I have the urge to write here again, though I don't know why; mostly I've been ranting over on Tetanus Burger, my cleaning-up-after-the-hoarding-father blog, which has also, crazily enough, proven strangely popular, as in looking at the stat counter I'm just like buh-WHUT!?! I suppose getting linked in a Newsweek comment thread didn't hurt, but whoa—the damned thing's been getting more hits than my store site, which I've put several years worth of work into. I guess hoarding is hot now or something, which I suppose I shan't complain about after all, since people now know what the Hel I'm talking about instead of just looking at me like, So your father was kind of messy. What's the big deal?
But really I've just been busy. Really quite busy. Here is why, I think:
All this talk—or rather not all this talk, since I dropped it rather abruptly, didn't I? Ah well, it's tricky, and a tender spot, you know, to come out—of daimones and such has another piece to it, or a related part of it.
Shadow work, I guess you could call it. It's something I've been doing for years now. Basically what it is is finding those parts of you you have rejected, your shadow, in (of course) Jungian terms; then integrating them back into you. In principle, it's pretty simple.
There are of course a few ways you can go about it, and let me say up front that while I've gotten pretty good at it one does have to take it slowly, and respectfully, and with some experience. I don't want to be irresponsible here, I guess. I think it helps for me that I don't think of myself, or parts of myself, as bad, on a root level. I assume that whatever I find within myself will be (and it always has turned out to be so) on my side. If you go into this with the assumption that you are battling or conquering demons, well, you have just chosen to book a trip to Hell, haven't you?
One way is the Debbie Ford way. She wrote a book called Dark Side of the Light Chasers, which I have read (though not recently). Her method is to find those words, those qualities, to which you have a bad reaction—the button pushers, the words you automatically dismiss with rancor—and then go stand in front of a mirror. Then you say to your own eyes, I am [whatever it is you reject]. And keep going, until you get a reaction, and end up bawling your eyes out. It's a release, and it allows you to then accept that you are in fact this thing you have rejected; and once you get to that point you can then see in what ways it is in fact a good thing, and you may be more whole.
Yes, well. I am a big fan of kindness to the self; and dammit that's just harsh. Especially since there's just no need. At least not in my experience. But then again, I firmly believe—I know—that I am on my own side.
It's a meditation, of the usual active imagining sort. This is what I do; this is what works for me. I don't know if it would work for others, though I imagine if this is rooted in the basics of the human soul it would; but again, use your judgement, and above all be kind to yourself.
I am lucky in that I have a Guide right to hand, that daimon of mine. And in the meditation, the vision he leads me somewhere. It's a different place every time, maybe a cellar, or a cave, or an underground chamber; but it's usually dark, and below things. Just where shadows congregate, right?
And in that place I ask to see that part of me I have pushed away. I have done this with my Anger, my Beauty, my Stubbornness, my Wisdom, and—whee!!—my Desire; a few weeks ago, though, it was my Motivation.
You will remember all my talk of feeling blocked artistically? Well, I finally figured out what I was missing, what I needed but didn't want to hear about, or didn't want to think about; and that boiled down to the word motivation.
So I asked to see her, my Motivation. And she came to me.
She was a leper.
She was bound all in rags, and covered with sores. She seemed, mostly, dead to the world, ill, abused, pale and gaunt.
And so in the meditation I bathed her, in a large sunken bath, like at a mineral spa, one with good healing waters; and she became strong, and whole. And beautiful, oh my God so beautiful. And we talked, a little, as friends.
There is rather more to it than that, of course, and well, yes, I have a really good imagination, oh ho trust me on that; but that's it in the main.
And since then, well what do you know? There are not enough hours in the day to do what I want to get done; and I've actually picked up a really huge project that has had me simply stymied, just because it's so damned big—reworking and integrating all my various internet projects. Big, complicated stuff that until just now had been so overwhelming to me I could only stare at it hopelessly; but I've been plugging away at it.
Without making myself do it. That is the amazing part. Always it has been, oh God do I have to? But I would do it anyway, though the metaphor I always found coming to me was like pulling my own teeth. But this, this is so different. I'm just doing it. Simple as that.
Not that I have anything to show, and yikes, given that I am learning CSS I don't imagine I will for a while; still, it's coming along quite nicely.
It really is quite amazing.
It is a sea-change, and I can only assume it is because of that Shadow work.