouth unchecked. They must be filtered through several channels: does this support my new behavior, will I feel good about saying this, does it come from a place of love.
Over the last few weeks I have encountered a new monster: me. A shadow self. A part of me I did not know existed, that I was not aware needed to be healed. My interactions with a particular experience are forcing me to confront myself, challenging everything I thought I was up until this point. There is my authentic self and the self that escapes when I am not conscious. Things I say I am not often proud of, ways I am reacting feel so foreign. At the end of each day I am left wondering who this person is. Who have I become? How did I let myself turn into this stranger? I am inclined to say that it happened without my knowing when it started, or that it was over the course of several days, but that would be a lie. Something I could say to let myself off the hook. But, this is a time for honesty. To live in my authentic truth, to call back my power. And so, I give the only truth I have: I got caught up in it. In the drama, the old reactions and the even older behaviors. Where one choice could have changed it all, so too, could one have prevented it.
The truth is hard. And painful. Oftentimes it is the only thing we want, but it also causes us to run and hide. I have that option now: to run and hide. That path, however, does not lead to growth. I will keep living this experience in different incarnations until I am finally brave enough to face it. Today is that day. I am confronting the monster within. I will make friends with my shadow self. Healing is not the ultimate goal, but it does serve us on the way there. To move forward we must heal, we must release, we must fill up with light. I choose that path. I choose the path of growth. I choose the path of truth and honesty and authenticity. I hope you will join me.