“Accepting all the good and bad about someone. It’s a great thing to aspire to. The hard part is actually doing it.”
It’s hard because to do it you have to first accept what you deem ‘bad’ about yourself. One can’t do that without facing their shadow and inviting it home & to face your shadow in this aspect is a journey in and of itself.
For instance I think it’s hard for some people to ‘ accept’ the bad in others, because most people have been taught acceptance cannot occur with out micromanaging themselves. So Acceptance, for them is experienced at the expense of partial loss or total loss of themselves.
There are a host of things that pave way for this fallacy. The pinnacle of them all is the subject of this blog entry. It is the belief that understanding means acceptance.
It doesn’t, understanding simply means understanding. It’s a state of being that occurs because one has awareness of a matter. They have insight about a matter so can exercise comprehension regarding it.
This insight or awareness helps cultivate sound judgement. Without sound judgement warped conclusions can be formed.
So understanding is an indication of tolerance if anything, not acceptance. The confusion arises in that sometimes we accept what we understand (but that’s a whole other topic) in summary if I understand you that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily in agreement with you. Or have no opinions of my own about a matter as it relates to me as an individual. I can understand and support even if I don’t agree. Likewise I can understand and do nothing. Acceptance of this is to accept me as I am, as I stand how I am, unapologetically.
You ever spoke to someone who genuinely shared with you something that goes against your ethos? Or even made you uncomfortable? If you are aware that this person is expressing something about themselves and not you. You are well positioned to absorb the topic. It may be that in some way you get, why they did or wanted to do what ever they shared, that caused discomfort in you.
Despite your feelings you get it, because you understand the motivation. It may go against your ethos but that doesn’t take away from the fact that you understood their position.
What takes away from others is not their understanding, but their understanding being misconstrued as acceptance by the one who was understood, or by those who didn’t understand how they could understand.
I have situations coming to mind as I write this where Its even been claimed, that i was in agreement with something I never co signed simply because I showed understanding about it?
I would be told things akin to “Even Gem understood” (statement made in context of defence towards another) Such statements in such contexts imply I was in agreement. So my understanding that allowed me to have tolerance, in the flip of a switch becomes a weapon used for securing validation.
Another scenario is when ones understanding is used to bring a charge of bias. A charge that sets out to limit the other by way of defence so the one charging you with something is spared from experiencing their own internal turmoil.
These are the kind of cases one can catch, on mere grounds of having an ability to understand something. There are other cases also, where lack or absence of understanding is attributed to, or presumed about someone, to explain away or absolve ones self of not having to deal with some tension or issue. This undermines the other and is somewhat offensive.
With out self trust or unconditional self love one would be swept away under any of these circumstances. because their reality is somewhat ‘seized’. It isn’t left alone for them to govern.
The shadow side to any of the above effects occurring happen in two main folds
Firstly ones own relationship with understanding results in avoidance and dislike towards it. They at times develop the fallacy that to understand is to agree. Or If aware of that fallacy, they see others tendency to presume agreement on account of understanding troublesome. If neither the worst is their innate attribute of being understanding is experienced as a burden.
This can lead them to inintentionally invalidating others because they opt to flee from their own feelings. Or they bring into equation all that goes against their ethos. When from a balanced state they would have understood that a) it isn’t about them and b) there is no shame in their understanding, on the contrary it’s a good thing.
The other shadow side is resentment by way of perceiving an injustice at play or a delusion at play.
Personally I was prone to experience these shadow effects in different intervals, and able to integrate them. The latter shadow side however, I experienced the most intensely. I made a decision to sit with how that part of me felt.
What I found at the root of it was a sense of feeling loss of control. The irony is the loss in itself is an illusion, because you never have control over anything other than yourself to begin with. So I looked deeper at what I felt loss of control about and the answer to that was fear of not being able to effectively protect my ‘essence’ from possible contamination. This made me see the face of my shadow (so to speak) because the root to its anger, was connected to threats to my integrity. That was the contamination.
I felt a sense of liberation about this realisation subhanallah because in essence it also integrated a huge aspect of my shadow. An aspect the ego would use to try assert itself, this time it was acknowledged consciously, I allowed myself to witness it and really LISTEN to it.
This shadow aspect was the most intense to consciously witness, because it reflected the rejected part of me, I deemed inappropriate or ruthless? when all it did was govern my boundaries with firmness! Boundaries protect us and makes our essence known in the process. It draws the line in the sand for where we end and others begin. Without them contamination and infringement of (insert what means something to you) occurs.
The current energy as mentioned in a previous post (Here ) has been working through me in terms of balance. Balance of mind body and soul. This harmonisation is the roof of my soul structure.
You can not integrate a shadow side without first witnessing the egos attempt to use its voice to assert itself and then from a concious place denying it access.
The sting you feel in that moment is a sign the ego is wounded. The effect of an ego death is more intense. I think there is a difference and it’s connected to how the ego entered equation to begin with.
If it “tried” or “attempted” to infiltrate and failed then it got wounded, the attempt is a sign of its lack of confidence in it being a done deal. That means it’s experienced ego deaths before.
If it comes through asserting itself with assurance and then dies, then that results in ego death. The assurance is a sign it’s not been knocked back before.
I digress, but after the sting, you find yourself wrapped in sakinah/calmness.
For me inner peace is safety and stability as it’s a sign of mercy from Allah that I instantly recognise. Inner peace is my souls approval, it’s a message that I’m home in this moment, safe and whole.
(Side note) I wrote integrating the shadow parts 1 & 2 (Here & Here) last year august. I had an intent to finish with a part 3, but it collapsed mid way on me. I intuitively knew it was because I didn’t have the missing pieces to the puzzle, and pieces existed. So I shrugged and parked it. Whatever I wrote at the time was lost. In my heart I knew at the right time it will find itself. Tonight I was guided to complete it, without even realising I was. According to my soul structure I embody and then get taught what I’ve embodied after. To own your shadow in its various forms is to find balance between mind body & soul.
The shadow is connected to all. Through the emotional body it leaks to make its presence known. Through the mind it infiltrates its voice and through the soul, lys the connect to and yearn for home.