This blog started out as a post about “owning the shadow”, which Aoife sent me two or three weeks ago and this is sometimes how life works. I read the blog and we had some chats about it because I couldn’t quite get my head around the content. I read it several times, I posted a couple of other blogs in the meantime and then I came back to it. Finally it all fell into place and clearly, by fine tuning the title, it now follows on well from the recent blogs about Mastery and Perception.
As Aoife said, when I realised what the title needed to be, sometimes you start writing a blog and it morphs into a totally different topic! Here’s what Aoife was thinking and I’ve made my own contribution based on daily experiences through my work in clinic as well.
I’ve just been reading about owning the shadow – loving every part of who you are. I’ve read about this before and I’d thought it was only about accepting and loving all of your ‘negative’ qualities, your dark side, which is hugely important. My anger, fears, sorrows, selfishness, everything I used to dislike about myself, I’ve learnt to see them as essential parts of the whole wonderful package that is me and love and accept myself, warts and all.
But this morning I realised it’s also about facing those things we don’t want to face, the memories we hide away at the back of our minds until we’re ready to deal with them.
My daughter is 17. Sometimes she’s moody or depressed. Sometimes she shuts herself in her room and cries. Of course she does, I did too. So why do I get that unbearable knot of fear in my stomach when she gets depressed? Why do I feel such elated relief when she cheers up again? Why am I afraid she’ll kill herself when she’s never given any grounds for such extreme anxiety? Why do other parents cope with the ups and downs of adolescence so much better than me?
This morning I figured it out and I felt inspired to write a monologue based on my experience of suicide. My best friend of 16 years killed herself when she was 32. As I wrote about my feelings while supporting her through nine years of mental illness, a realisation hit me. It all felt so familiar. Her mental illness had a pattern. She would be totally fine for a few months, then she would start to slide into a depression so black she just stayed in her room crying for weeks. After three months or so she would come out of it and get back to normal and I would hope and pray that she was well this time, then it would all happen again. I grew to dread it so much. I would get that knot of fear in my stomach every time I phoned, dreading to hear her mother say, “She doesn’t want to talk to anyone.”
Now I understand that I had programmed myself emotionally to react like this when faced with depression. In the past I have walked away from friends who suffer depression, not wanting to go through all that again. But I can’t walk away from my daughter. Only she doesn’t have depression. She’s a normal teenager who’s down one minute and up the next and it’s crazy for me to ride that same emotional rollercoaster. She told me I was paranoid and while I denied it at the time, now I realise she was so right.
Years ago on a retreat I learnt about compassion with equanimity. The way they explained it is, “You’re watching a child ride a bike. They fall off and hurt themselves. Do you laugh? Of course not. Do you burst into tears because they’re in pain? No. You stay calm and help.” It makes sense.
So now I understand how I’ve programmed myself, I can work on my deprogramming.
I’ve found homeopathy wonderful for such things in the past. For 21 years I harboured so much anger and resentment towards my father. For years I nursed it. I couldn’t imagine ever letting go of it. t was the darkest, most painful part of my life and I thought I would take it to my grave. I thought I would never be happy while he was alive. I eventually reached the stage where I wanted to forgive and move on. But the harder I tried to forgive, the more the anger surfaced. I went to a homeopath about a physical condition. One day I woke up with a sciatic pain in my hip. Mid morning I felt it slide down my leg and disappear into the floor. And with it went all my anger and resentment. Forgiveness was no longer an issue as I no longer felt I had anything to forgive. I felt that the issue that had dominated my life for 21 years was no longer a part of my cellular or energetic makeup. It was no longer a part of my story. I had just let it go. I could look on it as an observer without any emotional attachment. I cannot tell you how much of a miracle this was. It was HUGE.
Now came the hardest part, telling my father that I forgave him. I put that off until I couldn’t put it off any longer. I woke up in the middle of the night with the most painful sore throat I‘d ever had. I couldn’t sleep with the pain, it was unbearable, worse than childbirth, and I knew it was caused by the words that were sticking in my throat, that it wouldn’t go away until I told my father I forgave him. I phoned him up, it was daytime in Europe, and told him I forgave him. Not only did it lift the weight I had been carrying all those years but it freed him from the burden he had been carrying too. My throat felt better and I was able to go back to sleep. That was 15 years ago and I’ve had a close, loving relationship with my father ever since. And the only thing that changed was my perception. But changing our perception, rewiring our hard drive, is not easy. But I’ve found that there’s lots of help out there if we just ask for it.
