As I have worked some today on The Fellowship of the Heart, my thoughts revolved around my Morning Pages entry this morning, something I would like to deal with here a bit more.
My heart recently brought me to consider, helped me, urged me to consider, a version of a boyhood self that created a shadow self within me. This soul work has been ongoing over the last couple of weeks. This morning, as I wrote in my personal pages, I remembered a little terry cloth stuffed dog I had. I just called it a wiener dog. It lived in a shoe box that I made nice and neat and safe and orderly, all qualities my younger self yearned for.
Part of the exploration of this memory included hearing the words “We are not the wiener dog anymore.” What? I thought about it and evaluated it in the light of Heart. The little stuffed dog, my treatment of it, and affection for it were symptomatic of limitations that had been created for me.
After undergoing a long-unremembered event, I also remembered how I was hushed, quieted, silenced in reference to a traumatic event I experienced. In essence, my voice to speak for myself, to tell the truth, to simply be heard was removed, and that created limitations for me for a very long time. Oh, I functioned and did well enough. I know it has all been just as it should have been.
What, though, is the significance of limitations? Unjust limitations result in many possible symptoms. For me, the limitation of silencing my voice meant isolation and loneliness, represented by my creation of an imaginary life with my little cloth dog. That, too, was taken away from me because family thought I was too old — at like seven — to have this little animal in his shoebox house. More limitation.
Who I was and what my needs were were not deemed significant enough to give me a say. I accepted it — and conformed. And to me that’s one of the worst effects of forcing or prescribing limitations on others, especially those who have no voice: conformity. Conformity is an Ego response that ensures difficulty in discovering self in a sea of those who all seem the same.
Is it any wonder inspirational and motivational leaders, speakers, and writers warn about the dangers of conformity, tell us to dream big dreams, and take leaps of faith to act on those dreams? My experience, while meant to silence me, created in me a disdain for almost all authority, created a nonconformist waiting to erupt.
Flashes of that self were seen many times when I shunned conventional wisdom about what to do to have safe, secure, steady employment or to be moderate in my beliefs. No, I sympathize with the oppressed; sometimes, I am enraged at the shallow but controlling minds that engineer oppression to create limitations that force conformity — (historically, dealings with Native Americans and African Americans, symptoms of which we are still experiencing — no Heart-light shed on problems mean little real progress).
I will end my little personal segment here by saying I am proud to be a nonconformist. I will rebel at anyone trying to force me into a mold or tell me I have to believe some certain religious, political, or economic “truth.” No, I will be who I came to be, and I will live the life purpose I have co-created.
And part of that is wiring and speaking about the issues of hearing your own heart and becoming your own brand of nonconformist. Discovering self — oh, so many things become so clear and simple, but it is not easy work, nor should it be.
Carl Jung said, “The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.” I want you to tell your story, to make sure that authentic voice of You shouts to the world who you are and that what you do matters.
Jung also said, “Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.” The shadow selves, when encountered, need to be enlightened and the substance of one who created the shadow needs to be embraced. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I suppose sometimes those selves are welcomed as allies, encouragers, and assets and sometimes as respected enemies. All, however, comprise an individual and one’s whole personality.
I had thought to share a bit more of Eric’s progress in the novel as he becomes more self-aware and forges ahead in his created purpose, but I will not do that today.
If you would have spent another two minutes reading 400 or 500 more words, please tonight just use that time to speak to your own heart about who you are and what you want to do to express that You, that voice — no limitations, no conformity, no evaluation through others’ eyes or expectations. None.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!