Saturday, October 07, 2023

The shadow side

In the last month I have been described as “impatient,” “irritable” and “brusque.” Each adjective was used by a different member of my family and at different times.

I myself could add vain, pushy, blunt, snappy, gossipy and selfish.

I don’t know why I’ve been so very irritable lately. Is it the drip drip drip of poison coming from the government that became a torrent of hatred this week at the Tory party conference?
Is it the rain that’s been stopping my bike rides?
Whatever is making me so irritable, I don’t like me much when I am.

I came across something on the The Marginalian ( formerly Brainpickings) site recently about recognising one’s shadow side, written by someone called Parker Palmer, the founder of the Centre for Courage and Renewal. These are two excerpts:

and there is something along the same lines in Quaker Faith and Practice

We know, with varying degrees of acceptance into awareness, our own weaknesses, and there is a tendency to think that others – who seem, on the surface, to be very sure and confident – do not struggle in the way we do. But many of those who appear to cope and be strong and tireless are indeed very different behind their masks. We are all wounded; we all feel inadequate and ashamed; we all struggle. But this is part of the human condition; it draws us together, helps us to find our connectedness.

June Ellis, 1986

I just went to the webpage for the Center of Courage and Renewal and this is what appeared…

First a dark screen with “Breathe deeply” in the middle.

And then this:

I’m always in need of courage and stamina, but I don’t think I’m going to pursue the lead. Realistically, my life is full enough already, and if I take time to start the day properly, and try hard throughout the day to be more patient and to breathe deeply and to LET THINGS GO, I might become a nicer person to be around. We can only hope.


Anonymous said...

'Letting things go' is hard. Especially when we've had the luxury of being able to make a difference in various ways, for so long.

These times make me realise how little we can affect beyond our immediate sphere.

Anyway - isn't irritability just undigested disappointment??

I know you to be a wonderful, caring person and 50+ YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP DO NOT DECEIVE!

Lean in, let go, carry on.

Thea, xx

Sue Hepworth said...

Bless you dear Thea.