Dare to Face Your Shadows
I have a shadow. You have a shadow. Call it FEAR. Name it as False Evidence Appearing Real. With
courage, you will heal your wounds. Ask for help: that requires courage. Your courage is already there. It may simply be hidden under a dark place that wants your light to shine there. Your light is already there. We all cycle through dark times, depression, fixation, pain, betrayal, disappointment, heartbreak. It is part of being human. There is no getting around it. There IS getting through it. You will not get through it by yourself. We ALL need help.
As children, we are in our hearts. In the Ayurvedic system of health, the most ancient healing system on the planet, thousands of years old, still practiced today, being present to the divine loving power of your heart is known as SATTVIC. It is one of the three fundamental qualities of creation. We are drawn to children because of their innocence. They are naturally heart centered. They remind us of our true nature. They are also vulnerable and they are loving, for no reason other than it is our true innocent nature. They cry, and they laugh. And they move on. As we grow into adults and we are stimulated by the world and attracted by the desires of the world, we get distracted by the external objects of our senses: ice cream, candy, movies, money, power, fame and success. These arousing interests take us away from our heart center and into our mind. This chasing after stimulation is known as the RAJASIC quality, or guna, in the Ayurvedic system.
One fundamental problem with this progression is that it is not giving us the whole truth. We feel temporarily satisfied, but that satisfaction never lasts very long. Which is why it is called ILLUSION. It is illusory, it only lasts a very short time. The problem is that we get caught by the illusion, and sooner or later it begins to lose its shine. The brilliance of the original attraction begins to tarnish as harsh reality reminds us that everything has its own cycle. There comes a time of withdrawal from the external stimulations and this can lead to an extreme of wanting to protect from the discomfort or disappointment. We may put barriers between ourselves and the world because it just does not always feel nourishing or supportive. The problem is that it is that very world which ultimately wants to nourish us. We can slip into a withdrawn TAMASIC state which can lead to the extremes of distress, lackluster lethargy and suffering.
In my primary relationship, I experience the progression of moving through all three elements of that cycle of heart [sattva], action/reaction [rajas], and withdrawal [tamas], back to heart [sattva] with both my witness consciousness and my heart engaged. Sometimes I feel hurt in my interactions with my partner. When I own my feelings, they are mine, they are not anyone else’s fault. She has not done anything wrong. She actually is playing her part perfectly. When I put my conscious awareness on my heart, compassion arises for me, for her, and information flows from my soul reminding me that there is nothing wrong, nothing to fear, and my feelings of being hurt are just another illusion that will pass, no matter what it feels like in the moment. The most important choice is to be honest with whatever feelings are there, yet not be owned by those feelings, rather be witness to them, sincerely and with discernment.
All the feelings, all the choices, all the gunas have their place.
The natural progression of the world means we all will have moments when our shadow is at the
forefront of our behavior. I’m human. You’re human. Remember this: these three fundamental qualities of creation [the three gunas: sattva, rajas, and tamas], are always moving. When we find the courage to face our fears and our demons, they can vanish: they are that illusory. One of the biggest tricks of the mind is that it wants us to believe how much we need to be afraid. And, without exception, our fears of being afraid are bigger than the things we believe we need to be afraid of. Our mind has simply made up a story and convinced us that that story, about what we think we need to be afraid of, that story our mind wants us to believe: that story is not true.
That story is where your demons live. And thrive. The divine loving power of your heart is the remedy. The divine loving power of your soul is the source of that remedy. Consciously creating an opening to your soul is the strategy to overcoming your demons. Try this as a strategy: Love your enemies: it really confuses them. Your demons, in the misguided intentions of your monkey mind, are your enemies. They are in you, just as the divine loving power to heal your wounds is in your heart and your soul. It is a process. It may begin with the shadows of despair, or the wounds of the world. It may move with the tug of the senses chasing after the objects of their desires and the inevitable heartbreak of the hopes and dreams that are not always fulfilled. It will always end in your heart compassionately reminding you of your true nature: a divine soul having a human experience.
And so the cycle continues: it begins in your heart, as an innocent child, and it then moves to your mind, as your senses run after their objects of desire, and then progresses to your unavoidable enlightened withdrawal from those objects of desire. Pain is a great motivator. The most enlightened move for the progression of your human soul to divine soul is the step of withdrawal from the sense objects of the world, back to your heart, which then can engage in your world in a whole new way. There is a proper time to be withdrawn from the world, especially in the context of honest self-reflection. This is how the tamasic influence can actually serve the growth of your consciousness and your soul. From that self-reflection comes the renewal of your divine truth, your sattvic qualities which will move in the world balanced with the rajasic property of enlightened action.
Draw the light of your soul into your heart and your mind through your eyes. Use the light of a candle to illuminate your heart and your soul. Then your mind can be illuminated to shine that light into the shadows created in the misguided convolutions of your monkey mind.
You can heal your fears, which are the source of your demons, the false evidence appearing real.
Simply looking at a candle flame is a beginning to this process. There are other steps that are available in processes I teach which were given to me by Swami Kaleshwar.
Today (March 15, 2017) is the fifth anniversary of Sri Kaleshwar's MahaSamadhi. Today is a great day to align more with your divine purpose.