This past Sunday, I gathered with a group of about 17 women (and one brave guy) to teach and explore the architecture of the psychological shadow.
While it’s impossible for me to cover much about the class here, I will share a quote from the class (one that I often share), because it’s so relevant for any woman with an interest in her own self development.
Here is it:
“It’s easier to be better than you are than to be who you are. The point here is that perfection belongs to the gods; completeness or wholeness is the most a human being can ask for.” – Marion Woodman
It’s a good counter-balance to the popular notion in the West that we all keep striving to become our “best self.”
Unfortunately, the quest to the “best self” often gets contorted, side-stepping the noble work of waking ourselves up or taking responsibility for our our wounds and deeper development.
Instead, it can get twisted into a perception that we must sever off anything that doesn’t look good…
…leaving a perfect, sterile, or one-sided type of person.
A great tragedy.
It can be helpful to take on a Taoist perspective, one that believes in and honors totality.
Image a yin/yang symbol, each side holding a bit of the other within it, you’ll find that within one thing is also it’s opposite for balance.
For example, I notice that the most rigid and rule-oriented eaters that I work with tend to grow and learn a lot by consciously integrating pleasure and fluidity into their eating.
And those who are mainly led by knee-jerk eating impulses, tend to grow and learn a lot by consciously integrating well-suited structure into their eating.
It’s a little psychological journey getting there.
And well worth it.
In both cases, people often end up feel much better and more free.
So black and white thinking is one of the first things to look out for.
We all learned the the right ways to be in order to participate in a civilized society. Now, as adults, our journey continues.
This time, on a gradient towards wholeness, mending extreme splits created long ago.
A deeply democratic and compassionate process…
What say you?
With love and respect,