Sacred Path of the Shadow

I ran into this excerpt, regarding how healthy it is to explore the unknown parts of ourselves, sometimes referred to as our “shadow”.

Excerpt is by Caroline Myss, co-creator of the work “Sacred Path of the Shadow”:

 

I saw the following quote in an article about how meaning, value, and fulfillment can be lived/derived/experienced from “normal” kinds of lives:

“Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”

Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Beast and Alcohol

I was chatting recently with a friend who realizes they have a problem with alcohol, and has decided to stop drinking. In my chat and later I came up with a few points that I want to share about how I personally look at alcoholism.

For me, I see that when I drink, I truly become a different man. It is a different person, and all it takes is a single first sip. After 5 years without alcohol (Thank God) I have come to tell myself the following fundamentals about my drinking persona:

  • He is not you
  • You do not know him
  • You cannot control him

The man I become when I drink is someone completely different from my non-drinking self. So different that I dont even see it as “me when I’m drinking.” No, it is not me anymore. What that person is capable of doing is very different than what I would allow myself to do. I dont know what he will think, say, or do, at any given moment. And no one has control over him, especially not he himself.

He is someone completely different, yet he is in my body, with direct access to my family, friends, and my entire life situation.

But I do not judge him, because he is a beast, and it is his nature. It is like judging a wolf for devouring the young of another animal. It is its nature. I introduce alcohol into the brain and bloodstream, and therefore have become a beast. Literally, and with no exaggeration. Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde. No exaggeration. Truly it is the same thing. I sip alcohol, and it is an elixir which transforms me into an unpredictable beast, until the elixir has left my body.

Therefore, I must exert discipline to never, ever, become that beast, ever again. I can never ever take the first sip, ever again.

For me, alcohol is more dangerous than any good that can come from it.

I cannot let myself reminisce about “the good times.”

I am a different man when I drink. I do not trust that man.

But I am glad I have saved my life. And I have saved the life of others as well by me not drinking. Therefore I am a hero everyday I dont drink.

Further note to myself:

Don’t judge the drinking man, it is a beast, that is his nature. Just make sure you do not become him. All it takes, is one sip.

The sober man exerts discipline, and knows that he will transform when he takes the first sip. NEVER take the first sip. Ever. Never, ever, again.

“This moment is not life waiting to happen, goals waiting to be achieved, words waiting to be spoken, connections waiting to be made, regrets waiting to evaporate, aliveness waiting to be felt, enlightenment waiting to be gained. No. Nothing is waiting. This is it. this moment is life.”

-Jeff Foster

…if there’s one thing that I’ve come to realize, if there’s one thing that I see as the biggest problem,

it’s not in building a world where we eliminate the ignorance of others.

It’s in building a world where we teach the acceptance of ourselves,

where we’re okay with who we are, because when we get honest, we see that we all struggle and we all suffer.

Kevin Breel – Confessions of a depressed comic TED talk

“…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters to a Young Poet