Saturday, February 9, 2013

Learning to love: Befriend your demons

L´earning to  Love
Gloria Ornelas Hall

 Befriend your demons

It´s hard to admit one is wrong, but harder still to re-cognize one’s a “bitch”. Yet, without it we cannot love. We tend to project our shadow-selves on others, blaming them for our worst fears.
Disowning the dark side of our soul is loving, ‘half-heartedly’.

I started thinking about this when my daughter twitted that she had stopped fighting her inner demons “…we’re on the same side , now” (@tandorantes). I was proud of her inner strength, so much stronger in her generation than ours. Hatred and evil horrify me. She takes them for granted. What horrifies her, she said “…is stupidity”. At first, I thought that was funny but the more I think out it, the closer to hard reality. Yes, man isgood and evil. That is a fact. Evidence proves it. But he has a choice, which can only be made with ‘intelligence’. To be horrified with man´s evil is to deny one´s own capacity to think, and possibly ‘react’ if given the circumstances, with the same destructive force.

“Actually”, says my daughter, “survival in this world needs demons. Only with them, can we have that added ‘intelligent edge’ which you can´t see when you´re blinded by ‘sweetness’ ”
…. So much for my blog!!!
 I suppose she is right. The more I think about it, the more I recognize the inner work I have to do, to accept my own inner demons. All this self-righteous ‘goodness’ cannot be real if it is not grounded by its shadow. Yes, I have been and am a ‘bitch’. So there!

Long before confessing or even repairing any damage I’ve done, I have to recognize: the wrath with which I hate anyone who cuts in front of me in the traffic…'I could kill them!'; my avarice that has me holding on to cluttering memories and ‘things’ that I can’t get rid of; my cowardice that prefers to smile, be stepped upon and play the martyr; my pride that looks down upon everyone, not because I’m haughty but with the certainty that  ‘I am better”.

Befriending my demons would require I talk to my shadow-self to try to understand why- the wrath, the avarice, the cowardice and the pride. Perhaps I’d learn that my wrath stems from repressed anger, for pain from constant abuse. Knowing about it, I can respond with anticipation, setting limits on time. I´d learn that my avarice comes from a hollow inner emptiness that yearns for recognition and I’d prepare for the day, asking my loved ones for an extra ‘hurray!’, so as to avoid begging for it from others at work. I’d learn that my cowardice comes from fear and insecurity, after having been rejected and made fun of so many times, and I’d learn to avoid bullies. I’d realize that my pride comes from over-confidence, from spoiling and getting my way all the time and try to do things on my own, despite my fear of failure.
So perhaps, we do have to get to know our darker selves, to enhance conscious awareness. Both foolishness and kindness may overlook negativity; the real fool, from ignorance; the kind man, from generosity.

The Kamasutra says that “virtue is a luxury, inaccessible to all”. Only those who know their inward capacity for evil can have patience and understanding for all.
It’s OK to be a ‘bitch’. It gives me the courage to stand up for myself and others, and to look at reality head on.  So look out, here I come!

                                                Even the heart has compartments unknown to itself.

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