We are often frustrated by our perception that we have dealt with something and moved on and there is a commonly held view that that’s it.
Dealt with it, over it, move on!
But mostly it’s not like that and many of us can’t understand why we so often drag these life issues around with us, constantly having to deal with the same thing over and over.
Aoife is quite right that we need to change our perception of something for it to look and feel different, for us to feel the peace that this letting go can bring.
I’ve already blogged about Deconstructing our Perceptions and it does make it sound easy to say that we should just “change our perception”. Really this is the outcome that we are looking for, but usually there is some practise and reprogramming that needs to happen in this process.
Programming often happens in childhood, unwittingly from the parents or maybe from a significant event or period of time. Of course it can occur at any time in our life when we are in a space where we have to control how we think or behave or someone else controls us for a time. If you know about Pavlov’s dog, you’ll understand and if you don’t then have a quick look here.
My explanation with this programming is that it becomes cellular, so it is in a sense physically within the cells and tissues. It’s hard wired! It can be really difficult to shift because we are pulling against self imposed chains, which cause the mind/body/spirit to have a particular reaction, triggered by a particular experience or thought. It’s a reflex, like the flight or fight reaction which so many people suffer at times when anxiety is high.
Looking at it from the head space, it’s about that thought that starts small and gets bigger and bigger and overwhelming and then we just need to get to a place where we go STOP! Otherwise it takes us places we don’t want or need to go.
Deprogramming may need psychotherapy or counselling, but it can definitely benefit from homeopathy, which so often gets to the seat of the problem. I like to think of myself as a spiritual archaeologist when I’m doing a consultation, because I’m digging away with you to see what’s underneath. It doesn’t matter whether this is a standard consultation for asthma or a specific Soul Whispering consultation, the process is the same, the outcome should be the same, but the remedies may be different depending on our focus.
Psychotherapy and counselling help us look at and understand what’s going on in our real world experience and create strategies to help us cope. But what I’ve noticed with people who’ve had lots of psychotherapy is that they often can’t go deep enough any more to see what needs to happen, what’s underneath all of the strategies and coping mechanisms. This can be a form of programming too and I guess we spend our lives programming and deprogramming ourselves. That’s fine as long as we realise this and can step outside this square to change our perception when necessary.
Programming requires practise for it to become automatic, as does deprogramming or breaking out of control, so when you are feeling frustrated about not being able to move forward with something here are some suggestions:
- Remind yourself that this is likely an aspect of the theme you’ve chosen to work with in this lifetime.
- This is probably another opportunity to view this theme from a different perspective and gain more insights and more understanding.
- Everything takes practise, so just stick at it and you will change that programming with time.
- Homeopathic remedies, with their deep and dynamic action, are tangible tools for change, so consider a consultation to look at where you are stuck.
What’s my biggest tip for making any change on the spiritual/life path?
Step out of the illusion, get out of your own way and just be the observer.
Practise! Practise! Practise!
Melanie Creedy has used homeopathy for 30 years and has been in practice since 1998. Her physical journey began with poor health from childhood, leading her to explore natural therapies. Her journey with homeopathy has seen her run a general homeopathic clinic and The Children’s Ear Clinic in Western Australia, but always the esoteric side has been strong and clear. Her tree change to beautiful Southern Tasmania brought about several ranges of Essences and renewed inspiration.
Melanie’s spiritual journey started long before that and she certainly remembers a deep interest in God when she was under 10 years old. That journey has taken her through an exploration of many facets of spirituality, to a point where she realised her path had to be her own and her walk was alone. As a deep thinker and a passionate blogger, many of these thoughts become blogs in an effort to demystify the myths which are created by so-called gurus, looking to hold the attention of a seeker.
Melanie works with people on their life path using soul talk and soul listening and intuiting esoteric vibrational remedies to remove obstacles on the path. This can relate to physical, mental and emotional issues which are part of our ‘soul choices’ for this lifetime. Her approach is simple but deep, grounded, thoughtful and pragmatic. Not too much airy fairy speak going on here, just a drawing together of the strings of your life. Melanie offers distance consultations via phone and skype to allow people Australia-wide to access her services.
Aoife joins Soul Whispering as a very special guest writer and artist. The name Aoife derives from the Gaelic, meaning ‘beauty’ or ‘radiance’ and is pronounced Eefa, such a fitting energy for this beautiful and radiant soul.
Synchronicity brought Aoife and I together and I recognised a kindred spirit and a shining light. Aoife’s connection to Source is strong and clear and she speaks to the hearts of us all, in words which are simple and without grandiosity.