Woke up this morning with a “mood”. Do you know the kind? One where it takes you over like in one of those sci fi movies when an alien invades someones body and becomes them only with a different intent? Yikes!
Well, that’s the way it felt. I was grumpy, moody, antagonistic, agitated etc, etc, etc….Couldn’t break out of it and in all likelihood didn’t want to. I had my suspicions about why not but was not ready to find my way out of “The Mood”.
Now this mood is not foreign to me. I could / should probably give it a name like “no fricken way” or “I just can’t do that” or Eddie. The actual name doesn’t really matter I suppose. It’s more about just giving it an identity. That way when I see it coming I can “welcome” it and let it know that it can’t stay very long and the rents not cheap.
Okay, enough about the name. Whats this mood got in mind when it shows up? Usually I’m either feeling sorry for myself or I’m feeling frustrated that a goal I’m trying to meet feels out of reach. Probably related to a work goal or something I’m trying to create and deep down inside I don’t feel worthy or capable of getting where I want to go.
On the shadow side of things this is the part of me that feels small, irresponsible and afraid. All things I felt a lot of as a kid. The messages that I received from those I depended on were that I was not capable, I was irresponsible and stupid. Those words and descriptions shut down the creative, playful and constructive parts of me and the gap that was filled by their demise was filled by a fercious inner critic that would torture me.
Over time stuffing away my disposed of parts led to me striking out at others who were what I considered competent and blaming the world for me not being, doing or having better.
At some point in my life I had pushed those parts so far away that I forgot that they existed and I replaced them with symptoms. Symptoms are what we create when we’ve forgotten about the parts we disposed of and they take their place. Now, instead of being mad at the world and striking out at others, I could be sad, depressed, anxious. Of course I would also get angry with the symptoms and use them as excuses for being frozen or stuck. Ergo, my mood this morning. Eddie (temporary name) was in the house.
This is an old pattern for me but one that I’ve only recently come to be more intimately aware of at a conscious level as I’ve been focusing on shadow work again here later in my life. Some patterns/shadows take more time to grasp or we finally get so sick of them that we’re willing to dig into them, welcome them into our lives and change.
What I know about these shadowy parts of me is that although they can become real rascals they also come bearing gifts. In fact the gifts might already be at but we might not see the connection. Recently, I had my friend Bruce do a Core Gift interview with me. Powerful process that I’ll talk about another time but here’s the latest rendition….
“My core gift is helping people create the meaningful changes they would like to see in their lives.
I do it by helping them uncover the protective masks keeping them stuck and blind to who they really are,
by helping them see that no matter the challenge it’s the simple steps they take that will get them there,
and that by tapping into their courage to stay the course they will find endless possibilities to explore.”
What do you think? Seems like there’s a connection here. At the core of the angst that my shadowy friend has caused me over my life also lay a gift. My desire to help others free themselves from their own shadows, symptoms and the frustrations they can cause.
So here’s the secret sauce in all this. When we can identify our shadows not only do we deintensify them but we are also able to integrate them into our lives . The icky moody parts may not go entirely away but when they show up I can remember why they’re there in the first place, embrace those lost parts of myself and reap the benefits that have been hiding there waiting for me.
So the next time Mr. Mood comes to visit spend some time with him/her and see what you find.