Friday, June 28, 2013

Shadow Contracts

This is part 3 of Sacred Contracts.

The idea of sacred contracts now seems as old to me as the word destiny. But I suppose as we go through our own journey towards discovering and fulfilling ours, it feels regularly refreshed and like a new idea.

Some of you wonder like I do, what exactly did I commit to do? What tests did I sign up for to help me grow at an accelerated rate? And then there are the hard questions. Does a person contract to commit murder or genocide? To get divorced? Was Hitler just fulfilling a contract because the world needed wars?

My answer for many reasons would be no. And from everything I have learned, no one contracts to do things like that. Sacred contracts are sacred and they are things we commit to do to help ourselves, others, and God’s work. However, that said, some people may commit to come face to face with darkness or deep shadows, and they may not succeed. Whenever this happens many people suffer.

In another case, you may have a contract with someone who is supposed to help you face your shadow sides, or help you learn something—like forgiveness, or tolerance. But how that learning plays out is totally a blank space on the canvas and depends on both of you. Sometimes it happens in strange and awful ways, such as abuse. We say it happened for a reason. Maybe. Yes. The reason happened. And hopefully we grow as necessary. We can no longer change how it happened. The higher self would suggest we take the learnings from the past and play the cards we are dealt now, always asking ourselves, “what is the next most harmonious move?”

When I say shadow, I mean the part of you that is least known to your conscious mind. If shadows aren’t understood and managed, they will tend to run the show of your life. They can cause much pain, sorrow, frustration, anxiety, and not just for you, for all your loved ones, too. 

The easiest way to explain shadows is through archetypes. Carolyn Myss does a great job of this in her book, Sacred Contracts. (Do you feel like reading it yet?) We all live with many archetypes, but the easiest example is the archetype of the Child, because so much has been written about the inner child and most people acknowledge that this a real part of us. The inner child can be a beautiful and sometimes magical archetype/companion. However, the shadow side of the Child is the wounded/orphan child. The shadow child can manifest in many ways in adulthood. Lets say a person felt wounded in childhood and never really got to enjoy being a kid. Or maybe they felt that childhood was all work and no play. As an adult they may not want to work, slipping out early, always wanting other people to support them. Shadow child stuff will show up in relationship to authority, too. I’ll write a whole post on archetypes some time. The point is, if one is aware of one’s own shadows, we can manage them. We can consciously give ourselves what we need, rather than let the subconscious take it in unhealthy ways.

The shadow journey is ongoing, and of course, we often make mistakes on the way there. To some extent we may always be blind to some of our own stuff. (That's why we contract with people to help us). The world is in a mixed up state. But God is masterful artist. God’s works can never be frustrated. He allows Satan to be her because in a way it fulfills the need for opposition. But for every ugly black splash of paint we throw on the canvas or someone else throws on our canvas, God uses his brush (if we let him) and adds more paint and a little magic and turns it into something even more beautiful.

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