Today is a new moon – which means it reflects no visible light in our night sky.
It happens every 28 some-odd days, and to me, it signifies a time of new beginnings.
Some people set new intentions for the month to come on the new moon.
It can be a time for hope, focus, and taking stock of our lives.
Incidentally, this new moon is in the sign of Cancer which (according the inter-webs) is a time of healing, if you believe that shit (you know I do 😉 ).
I like the symbolism that it’s the darkest night of the month while some of us traverse the “Dark Night of the Soul” (St. John of the Cross).
The below quote is not from St John’s poem, but again, it deals with the concept of light and darkness.
There are periods of our lives (especially those exposed to trauma) where things just feel dark, heavy, and quite frankly, fucked.
And lately, things have felt very dark for me. So much so, that I did not write my blog post yesterday.
I also found another quote very fitting to the present and similar to St John’s:
Facing the Shadow
For those of you unfamiliar with the term “shadow work,” Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, referred to our subconscious qualities that we really don’t like (and sometimes struggle) to admit about ourselves as our “shadow self.”
“The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.”
— Carl Jung, Aion (1951)
I’ve discovered a wonderful article, Carl Jung and the Shadow: The Ultimate Guide to the Human Dark Side, by Jack E. Othon, which masterfully goes into greater detail about our shadow selves (https://highexistence.com/carl-jung-shadow-guide-unconscious/).
I recommend reading it.
However, for the purposes of this post, let’s just say there’s shit inside I’d rather not talk about that keeps me miserable. (I suspect you have a few of those, too).
And if I did not see the value in exposing the raw details about my journey in order to thrive beyond trauma, I may not write this blog.
I am fortunate to have people in my life who encourage me to keep writing because my shadow shelf is draped in a huge cloak of shame (that’s poetic).
And if you’ve read my other posts, you know that my opinion is that shame, particularly toxic-shame that comes from abuse, is a fucking lie!
So… let’s bring some of these shadows into the light…
After the Supreme Court decision Friday, I wanted to run. I have felt very angry and afraid since then.
My younger child informed me they are feeling suicidal. Although they told me they do not have an active plan to kill themselves, I am deeply saddened by this.
I feel very powerless and desperate about the above circumstances. In the present, all I can do is express my love to those affected and advocate against harm to people with uteri.
I have no Superman cape. I cannot rescue anyone.
And I fear for all of their safety.
In my darkest moments, life does not seem worth living.
I see a world crumbling around me, factions of people pitted against each other, and a gripping dread that all of it is going to explode at any fucking minute.
Getting up to write a rah-rah fucking blog post about mindset and chasing your dreams falls flat when I feel like the world may not make it another five years….
None of it seems to fucking matter when I go there…
And my strongest impulses are to run or self-destruct.
Of course, the other impulses (as many of you know) are for me to find comfort in the attention, affection, and approval of a woman.
I want to feel loved and safe.
I suppose the little kid in me wants his mommy right now because he’s fucking terrified and feels alone.
That sure as hell isn’t some David Goggins’ “Can’t Hurt Me” stuff, is it?
And in this quest to find the magical “she,” I’ve been spending time trying to win the approval of a couple women in particular that I really don’t want to be with for one reason or another.
I feel like the moth attracted to the flame of emotionally unavailable, avoidant women… and it drives me fucking crazy.
I am subconsciously attracted to unavailable women (that I really don’t want to be with) – and I am fucking sick of it!
And of course, they aren’t the problem.
It’s not the Supreme Court, my kid, or the women (I’ve recently distanced myself from).
It’s fucking me!!!
I am the problem!
And my ego demands that I get my fucking way right now to satisfy these shadows that really do not serve me or anyone else.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
If the light’s not Darth Vader, maybe it’s an oncoming train?
I know I am too hard on myself and others.
My self-centered fear places me in a position to either feel way too dominant or dependent on people.
Someone once coined the term, “King Baby.”
Please worship me, yet take care of me.
This is a clear sign of someone who needs to grow the fuck up.
And I am…
Some might even say I’m a narcissist, since that’s a fun term people like to ignorantly throw around these days.
I mean, I may not be much, but I’m all I think about, right?
Yes, I am fairly selfish and self-centered…
Unlike a true narcissist, I do give a fuck about people.
I care so much so that their suffering fucking hurts me, too.
I cope with my insecurities by trying to protect myself and get comfort in any way my ego habitually tells me to.
And it’s usually through the big three – attention, affection, and approval.
That’s a pretty fucking human trait to have.
We need attention, affection, and approval.
This is also true for the love avoidants who have not dealt with (or even acknowledged) their wounds.
And quite frankly, I am sick of being around people who are in denial.
There, I said it.
I do not have time to pat people’s backs who are willfully staying sick.
Okay, okay, David…
Get off your fucking high-horse…
There goes my ego again smashing people’s feelings like God-fucking-zilla…
Okay folks… I’ll dial it back a bit.
I realize people are exactly where they are supposed to be, and the main reason other people’s foibles twist my tit so much is because I have unrealistic expectations of them.
I am placing my self-esteem in the hands of people who, like me, are on a journey and are struggling, too.
Again, if it bothers me, it belongs to me.
Knowing that, I have more work to do.
And by bringing my shadows to light, I am making some fucking changes in who I spend my time with.
Yes, I want to be of service and help folks who struggle.
I want to help people who really want to do the work to get better and not keep bullshitting themselves by posting inspirational memes, taking glamour shots, but not actually doing the work to get better.
Man, that’s some judgy-ass ranting going on there.
