SHADOWS DANCE

I love phonetically beautiful words and phrases like: “cellar door.” A fairly inert couple of words yet fun to flip off your tongue, “Cellar door, cellar door,” …

OWNING YOUR OWN SHADOW – is another beautiful sounding set of words, and is also the title (and a meaningful prompt full of profound, life-changing truths) of a terrific book by Robert A. Johnson, which I’m currently reading.

I don’t normally start recommending books to others when I’m only halfway through one, but, for good reason, this one has been most compelling and insightful from page one.

Johnson is an acclaimed Jungian analyst whose point-blank truth has me, for one, in its bull’s eye. Check out how heavy this little excerpt is:

“To refuse the dark side of one’s nature is to store up or accumulate the darkness; this is later expressed as a black mood … We are presently dealing with the accumulation of a whole society that has worshiped its light side and refused the dark, and this residue appears as war, economic chaos, racial intolerance.”

In other words: “Suppression leads to depression, that’s why farts are funny.”

Talk about being in “frank quarters.” The message Johnson has is simple: “Until we have undertaken the task of accepting and honoring the shadow within us, we can not be balanced or whole, for what is hidden never goes away, but merely–and often painfully–turns up in unexpected places.”

We are all made of the same stuff, so, owning who we are intellectually through art, discussion, theater, comedy, poetry, etc. – is ideally what we must do in order to keep our dark thoughts from receeding into our subconscious and becoming “forbidden fruits.” Therapy I’m sure works too, to dispel the power our shadow side has, but “frankly” speaking, blogging for me I believe will be more effective and less expensive.

Jesus was quoted a while back as saying that “the truth will set you free.” If that’s actually “true,” then we can reason that it must be “error” which binds us. I found, after about 50-pages of this 120-page read, the shackles of falsehood smothering my mind, began to loosen.

OWNING reads like a psychological colonoscopy, very humbling, honest, and direct in its resolve, twisting our heads backward to take in what we see in our respective wakes, what’s clinging to our backside as we trek through the brambles of this life.