“Where there is light, there must be shadow, and where there is shadow there must be light. There is no shadow without light and no light without shadow. Karl Jung said this about ‘the Shadow’ in one of his books: ‘It is as evil as we are positive… the more desperately we try to be good and wonderful and perfect, the more the Shadow develops a definite will to be black and evil and destructive… The fact is that if one tries beyond one’s capacity to be perfect, the shadow descends to hell and becomes the devil. For it is just as sinful from the standpoint of nature and of truth to be above oneself as to be below oneself.”
― Haruki Murakami, 1Q84
My favorite lines in this amazing novel that I am currently reading. A book thats hard to put down. And this quote relates with something that I see growing in society: more people seem to turn to what is called Positive Affirmations. These autosuggesstions have a flipside which is described in the above quote. The root is greed: “I want something. I want something else than what I have now. What I have now, is not enough!” And than often I hear this “I deserve better than that!” and it breaks my heart, because this is how you hurt yourself in a very effective way.
I grew up with a dad who was so angry and violent day in and day out, and in his pain, he would often cry out “This is not fair! I deserve better than that.” He couldn’t appreciate what he had. Intense suffering. And he spread this suffering all around because for one simple reason: he could not accept his own pain and suffering with gratitude. And this is how pain grows and gets transmitted. That might sound weird, but the only way to free onself from the pain and the suffering one is experiencing, is to OWN it with gratitude.
I have been there and have done that mistake, blaming others for my own pain. It might seem logical at times to yell at someone “You hurt me! This is your fault!” … but truth is, it’s not working that way imho. Not at all. You need to own your shit. Fully.
I wish more people would actually look at their stinking shit without judgment. Because this is what has been given to you! It’s a precious gift. Yeah, it’s shit but please look deeper… there IS a gold nugget inside this stinking shit. You already own the gold! But you have to digg into the shit and not turn away from the stink by telling yourself “No, I dont deal with this, because I deserve better than that. I dont want this.” That’s a mistake.
You are alyways being served gold. Because shit is gold and gold is shit. Sometimes the gold just looks like shit and because you dont like shit, you turn away from the hidden gold nugget inside that shit.
Zen Master Seung Sahn put it that way: “A good situation is a bad situation and a bad situation is a good situation.”
Consider that for a sec and love what IS and not what COULD BE.
*******************************************************************Mu Bul is a Zen teacher (Senior Dharma Teacher/ Kwan Um Zen tradition) and Yoga practitioner. Based in Leipzig, Germany, he is working as a life and career coach focusing on unlocking your potential with meditation and mindfulness training for greater focus, empathy, resilience and stress reduction.