Align­ment: Bal­anc­ing light and shadow, pos­i­tive and nega­tive

The Taos News - - OBITUARIES - Ted Wiard

This col­umn seeks to ed­u­cate our com­mu­nity about emo­tional heal­ing through grief. Peo­ple may write ques­tions to Golden Wil­low Re­treat and they will be an­swered pri­vately to you and pos­si­bly as a fu­ture ar­ti­cle for oth­ers. Please list a first name that grants per­mis­sion for print­ing.

Dear Dr. Ted:

Your last few ar­ti­cles have dis­cussed try­ing to be bal­anced within the many emo­tional trig­gers that bom­bard us daily. You have writ­ten about hol­i­days, fam­i­lies, his­tor­i­cal trau­mas, pol­i­tics and other stim­uli that seems to be wait­ing to wreak havoc if one chooses to buy into the nega­tive stim­uli that is pre­sented. How do you keep bal­ance in the midst of so much neg­a­tiv­ity?

Thanks, Jeff

Dear Jeff,

You are right. It is daunt­ing that there is so much that can bring you down daily within each of our lives.

You ask, how do I keep bal­ance? Well, like every­one else, it is a daily prac­tice with some suc­cesses. Other days I don’t suc­ceed very well and have to get up the next day and try my best once again. What I have found is that in try­ing to be con­scious of your in­ter­nal world emo­tion­ally, men­tally, phys­i­cally and spir­i­tu­ally, you will have a bet­ter chance of nav­i­gat­ing the ice­bergs that loom ahead on your path.

Be­ing con­scious of your align­ment with your­self can de­crease po­ten­tial trig­gers be­cause you will re­act less to po­ten­tial emo­tional ob­sta­cles. Be­ing aware of your en­light­ened side as well as your shadow side is al­ways a good start.

Most peo­ple walk with cer­tain bi­ases, re­sent­ments, in­se­cu­ri­ties, rage, guilt and shame as well as many other com­plex aspects that can be thought of as nega­tive. You also walk with pos­i­tive aspects such as love, car­ing, em­pa­thy, kind­ness, gen­tle­ness and other char­ac­ter­is­tics that also make up your in­ter­nal world. Those are then por­trayed out in the ex­ter­nal world.

Hon­or­ing both el­e­ments within, and work­ing with what you wish to nur­ture and grow, while gen­tly work­ing to de­crease ten­den­cies that don’t serve you is the prac­tice of how to work with the out­side world as well.

An on­go­ing pres­sure to be per­fect per­sists. Well, I know I’m not, and I haven’t met any­one who has mas­tered per­fec­tion in all parts of their life. Due to this pres­sure, we have a ten­dency to ig­nore the “nega­tive” aspects of our in­ter­nal worlds.

The prob­lem is ithat when you ig­nore a part of you, it be­comes ag­i­tated and acts out more and more usu­ally in a nega­tive man­ner that does not serve you, and then ex­as­per­ates more guilt, shame, self-loathing and de­pletes self-es­teem within your psy­che. You may even find that the way you per­ceived your­self in­ter­nally is then ex­posed ex­ter­nally.

Ob­serv­ing your in­ter­nal world and truly choos­ing to honor rather than de­fend your shadow side, while nur­tur­ing your light side, can bring a bal­ance in your in­ter­nal life. As you do this, you may start notic­ing more of the pos­i­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics in the world around you rather than grow­ing a gar­den of neg­a­tiv­ity.

Be­com­ing bal­anced within your­self by hon­or­ing all aspects of your­self will help your be­hav­iors be more aligned with your hu­mil­ity and love rather than the de­struc­tive de­fenses de­rived from ir­ri­ta­tion, shame and guilt. As we en­ter De­cem­ber, may you and every­one honor the dif­fi­cul­ties in our world and at the same time at­tract the light through kind­ness, com­pas­sion and love. This bal­ance be­gins with you and then can res­onate to the outer world.

Thank you for the ques­tion. I wish you well. Un­til next week, take care.

Golden Wil­low Re­treat is a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion fo­cused on emo­tional heal­ing and re­cov­ery from any type of loss. Di­rect any ques­tions to Dr. Ted Wiard, EdD, LPCC, CGC, Founder of Golden Wil­low Re­treat at [email protected]

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