Friday, April 01, 2005

The Dark Side

I spent the day in a seminar at Prairie View in Newton today titled, "The Dark Side - the Shadow Within." It was about how to recognize and accept the parts of us that are what the worst of humanity can be. We did some exercises to identify the masks we present to the world, and how that affects how we relate to people.

One of the exercises was to identify a number of things about our primary caregivers when we were children. The purpose was to find the point at which we lost the childlike bit of us that is open and has no malice and is all truth and something breaks in us and leads us to form our mask.

A truth that was hard for me was to hear the three fundamental childhood wounds - betrayal, rejection and abandonment. Every child encounters trauma, pain, unhappiness, rejection, helplessness, etc. - real or perceived - so every child will be "broken" at some point. But, those fundamentals are huge ones.

Depending on your wound, you develop a fight, flight or freeze mentality. I have a mask of "power" - I'm in control. In one of the exercises, I wrote the following, "When I feel under the gun, I become insistent about others doing it my way. I don't have time to explain or be questioned. Just do what I say. It won't get done otherwise." If that doesn't work, my next mask is "serenity," which is the "well... whatever you want to do... I'm not going to get involved."

I'm going to have to spend some time thinking and journaling about the compulsion to recreate childhood wounds. I know I must address some things in my world.

Another one I need to work on is my projections about others, and what those say about me.

I left with much to think about... obviously.