We make distinctions such as good vs. evil, God vs. the devil and ego vs. shadow because we feel in some way we lack completeness.
In our scramble for wholeness, anything that seems outside of or separate from our understanding of ourselves is often perceived as negative or demonic. Take a look at the word “devil.” It has both German and Greek origins and roughly translates as “diabolous,” which means “to pull apart and hurl” (dia-ballein). And this is how we feel whenever we find ourselves in rough patches—pulled apart and thrown in different directions.
The key to pulling yourself together is found in the power of Awareness.
Carl Jung often hinted that some of the most precious gifts and talents that we have are bound within our unconscious energies. Whenever we don’t like something about ourselves, or whenever we refuse to admit something about ourselves, we push those energies deep within the recesses of our psyche, creating compartmentalized versions of who we really are. And to make matters even more difficult, we give those energies, (which are living parts of our soul), bad names like “shadows,” “demons” and “negative vibes.”
Jung often called the process of using Awareness to bring unconsciousness to consciousness, “individuation.” It’s a process whereby we become more singular: whole, self-actualized, motivated and empowered to commune with Spirit and carry out its deeper wishes for our lives, without any prodding from outside influences.
Individuation involves using the flashlight of self-awareness to identify those energies within us.
Once we are able to pin-point them, we can integrate those feelings, ideas, thoughts and emotions into our consciousness; but we have to be open with ourselves, and willing to make that journey downward. For years we were taught that in order to escape our limitations, we should “lift ourselves upward.” I propose to you today that if you would like to see your life take off with new drive—or unfold with more love—plunge into the dark depths of your soul and retrieve those fragmented parts of yourself.
Jesse Herriott is a spiritual writer and teacher. At just 26 years old, he is an ordained priest in the Universal Anglican Church, an adjunct professor and workshop facilitator. Jesse is in the process of completing doctoral studies in gender psychology. An up-and-coming psychologist, Rev. Jesse lectures on the intersections of Western spirituality and psychology, particularly in the age of digital media. Jesse’s writings have appeared in both print and online indie magazines and journals—from India’s ASANA International Journal of Yoga to New Thought, the magazine of the International New Thought Alliance, elephant journal, and a host of others. Jesse also writes articles for www.unity.org, including monthly installments for Unity’s 2012 Discover the Power Series and the current 2013 Sacred Living Series, as well as pieces for Unity blessing booklets and Daily Word. And Jesse can be heard every Tuesday at 10am on Unity Online Radio (www.unity.fm/program/livingonpurpose). For more info, or to contact Jesse directly, visit him on the web at www.jessherriott.com, Facebook at www.facebook.com/jesse.herriott or Twitter @jessherriott
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Assist: Sara Crolick/Ed: Kate Bartolotta