On this weeks episode, I open up about the hauntings of my shadow self and trying to find the balance between embracing it and managing it with positivity and my bullshit frustration with manifesting things.
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I grew up, not just in a Christian family, but a positive psychology family. Our religion wasn’t just Christianity; it was self-help. If you’ve ever experienced the book or the movie “The Secret,” that would be a pretty accurate description of my daily life.
My parents, led mostly by my dad were deeply in trenched into the Word of Faith Teachings of Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagen, and others. Even more than that he was a consultant for a company that took the teachings like “the secret” into major sports teams, Fortune 500 companies, and anyone that would pay them money to teach them how to be more successful.
The idea of positive talk manifesting your destiny and your every desire was so hammered into us that we were never really given the opportunity to talk about our pains. Because if we were “sick” we weren’t “sick” we were “healed or recovering.”
My church was so into this bullshit that they didn’t have church “retreats,” they had church “advances.”
I was raised to believe that the mind is a battleground, negative thoughts are the enemy, and I was constantly supposed to cast out negative thinking and replace it with positive thinking.
I remember growing up and being sick; the process went something like this:
"No, you’re not your healed."
"But I feel like crap and have a headache."
"No, you don’t you're healed by the stripes of Jesus. Here, I’ll pray for you. There, you're healed."
Then I would walk away and try to power through the pain reciting in my head with a cult-like mantra; I’m healed. I’m healed. I’m healed. I’m healed.
There were no sick days, only healed days. You powered through and acted like everything was fine until it was.
It’s why to this day I hate the word “manifest, manifesting, I manifested.” It fucking makes me angry because I know it’s bullshit. I didn’t manifest healing, I coped with the symptoms until they went away.
You didn’t manifest your new car or new house. You fucking got a loan. They only thing you manifested was debt. The American dream.
So my natural reaction after leaving religion was also to put away all this fucking self-help, positive self-talk, warfare. The challenge with putting it away is I’m now faced with the reality of how hard life is without veiled coping mechanisms. Not only have I laid down religion, and parts of god down, I’ve also put down the war going on in my head. Instead of casting out the “negative” thoughts, I’ve embraced many of them.
I’m embracing them in therapy, I’ve embraced them in a lot of areas. My thoughts, no matter how dark, or light they are, are a part of me. I’m a whole person, light dark positive negative.
This repression of the shadow or dark sides of ourselves is the very nature and practice of everyday Christianity. “To die with Christ so that you no longer live, but Christ lives in you.”
The problem with this psychologically is it leads to projection.
This has really affected my relationships with those closest to me. My wife and I are in particular.
This is something I’ve really grown aware of and gotten much better at not doing.
What is the balance between embracing the shadow as myself, realizing the negativity or reality, and then still moving forward positively without delusions of grandeur, without suppressing my shadow side, while at the same time not letting the darkness overwhelm me, haunt me, or drag me down?
I haven’t figured out the answer yet. But I’m on the scary ass journey.
What are your thoughts? Comment Below.
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THE PRODUCERS OF THIS EPISODE ARE...
Brendan Gladney, Stacy Osiowy, Kimberly Nelson, Christian Grindstaff, Larry Overstreet, Heather Washburn, Alan Lamon, Michael Schmitt, Grace Kwon, Allen Mattox, Roberta Ballard-Myer, Alyssa Milan, Luis Castro Jr, T.O. Knowles, Jonathan Bowles, Thiago Bodini, Travis Turner, Samantha Davis, Chad Weber, Mary Ratti, Justin Beal, Matt Proudfoot, Alf Herigstad, Kaeleb Reyes, Mekenna Rose, Christy Feltman, Rachael Wold, Morgan Weisz, Sarah Matthews, Jay Middleton, Diana Brown, John Stuart, Mandy Logan, Susan Ardrey, Blake Willis, Susan Lepin, David MacPhail, Tiffiny Kosloy, Hannah Wilson, Anonymous Butterfly, and Anonymous Couple..