Apparently my recent shadow ruminations, strongly resonated with some of you. I received a few responses and they landed both as a beautifully powerful moments of connection and an intense ego workout material. Honestly speaking, I am still processing some of the letters and savouring their impact. I am trying to stand still next to the words and feel how they affects me, what is being triggered. Without hurrying, as I would always do, but truly metabolise the feelings that arise.
Is it a pride, happiness, or joy? Is my ego being stroked and do I feel fuelled by new type of narcissistic energy? Or do I feel seen, exposed and vulnerable. Am I ashamed of myself writing these letters, do I pity myself too much? In my conception of the world, conditioned upbringing, I am not supposed to complain and pity myself. I must be strong, humble and not bother others with my problems. Or perhaps your responses made me realise the realness of my letters and the feeling that I have is the rising anxiety to disappoint or not manage the expectations? As you can see I got a wonderful bouquet composed of different flowers, coming form different places, having different longevity, different qualities, some liked some not but each of a great value to me. So thank you for this vibrant gift. I will definitely contemplate on it, a great fuel for the shadow work.
One particular reaction, that jumped quicker than others, and stayed longer, was triggered by the expression of pity. Someone wrote that she felt pity for me while reading my revealing letters. It stuck with me. I am trying to understand what I feel about it. When I first read it, the wave of warmth run through my body, the uncomfortable kind, the one that comes with shame. As I am developing this habit of using every discomfort as an opportunity to tap into my shadow I let this sensation in without hesitation. Interestingly a few days ago I’ve been in a situation where I felt pity for someone who was sharing something very honest. I felt a slight disgust and wanted to distance myself from that person. I don’t want to belong to someone who is such a loser. And now I was pitied in a similar context. Since I have been affected by the pity comment so strongly I kept wondering if perhaps when I felt pity for the other it was mere a projection of my self pity. A reflected behaviour that I see in others and not able to admit it to myself.
Pity is different than compassion, for me it has a bitter aftertaste, feels more lonely, has sharper edges and comes with that warm bodily sensation in my chest. Compassion feels very different, it is much more inclusive, round and soft. Compassion is a dissolving hug and pity is a boney shoulder. I would never confuse them.
Dissecting the feeling of pity I realised that it strongly relates to the feeling of superiority and, as it appears, I have a complicated relationship with it. This shadow manifests itself in various forms and I am definitely becoming more aware of it. I knew that I often come across that way, arrogant, distant and having answers on all the questions. These signs of strength are mere protection of my weak ego, full of fear and self-pity that comes with knowing of its own weakness. Being able to admit it to myself, bring in lightness - I feel the size of ignorance is shrinking. I see that self-pity and superiority are growing from the same root and it feels good finally to bring them together. Now I am in an exciting anticipation what fruits will this new-born tree give.