Balancing shadow and light
I am again listening to Sandra Ingerman and Renee Baribeau, in the Shaman’s Cave. Today, they are talking about balancing the Light and the Shadow, which, to me, is an extremely important question in so many ways.
The most important issue for me, is the fact that I do live with bipolar disorder. For anyone who doesn’t know, bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects your ability to control your moods. A person living with bipolar disorder has the tendency to be more deeply affected by pretty much everything that occurs in life. There are several variations (type I, type II et cetera), but most of us are thrown between extreme depressions and extreme good moods (known as hypo-/manias). The disorder is very difficult to live with, it is chronic and takes a long time learning to live with, finding a medication that works, et cetera.
Living with bipolar disorder creates certain issues when it comes to using one’s mind. Personally, my biggest problem with my bipolarity is depression. During my better periods, I tend to believe that I can keep my disorder under control, and then I have one or more bad days and remember just how impossible it is to focus my thoughts on the good things. At this point, I don’t feel like I have a choice. The choice is made for me by the disorder, and the choice is to cover my brain, my thoughts, my emotions, with a thick layer of emptiness. If you haven’t lived with bipolar emptiness, I can tell you it’s absolutely terrifying.
Now, with this, I am touching on what I feel is the difference between the Law of attraction and shamanism. I know people who are working very deeply with the LOA. These people tend to want to instruct everyone around them on this amazing journey and how easy it is. And while I do believe that it actually is both easy and effective, it does not work particularily well for me.
I have spent endless time listening to Abraham (Hicks), and I remember them saying at one point that people with bipolar disorder are very good at focusing and that is why their (our) experience is being mentally ill. My personal thoughts about this is – well, let’s just say I disagree. To me, this says that Abraham (in good company of Bentinho Massaro) focuses too much on the abstract and spiritual side of a human life. After all, we do have bodies and we do exist and live in a physical manifestation, and anything in this manifestation can be flawed.
Shamanism, on the other hand, at least the way I percieve it, allows a person to have both a physical and a spiritual side. This is one of the main reasons why I prefer shamanic work before working with the LOA. Shamanism also admits and allows the shadow to exist – and it does. I’m sure that anyone and everyone who has ever done any kind of shamanic work, knows that the shadow lurks somewhere out there.
What was discussed in today’s episode of the Shaman’s Cave was how to balance the shadow and the light. For me personally, I am having all kinds of trouble with this. Living with bipolar disorder, I do attribute most of my problems finding balance to the disorder. It pretty much is what bipolar disorder is all about – not finding balance.
And this is where I am at, in this very moment. I do find that I have to struggle extra hard with certain things. Making choices about living in the light or in the shadow can be very easy one day. The next, I am swallowed by darkness and find it impossible to find my way back to the choice I made the day before.
The life I’ve lived hasn’t been an easy one. I’ve been in psychotherapy (and wouldn’t mind another round), and I have come a long way. The interesting thing is that one of the questions asked in today’s episode of the Shaman’s Cave is – for how long does one allow oneself to dwell in darkness, in the past, and everything that doesn’t do any good at all to dwell in? When does one put down one’s foot and say – stop! Let’s choose another path!
And how does someone like me, being dictated by extreme mood swings (albeit so much better and under control due to medication), keep focus on the chosen path. Because it is so easy to let go and fall back into darkness and misery.
I admit; I have been thinking about choosing to focus and work mainly with the shadow. Not as in creating a dark, nasty life for myself, but I have been drawn to darkness my entire life – why not embrace it, rather than fight to get away from it? I don’t necessarily mean living in misery. What I do mean is accepting there is a shadow, choosing not to fear it, draw power from it (and equally from the light) and creating something of it instead of shying away from it.
I am a bit lost here, so please, feel free to share any advice on how to find balance – especially when you’re also trying to balance bipolar disorder. I find that my bipolarity quite effectively stops me from focusing continuously and choosing good and positive for myself. I’m a bloody butterfly when it comes to that; and it’s not bouncing in the way described by Renee Baribeau today, but rather being volatile. And let me tell you; it’s annoying.
But; as usual, it was very interesting listening to Sandra Ingerman and Renee Baribeau. I just wish it was easier for me to focus and stay focused.