“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side if I am to be whole.”
Halloween has become a big celebration here in America. When I was small, it was a little fun celebration mostly for kids. We would go out in our costumes; angels, princesses, princes, hobos, etc. and play a game called, “trick or treat”. We would knock on doors in our neighborhood, say “trick or treat”, and they would ask for a trick or a joke, and then give out home made treats or candy. It was fun, and not really so scary. These days, adults celebrate as much or more than the children. The children wear many scary costumes in addition to the fairy princesses, etc. Among other Halloween differences, people don’t have a joke or trick ready, and they love to scare each other. They even carve very intricate, scary faces on their pumpkins. We all have an inner Halloween; a part of us which frightens us.
As we go through the fall in my blogs, I am taking us into the future of the Body Presencing formula. For example, I am showing us how we can go from fearful to having boundaries, to feeling love. You see, we all have things we are afraid of. Many of us haven’t found a way yet to move out of our fears. Fear is really the opposite of love; not hate.
One of my patients is a young woman on the precipice of adulthood. She has moved far away from home, to a different country and culture for school. Although she has friends there, she is suddenly confronted by so many things which frighten her. She came from a sheltered and inclusive community and family. Suddenly, by her own choice, she is in a different community and her immediate family is far away. She is confronted by herself alone, maybe for the first time. Questions come to her about herself; who is she, what does she believe in separate from her community and family? What if she finds she has different ideas and beliefs from them? She is afraid she will disappoint and be alone.
As this is happening inside of her, she is also realizing that she doesn’t have good boundaries. Is she separate from her community? Can she be part of her family and her community with separation; being her own person? She doesn’t know yet. She is learning, and it is painful. Boundaries, what are they? As we talk together, she also is realizing that she is merged with important people in her life. One thing which helped her is a little exercise I do with my patients. I brought my face directly up to hers and asked her to keep her eyes open. What does she see, and does she see me? No, she really doesn’t. She sees a one eyed Cyclops. That is what happens to us when we are too close to someone or to something. We are so close we can’t see them clearly. Then, I stepped away and slowly moved my face a couple of feet away from her. I asked her what she saw. She could describe my face clearly. And even more importantly, when she looked down, she could see herself separate from me. I told her this is what she is doing for the first time, with her family and her community. When she is able to step back and see them clearly and herself clearly, she then has access to at least two people; herself and the other. This boundary shift actually allows her to see the other and herself and to then have the opportunity to love herself separately, yet in connection to others. Fear, with boundaries, can lead to love. In fact, if you click on Body Presencing Hologram on my web site, go ahead and then click in the meditation and then exercise that takes us from fear to love.
Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results;
How would you like to do this exercise with me? When we are too close to something; our community, our mother, our father, our partner, and we merge with them, we often lose their separateness and what they have to offer, and our separateness and what we have to offer.
Think about something or someone you might be too close to and have little boundaries with. Close your eyes and imagine yourself staring right into their face, but their face is right up against your own. In your mind’s eye, open your eyes and see what is in front of you. What do you see? Can you see the other person clearly, or situation clearly? Now, again in your mind’s eye, watch yourself watching the person or situation slowly stepping back until you can see their whole self clearly. What do you see? Now look down at yourself, again, keeping your eyes closed, and look at you until you can see you clearly. How do you feel? What do you see? If you are used to the merging or closeness, then this might feel a little uncomfortable for you. That is ok. Again, we are just noticing without any judgment.
You can do this exercise as often as necessary to help you to find good and healthy boundaries and find yourself.