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Since we all live in a world of duality, it is very easy for us to understand hot and cold, stop and go, good and bad, right and wrong, up and down or on and off. If we take it a little further it may look like this……war and peace, brilliance and stupidity, love and hate or blessing and criticism. This is the foundation of how I grew up.

I also grew up to stay on the “good” side of these dualities. I was taught to be nice not mean, smart not dumb, early not late, brave not cowardice, respectful not hateful, etc. When I was taught NOT to be mean, dumb, late, hateful, cowardice or other “bad” ways…….what I was taught was to ignore all the “bad” sides of me and stay with the “good” sides of me. At the time it made sense……still does in some respects.

What I didn’t realize is that when I denied these parts of me, they went into shadow and created conflict within myself. The rejected sides of me live in my shadows and the parts of me that live in my shadows have a strange way of finding their way to the surface. Because I did not accept and embrace those parts of me, I projected them out into the world. By defining one as “good” and one as “bad”, I created and was caught in the drama of conflict…….I took one side and ignored the other.

In the work that I have done, I now realize that all these parts, “good and bad”, are me and when I can embrace them, they no longer live in shadow. When they are no longer in shadow, then I don’t go around projecting them on my world. This does not mean that exploring your “bad” side or saying that certain behaviors such as abuse, addictions, or hatred are OK, it means that we all have these parts of us and the sooner we can accept ALL of us and love ALL of us, the healthier and more loving we will be. It is not about taking sides, it is about having no sides at all.

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