Personal Story: the mystery of being whole, even when fragmented

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Especially when you screw up —
“Remember the Whole”

I write you this because I believe it will serve you next time you need to do inner psycho-spiritual work on your stuff.

The last blog was my exhortation to “REMEMBER THE WHOLE.”

I was put to the test this last month.

Could I “Remember the Whole” … even when I screwed up big time.

 

The Plot Descends into My Shadow

 

I hurt someone I love — through a series of interactions, over several days. And was called on it.

A gang of characters banged violently on my inner door — shame, guilt, remorse, sadness, disgust at myself, inner criticism.

To defect from these painful feelings, my ego clamored to defend, blame, dismiss, look the other way.

Instead, remembering the whole, I choose to look deeply into why I did these things.

Time to walk my talk: because I know that doing our inner work on just such screw-ups can not only be healing to ourself and others, but also for the world.

Through this month-long, gnarly shadow work, I was determined to remember the whole — to stay connected to wholeness, and my wholeness.

Observation from the trenches:

 

My ego wanted to minimize how I hurt my loved one. For example, when I was confronted by my loved one, my mind leapt into defensiveness, excuses, even white lies.

It was an amazing exercise of detective work to list every way I hurt my loved one in the series of interactions over several days.

Then I had to dig into WHY?? What was going on inside me that I blew repeated opportunities to aright things … but didn’t?

I found everything from callousness … to hidden aggression … to fear … to lack of authenticity.

On top of that was the relentless attack of the inner critic yelling “Oh boy, you really ever screwed up, and this is who you really are, so forget all your spiritual mumbo-jumbo.”

Facing these parts of myself was super painful. It was like Step 4 in 12-Step work: make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

 

The 12-Step Big Book goes on to say:

 

“This is the step that separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. 🙂

This is the first “action” step in the 12 steps: it requires one to act, and that action involves taking an assessment of one’s character defects and writing that information on paper. We write our own story – honesty is the key that breaks denial. We learn about resentments and our role in our problems with people, places, and things.”

  • I worked in my journal, my men’s group, a therapy session, and had my wife standing in the wings as perspective coach.
  • I took my time. I wrote a long letter to my loved one, cataloguing the hurts I caused .. and sent it by snail mail.
  • Getting to the bottom and listing all the reasons I did it over days was liberating, humbling and revealing of my character defects.
  • Throughout, I could feel the gravitational pull of my shadow –sucking me down down down into identifying with this part of myself as the real me (not just a part of me).
Plot Twist:
But I also had to Remember the Whole.

 

So at the very same time that I’m going through all of this deep inner turmoil excavating my shadow, I am also determined to stay in touch with Wholeness.

To remember the whole.

To remember that I am a whole self … connected to the living whole of everything. Connected to the Wholeness of Love in all things.

I was determined to realize that all of my hurting of my loved one, and all of the shadow stuff I was dredging up was from a part of me … not the Whole of my Self.

  • My inner critic wanted me to go down the rabbit hole of completely identifying with my failings as my true self. Yet I’ve had enough practice to be able to pull myself back from the lip of that whirlpool sucking me into the void.
  • This is who you are,” my inner critic would challenge and insult me. “This is who you really are underneath all your glib pretenses of wholeness and spiritual awakening.”

I had to be able to stand up to that.

I had to be able to say, “No, that is not the whole truth. There may be some truth in what you are saying, but it is absolutely not the Whole Truth of Things.”

The whole truth of things is that in-spite of my character failings, my Whole Self is connected to all that is loving, good and true.

 

How did I do both —
the inner work and remember the whole?

 

I pair them.

Let me use an analogy. If you have ever paired a bluetooth device (like your smart phone to your car), you know what pairing is. You get a part to communicate with the greater Whole.

I pair the shadow part of me with the Living Whole of Everything.

I let them dialogue. They talk to each other. Like a mature and loving adult talking to a wild, wounded child.

Now the shadow part of me is not (a) inflated to think it is all of me, and (b) is not split off, isolated, shunned, or dismissed as bad.

In so doing, we are able to achieve a profound sense of healing self-worth and self-love through our gnarliest inner work. We are able to love ourselves, love our Wholeness … even while staring unflinchingly into the eyes of our own Dragon.

Next week I will share a specific 12-second technique that pairs the part and the Whole.

Even as you face your own shadow, may you also be the light of the world,

Frederic,

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Resources
Other popular posts:

1. the Flash Awake in an instant
2. how to embody the Flash Awake in 12 seconds
3. how to embody the Flash Awake for one minute
4. how to remind yourself to Flash Awake
5. use the Flash Awake as a healing force for the world
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Frederic Wiedemann
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