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  • nancy willbern

Updated: Aug 2, 2020



We create the thing we are defending against.

A Course in Miracles


Continuing on our topic of Shadow Work, I wanted to move away from the collective and talk a little bit about what the shadow is and the important roles it plays in our personal lives. To do that, we have to go way up high and look down on the planet earth from the level of the stars. That perspective exposes the shadow as a vitally important dynamic puzzle piece within the human developmental process. This blog entry will be an introduction to that dynamic relationship.

We’ll start at the beginning. When we come onto the planet we are equipped with an incredible radar system. This system is hard-wired to sense two essential – I will call them - Energetic Forces – because they are felt rather than understood. These two Energies are the building blocks and the healing agents of all life in the Universe. They constitute the very substance of Life, Itself. We call them: Truth and Love.

By Truth, I mean the Energy that resonates an inner YES. It is clear and concise. It doesn't need explanation. It rings true on the inside of our core and is experienced as strength, something to be trusted. It empowers us. Love, in this context brings with it the experience of felt-connection, not-alone, safety, being supported, comforted, understood, known, valued and guided. Please note: Given these contextual definitions, these two Energetic Forces are actually flip sides of the same coin. They always go together. You can’t have one without the other. When one is missing, the other will be missing, as well.

When we are in the presence of or have an interior experience of Truth/Love, we feel good inside. We feel strong in our core. Our heart is open and trusting. We feel aligned, free and connected. Love, peace and joy are its hallmarks. When Truth/Love is either missing or distorted in some way, we feel that too. It feels like a void or tension, like chaos, like a knot in our stomachs, heart-ache, a lump in our throats. Sometimes it feels heavy and dense, something sitting on our diaphragm, something weighing down on our shoulders. Sometimes, often times, it’s terrifying. The lack of Truth/Love is at best, uncomfortable and at worse excruciating.

Here’s how these two Energetic Forces play out in our lives - As infants, we experience life as seamless. We are at one with it all. We can’t tell where we end and our mother (primary care-taker) begins. But by the time we reach about the age of two, reality morphs into a collection of separate entities – each one having a boundary around it and a name. In addition, we begin to realize that our emerging self is one of those separate entities, as well. I, too have a boundary around me and have my very own personal name. This experience of the separate sense of self is when the radar system kicks in, loud and clear. We send out invisible feelers to tell us when we are on the receiving end of Truth/Love. When we are, we feel all warm, safe and cozy inside. When we are not, we feel alone and sick inside. We feel anything but safe. And so, we scramble.

When we are not in the presence of Truth/Love, Its lack of presence is experienced as gaps in Love, which must be True – or so we tell ourselves. When parts of Love are missing in our experience, Truth is replaced with illusions – distortions of the Truth. So, just as Truth and Love always arise together, so does less-than-Love always coincide with distortions-of-Truth Experiencing gaps in Love is confusing and scary. So, in response to this, our brilliant little psyches scramble to make up stories in our heads to explain why the Love is missing. And, given the power differential between ourselves and the powers-that-be, accompanied by our utter dependency, the innocent-child-in-us will inevitably turn this confusing and scary experience-of-lack-of-Love against the self. The child assumes that Love is being withheld because it – the child – is not enough or has done something wrong or is too much of something. Those stories about the self are assumed to be True.

There is more - The pain of that self-condemnation becomes the childhood wounding. And in response to the wounding, and in order to avoid further wounding, our brilliant little psyches come up with a plan to keep us safe and to win the Love that is being withheld. In other words, a plan is created to fill in the gaps where Love is missing. And this is where it gets really important and turns the whole mess on its head – That plan that is designed to fill in the gaps of Love, then becomes the very thing that prevents our awareness of Love’s actual presence in our lives. It blocks the Light of Truth. And that, right there is the birthplace of the personal shadow. Much more to come.


We create the thing we are defending against.

A Course in Miracles

Would love to get your comments or feedback. Does this make sense? Anybody relate? Talk to me.



(If you can't figure out how to comment, please click on the blog post on

June, 27, 2020 for a detailed explanation.)



Image by Santa3 on Pixabay

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  • nancy willbern

Updated: Aug 2, 2020



Last night, my husband and I watched “Hamilton” on the Disney channel. If you have not seen it, now is the time! It is being offered on TV during the Covid shut-down because the production is not being performed on stage. And... to think you get front row seats!

The finale left me crying and speechless. I was inspired. I was awed. I was informed. I was deeply touched. And truth be told, I was envious of all that creative genius! Who are these people and what are they made of?!

I am sure you are all aware of the uniqueness of this piece of art, but I will point to some things that stand out in bold relief to me, in continuing our conversation on “Shadow Work.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, an American of Puerto Rican descent is a composer, lyricist, actor, singer, rapper, producer and playwright. Miranda wrote the script, wrote the music and wrote the lyrics for the Broadway hit. (Yes, jaw-dropper!) The inspiration for the work came to Miranda while on vacation in 2008, when reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. What stood out in Miranda’s mind was that Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of American independence was of mixed-race, born out of wedlock, later orphaned and immigrated to this country as a teen-ager - not the traditional, high-brow, white-skinned, powdered wig portrayal we are so used to. The recognition of that humble and tainted beginning became the initial seed for all the creative genius that over the next few years burst into wild and crazy bloom.