I think I may be feeling angry and projecting my own shit onto other people again.
Okay… Everyone is entitled to their own path, and they’re all doing the best they can…
There, I can try to come back to understanding and empathy and stop spewing my hurt all over the place…
However, I don’t fucking need to save them or date them.
And the truth is, I can’t anyway…
You Really Should
Get That Looked At
I have decided to go back to basics…
I have rejoined a fellowship that specifically deals with codependency and romantic obsession.
I wish thriving beyond trauma were as simple as deciding everyday to do hard shit and just doing it.
And in many ways, it is just that simple.
However, I am firm believer that recovery from trauma and it’s many manifestations does not occur in isolation or a vacuum.
In other words, we need people!
The last two days I really wanted to isolate.
I felt too shitty to be around people.
It felt like the weight of the world was on me and like my skin was on in-side-out.
That, my friends, is shame manifesting as social anxiety and depression.
The world felt fucked, and I did not want to participate anymore.
However, I know that I cannot stay in that state for long because I will self-destruct.
And fortunately, for yours truly, I have some dreams and goals despite this lingering and persistent nihilism.
So, as I mentioned before, I decided to reach out for help.
I went to a meeting last night (virtually) for people who easily obsess and fantasize about finding “The One.”
We sacrifice our self-care and dreams while we obsessively pursue (you guessed it) attention, affection, and approval.
My feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are normalized in that fellowship.
And, I get hope for change.
I decided to distance myself from the women I have been (at times pathetically) seeking approval and attention from.
I have decided to level the fuck up.
I am tired of being around indecisive, emotionally unavailable people.
Yes, they are on a journey, and I can love and respect them where they are at…
I can recognize that these types of women fit into a dysfunctional pattern I am trying to break free from.
So today, I am choosing me.
I am working on my 6th and 7th steps with my AA sponsor and rejoining the fellowship to help me lose my obsession with romantic intrigue.
I am focusing on my personal development, and someday, I trust, I will be in a better position to attract a healthier person into my life.
But first, I have to get healthier.
And that’s right folks, I need to do the shadow work to get there.
I don’t think I’ve described the process of facing my shadow self as a neat, tidy package.
Because it isn’t!
It is fucking messy at times.
There is a withdrawal process of letting old obsessions go.
There is a period of pain, confusion, anger, and depression.
My sponsor assures me that I am right where I’m supposed to be.
And I agree with him.
I am grateful to be riding the waves of self-induced misery.
There’s a recurring pattern in my recovery that requires me to get fucking sick of my own shit before I let it go.
That’s not always the case, but it feels like my greatest growth spurts come from this period of becoming “entirely ready” (Step 6).
I am also discovering that the release that comes from letting go is not necessarily an act of will either.
I cannot control the letting go, merely try to be willing to do so.
It’s kind of like forgiveness.
“To err is human, to forgive divine” (Alexander Pope)
Forgiveness is something I experience, not create.
I find that I only need to become willing to forgive and then at some magical unspecified moment, I feel the release of forgiveness.
So today, kids, I am acting “as if.”
I am acting as if I have let this shit go.
I am acting as if I have forgiven myself and others.
And for me, that means that I pray for the willingness to let go and forgive.
Sometimes, I pray for the willingness to be willing.
And whether you believe in a higher power or not doesn’t matter.
If you speak the intention outward (under a new moon, to God, or even your fucking dog), someone, somewhere hears it – even if it’s only you…
And I act as if by staying away from people who bring me down.
I act as if by surrounding myself with people who are actively in recovery and seeking a better life – nay, I say living a better life.
I surround myself with people I want to be like.
I am going to meetings where I can be around other people with the same primary purpose – to recover from “a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body” (AA, pg. xiii).
Whether it’s the hopeless state of alcoholism, codependency, or love addiction, I am taking the fucking action today to relieve me (and others) of the suffering it causes.
So yeah, I am leveling the fuck up.
I’ve heard someone say that it’s only addicts that expect to feel good all of the time.
I don’t think that line of thinking is limited to addicts exclusivley.
I also think another common thinking error is this notion that if I feel like shit, I am doing something wrong.
Yes, that may be true at times, for after all, I have some say in my mindset.
However, I also think that life has its ups and downs, and people who have experienced trauma especially feel the huge swings of the ebb and flow.
On an EKG machine, if the line is flat, you are dead.
A heart beat even measures with ups and downs.
So a life without the hills and valleys, is not a life at all…
It’s an existence.
So as with the moon, we cannot enjoy the brilliance of her fullness without embracing the shadow side, too.
And such is life.
In trauma recovery, I’ve heard, “The only way out is through.”
And the part that we go “through” is the shadow self.
Dig deep into the part of yourself that drives you blindly to fear, judge, and alienate people (including yourself).
Look at where your ego demands that life go a certain way.
Look at where you either dominate or are dependent on people.
Find out how you get in your own way…
And get fucking help!
If it’s embarrassing, then that’s the clue of where you need to grow.
Do you think I like exposing all this sick-ass love addiction bullshit on here?
But I also know that lies die in the light.
I have to expose the shadow self in order to get better.
And the bigger picture for me is that when I share my journey authentically, it helps others.
My main goal is for you to fucking relate, and find the courage to face your shadow self…
So you can thrive beyond trauma.
Thank you for reading another installment of my journey to thrive beyond trauma. I hope you can relate, and even more, I hope it inspires you to make some changes. Please like, comment, follow or reach out. I am putting together Life Coaching packages and can help you. If you are feeling stuck, or sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, let’s chat and get you on track!
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