Dancing With The Shadow

Written by Gede Prama

Law and social norms especially, often make people hide and suppress emotions that are considered to be bad and negative. On the surface, these habits can indeed make a person look more civilized. But in the depth of the person, this is what keeps the soul away from being happy and healthy.

Quoting from well-known psychologist Carl G. Jung, emotions that are suppressed and hidden for a long time, will follow someone as a shadow everywhere. If it is not properly expressed, the last shadow will appear to the surface in the form of fear, sadness and sorrow. It is not impossible that it will grow into deep suffering.

Learning from here, it is very important to express the suppressed feelings in the forms of writing in a secret diary. Writing not only makes a person able to throw away garbage. But also can make someone transform waste into beautiful flowers. To be honest, when it is approached appropriately, writing can be as profound as meditation, yoga and psychotherapy.

As an opening key, try to start writing in a diary with the basic question: “Who am I?”. Initially, this question will be answered with “historical self”. Born here, school there, work there. Once it grows, this question will be answered with “social self”. A father, mother of a child, like music, enjoying the scenery.

Once the historical self and the social self appear quite a lot to the surface, then the “emotional self” will emerge. This appears in the form of the self that needs a lot of healing energy. From having experienced sexual abuse in childhood, hurt by parents, beaten by school friends, tried drugs, until tried to commit suicide.

Learn to write about the “emotional self” as long as possible, as much as possible, as detailed as possible. Like pouring garbage, you can be angry. Do not be afraid of being called wrong. No one will notice your anxiety. Your job is only to write, write, write down all the feelings that have been suppressed and hidden. Write also the names of people who make your soul hurt.

Once you are satisfied you have removed the trash, take good care of mental injuries inside, like gardeners take good care of a dry tree. Pour water of self-acceptance, give your soul wound forgiving fertilizer. As a reflection, forgiveness does not change the past. But forgiving convincingly makes the present more light and comfortable.

Once you feel safe and comfortable inside, then write the complicated network of suffering of people who make your soul harmed. From troubled parents, a school full of calamities, to the problematic teenager experience. By then learn to deeply realize that they also suffer. Their suffering is even more intense.

The most important spiritual task then, train yourself to be a compassionate witness. See both the wound inside, and the one who caused the wounds outside. As simple as the sky watching the clouds. In order to deeply understand it, pay attention to nature. In nature there are dried leaves that represent death, there are young leaves representing birth. Both rotate cyclically.

In the same way, sadness-gladness, sorrow-joy and blamed-praised are all cycling. Whenever you can calmly watch, by then you give birth to the “eternal self”. The untouchable self. The unborn self never dies. With this kind of self, the shadow no longer chases with fear. You can even dance with the shadow. Welcome home beautiful souls.

Author: Guruji Gede Prama.
Photo Courtesy: The Shift Network.
Proofread By: Kirsty Spence.

About the author

Gede Prama

Gede Prama started his spiritual journey through a dialogue with his symbolic Guru in a village at the north of Bali. The journey is then being enriched with his experiences of studying abroad, his meetings with the world greatest spiritual Gurus: His Holiness Dalai Lama, The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Professor Karen Armstrong; and also being deepened by his intense meditation practices.

Despite the fact that he was once a CEO of a large corporation with thousand of employees, and was traveling abroad frequently for the purpose of teaching, yet, being deeply moved by the Bali bombing incident in 2002, he then decided to leave everything and went back to his home island.
He has never leave Bali for the past few years. In fact, he rarely leaves the silence of the forest where he lives, except for the purpose of teaching at the sacred sites within Bali.

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