I can’t go one more minute without writing this. Unwashed dishes in the sink be damned. Messy desk "that needs to be clean before I can be creative” be damned. And above all, my fear that this is not a neatly folded idea that I am about to present be damned! Sometimes you just know that you can’t hit the snooze button again. No. Today I am awake.
This morning I was writing my “morning pages” - three pages of long-hand, free flowing words which are meant to be the equivalent of sweeping the crumbs from the nooks and crannies of the psyche each day - when I came across this quote in the margins of my journal:
“As frightening and abusive as life with a crazy-maker is,
we find it far less threatening than the challenge of a creative life of our own.”
That sucker hit me between the eyes. Ouch.
My personal definition of crazy-makers is this: Any person or situation which has enabled me to NOT live up to my green and juicy potential, but which I have instead put up with (no…FED) for the sake of an easier, albeit disempowered, and sanitised life.
This type of realisation is not for the faint hearted. Why on earth have I done this? The answer, as ever, is found in the shadow. Befriending one’s shadow - the original “dark side” - is a seemingly endless process, but a worthy one. For with each shamed, neglected and split-off piece of me (as embodied by the crazy-makers) that I bring back into the light of awareness, I become just a little bit more of whom I was born to be - I wake up to my own potential wholeness.
One of my most poignant wake up calls was back in 2004 when my kids were small and my marriage was faltering. Although it was convenient for me to blame my unhappiness on my big-living, hard-drinking, husband, part of me knew that this was a cop out. I knew I was complicit in our charade, but how?
I found out during my first taste of “shadow work” during a introductory course at Re-Vision, the Centre for Integrative Psychosynthesis, where I eventually trained to be a counsellor. We were led through a guided meditation where we visited a cabin in the woods of our imagination. Once there we were instructed to answer a knock at the door and discover a part of our shadow that wanted to be known. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to Dionysus – the god of wine, ritual madness and ecstasy – the “biggest-living, hardest-drinking” archetype of them all! I told myself that I was NOTHING like my husband, but there was no denying that here he was, Dionysus himself, coming out of MY psyche.
I left that course resolved to make friends with Dionysus (an ongoing process even still), and to find out what other parts of my shadow were being mirrored by the crazy-makers in my life. (If I have a religion, that’s it.) Not the dishes, not the desk, and not anyone “out there” can be blamed for my skating through life. I am the one who hits the snooze button. But the very good news is this: life endlessly re-sets the alarm, and it is our choice to ignore it or get up...each and every day.
Are you awake?