The glorified Founding Fathers are not typically depicted as men of color with questionable heritage, but the truth is that Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of Finance was just that. Miranda took that often obscured fact and expanded it into a modern-day portrayal of the White-washed-traditional story and spray painted it with an eclectic array of extremely talented Brown and Black actors, singers and dancers, hip-hopping and rapping their way around a revolving inlaid stage.

While the pace of it is dizzying, the underlying paradigm shift cannot be missed. The field and background of the origins of our nation are flipped-flopped, exposing all sorts of collectively agreed upon assumptions and breaking open all sorts of unimaginable mutations. The shadow becomes foreground and when it does, new neural pathways are formed in the mind and new songs are heard in the heart.

The repetitive refrain in the final song comes in the form of a poignant and piercing question, “Who lives?… Who dies?… And who tells your story?” That question right there sums the whole thing up.


Would love to hear about your own experience with it. What did it stir in you? Expand your neurons? Make your heart sing?




Image by klimkin on Pixabay - Chess Pawn King Game


_________________________________________________________

For directions on how to post a comment, please see blog post - Comments, Please - dated June 27, 2020.


Posting Etiquette

It is important to me that this site be one that feels safe and respectful for everyone. To make sure we are all on the same page, please note:

1.) Comments shared in this space, remain in this space. Readers do not have permission to copy or shave off little bits and claim as their own -- anything anyone else has shared on either the Blog Posts or Comments - without written permission from the author.

2.) This site may not be used for partisan purposes. Disrespectful or contentious comments will be removed.

3.) The purpose of this site is to expand our awareness and open our hearts. It takes all of us to keep it within its intent.

33 views2 comments
  • nancy willbern

Updated: Jun 29, 2020




ANNOUNCEMENT


I want to make a shift in my Blog posts from just me talking to more of a conversation. I have not highlighted the Comment option in the past, but I want to put that feature out there more boldly now. I would love to hear from YOU, get YOUR comments and YOUR questions.


I hear my own thoughts all the time. They rattle around in my head until I throw them on the page. In the past, I would type words into a blog post and then send them out into the ethers where they would just float away. I never really knew what happened to them. Did anybody pull them out of the air, put them in their pocket or just throw them in the trash? In response to the last couple of posts, I have gotten an actual comment in the Comment section and one from a reader who shared his thoughts with me through email. I have loved that exchange! And I want more of it! I want to know what rattles around in your head too. I want to feel more connected, to feel the synergy of an exchange. So, let's talk.


HOW TO LEAVE A COMMENT


But first, we have to get practical. This particular website design requires that you sign in before you can make a comment. BUT PLEASE NOTE: YOU ONLY HAVE TO SIGN IN ONCE ON YOUR PHONE AND ONCE ON YOUR COMPUTER. After that, you can comment automatically. That is, if you feel comfortable saving your log-in information. If you would rather not have your log-in information saved, that's cool. You will just have to sign in every time you want to comment.


Here's how this works. Some of it is not intuitive and there are slight differences on your computer as compared to your phone, so please follow the steps below for each device. I promise, this just takes 2 minutes.


Commenting from your computer:


1.) Just click on the word "Comment" at the end of the post that you would like to share your thoughts on. (Or it may say 3 Comments, for example if there are already 3 Comments related to that post. Also, disregard the comment bubble icon like the ones in the image above. That icon is just a tease.) This will automatically take you to a new page featuring that particular post again, but also showing the other posts in abbreviated form underneath that one.


2.) THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT : Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this extended blog post page and click on "Log In" to leave a comment.


4.) You will then be taken to a new page for you to "Sign In" through facebook, google or email. For the social media accounts, you will simply log in using your regular log in information, including your password for that site. (Don't worry, that information is not exposed.)


If you choose to log in through email, you will be prompted to enter your email address and asked to create a password for this site. Then click "Sign In."


5.) Then you will have the option to save your log-in information. Click "yes" or "no," at your discretion. If you click "yes," the next time you want to comment on a blog post, you will simply just click on "Comment" and that section will be automatically open for you without your having to sign in again.


6.) After you sign in, you are then free to leave your comment.


To comment from your phone:


Mobilized blog posts may start on the extended page described in step #2 above. If so, scroll all the way down that page, past all of the abbreviated blog posts and click on "Log In" at the bottom of the page. Then follow the rest of the steps, as shown above.


If you run into any snags or have questions, just shoot me an email at: nwillbern@gmail.com


MAKING THE CONNECTION


So, now that you know how to leave a comment, I can't wait to read what sparks your interest, makes you wonder, touches your heart - what you agree with or what you don't. I want this blog site to come alive, to grow organically like the exchange of pollen. Let's do this. Let's do this together.



Image byAnnalise BatistafromPixabay


__________________________________________________________________________


Posting Etiquette

It is important to me that this site be one that feels safe and respectful for everyone. To make sure we are all on the same page, please note:

1.) Comments shared in this space, remain in this space. Readers do not have permission to copy or shave off little bits and claim as their own -- anything anyone else has shared on either the Blog Posts or Comments - without written permission from the author.

2.) This site may not be used for partisan purposes. Disrespectful or contentious comments will be removed.

3.) The purpose of this site is to expand our awareness and open our hearts. It takes all of us to keep it within its intent.


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