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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

Kindly Confronting Ourselves

For each of us, there are aspects of ourselves with which we do not want to be in conscious relationship, for a variety of reasons. Whether that be the truth of our selfishness, unacknowledged narcissism, unconscious judgmentalness, compromised integrity, painful longing to be seen, or very disturbing feelings of unworthiness.

While we may project a very different image to others and to the world, these undigested energies and qualities long for reunion, yearn to emerge out of the shadowy nether regions of psyche and into conscious awareness.

Especially as spiritually-oriented people, it's very difficult to come to terms with our narcissism and self-absorption. It's just much easier and safer to pretend that these qualities exist "out there" in others and in the collective.

Just because we are not in conscious relationship with the darkness does not mean it is not there. It is always alive and active under the surface, sure to erupt in less-than-conscious ways when we least expect it, often in our close relationships, and in ways that will result in suffering for ourselves and others.

It is to the degree that we are not tending to this material that we will inevitably project it onto the "other," whether that "other" be another person, the natural world, or sent into the collective by way of our thoughts . . . a kind of toxic seed form.

It is a tremendous act of love to compassionately confront these opposites within us, to acknowledge the paradoxical nature of being an open, sensitive, vulnerable human being. This is not just an act of self-love, but a full-spectrum love for others and for the world … for when we take responsibility for and re-own this material, we bring an end to violence.

In this sense, withdrawing our projections and re-owning the darkness is the activity of extraordinary light, and one way we can bring love into the world and express support for the precious beings that are here.

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