of light and shadow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m seeing reason for hope in the turmoil since the U.S. election. And I’m seeing many ways in which it is facilitating healing in my life.
I started a chanting practice within a day or two after the election to replace the fear with love and compassion. Although I’ve loved and used the lovingkindness chant for something like 20 years, I generally just say it to myself a few times a day and occasionally do a week of practice when something comes up that warrants it.
Three months in now, I’m finding a daily dose of metta combined with the heart-opening Gayatra Mantra and Om Shanti Shanti chants is pushing buttons, shifting energy, bringing things to the surface and leading me into some healing work I don’t know that I’d have done without the impetus of current events.
And I started being led to teachings and materials that address issues about self love I have not resolved. I’ve been amused to note as well, many of the materials bring me back to the New Age type teachings with which I began this journey 30+ years ago.
First I signed up for a Vow to Love, a series of meditations on bringing love into self and the world by fellow blogger Karen Chrappa and have been very slowly working my way through them. Then I got a head’s up about a new Louise Hay book, Life Loves You.
After failing to get a free version to show up I found the e-book for $1.99 and started reading and doing the mirror work. I’ve known a bit about her mirror work for 30 years but hadn’t ever done any. Mirror work has been tapping me on the shoulder for about a year now and this felt like the moment to dive in.
I also found a link to “The Abundance Factor” movie which, for a couple more days is free to watch here (not embedding as I assume it will disappear when the free bit is up), which I found to be a much better version of the Secret. I particularly like that it very carefully and repeatedly acknowledges abundance as more than just material things.
A few other messages here and there have chimed in. Together these little journeys have pointed up the unresolved issues about self-love and self-worth still dwelling in me. It’s not that I haven’t worked on self love issues or improved over the years but I can see now there’s a core place of shame and fear I’ve never touched in spite of massive digging around in my psyche and multiple insights, practices and breakthroughs.
There are a lot of posts and essays floating around discussing the “shadow” represented by the Republican Administration. I agree this rise of conservative and sometimes nasty values represents shadow stuff that needs to be cleared, but I also feel liberals and progressives have a lot of uncleared shadow stuff that’s just as much represented in this rise of hatefulness as any shadows within the government. And that includes me.
Liberals have long had a tendency to see the world in terms of battles and struggles and regularly use words of violence to describe their activities. I first started being disturbed by the dark underbelly of activism in the 80’s. I did a lot of work with public interest groups and noted with growing unease how readily my colleagues stepped up for faceless people in far away places and yet how snotty they could be with people in the same room.
An example that has always stuck with me was a boyfriend who worked zealously on abolishing the death penalty with absolute conviction that it is never right to kill someone. When a CIA operative was killed in the Middle East, this same crusader against death grinned with delight and announced the guy deserved it. “How,” I asked, “do you reconcile a belief it’s not okay to kill anyone with a belief that it was a good thing to kill that guy?” He was LIVID. We didn’t date too long after that 🙂
I find that sort of hypocrisy — the sort liberals like to point out in conservatives — disturbing. I found the anger behind much of what they did troubling. As I moved more and more onto a spiritual path I participated less and less in activism but grew more and more to believe the world needs peaceful activism, an activism conceived and carried out by loving hearts.
The only heart I can truly influence is mine. So I’m grateful these uneasy times have led me to practices and explorations that are revealing shadow material and allowing me to acknowledge and release it. The more of us who clear these shadows, the more the world will move toward peace. My number one commitment is to release any remaining shadows in me. I want to Be Peace not just talk about it.