Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In the Mirror...

The Dark Side of the Force is one that is just as omnipresent as the Good Side. In fact, they both exist as a part of the picture we paint of reality. Jung called it the shadow self--that part that we wish to hide from others and from ourselves, though we tend to be most successful in this with the latter. At first, I found it baffling that Luke Skywalker sees his own face in Darth Vader's helmet when in a dream on Yoda's planet he has a fight with him and beheads him. I now understand better that our greatest enemy is often ourselves because we generate so much of the effects of our fears and then try to externalize the source of these fears.

As the time for departure to Japan approaches, I find myself a tad edgier than normal. I'm not sure why. I am nervous about a few things, but generally find myself far more ready for this journey than any I've ever taken. It isn't, however, as if I don't have concerns and anxieties; I'm just not letting them bother as much. I have found that I get aggravated and frustrated more easily than usual and much of this comes from interacting with my parents.

I realized yesterday, or was willing to admit it to myself, that these aggravations come from within, from expectations I have of my parents and myself and judgments I make when I or they don't meet those expectations. Admitting and facing the truth that these frustrations are my choice has not been easy. It's far easier to blame others for my failure to find happiness in all circumstances. One thing is certainly true: if I can be happy here, at the source of so many faulty introductions to the world and its interpretation, I can be happy most anywhere. Of this I'm convinced.

Our surroundings are a mirror. When we are happy, the happiness that exists outside of us exists within by our choice to observe the world as it is. When we are fearful and angry, the world likewise reflects the inside of our souls back to us. It is when I am fully capable of and willing to accept this basic tenant that I understand how much power I have, and how frequently in my life I have chosen to accept that I am powerless and unhappy because of others.

Going forward, I want to try to look at this mirror, at the love and fear that is reflected back and know that the source is within me. Perhaps this is one of the lessons inherent in my visit to Ohio before heading off to Japan.