Today is Halloween – the one day in the year that we dress up in costumes, put on masks
and . . . . well, we pay attention and even homage to parts of ourselves that we hide and put away the rest of the year. Psychologically speaking, this is a very healthy and an even necessary thing, especially for highly sensitive people, which, of course, includes many creative and gifted people as well. For it is when we repress, or pretend that we don’t have darkness within ourselves, that it goes underground. Pretending that we have no darkness inside of ourselves is a set up for the inner disaster of an eruption that builds and builds and then blows, like a volcano.
It’s also a setup for projecting our own inner darkness onto those around us. Instead of owning it ourselves, we perceive it as belonging to others. This can lead to “I am not angry; you are. My actions have not contributed to our conflict, only yours have.”
So as you dress up in your costume today, or pass out candy to miniature ghosts and goblins, princesses, fairies, trolls or Darth Vader figures, I would invite you to also acknowledge and yes, even honor the darkness within yourself. For when you do that, you can be in charge of when and how it comes out. You can channel it constructively, rather than allowing it to take over by default.
But of course, we have learned our lessons of civilization very well and put away our inner demons and banished them to the dark closets of our lives. That is where they can multiply like dirty laundry. When we say or do things that leave us reeling in embarrassment, hurt or shame and wondering “Where did that come from?!” we have evidence of this process within ourselves.
When we face our inner demons directly, we can know what they’re up to. When we interact with them internally and intentionally in our imaginations, we can learn their purpose and find out what they need and even what they have to offer us.
For it is in deep darkness that new life germinates. It is through the process of shoveling the manure of our lives, that it turns into fertilizer. Turning muck and mire into fertilizer is, in fact, nature’s original recycling process. Manure and compost do not instantly turn into fertilizer. Raw manure will burn and kill plants. It takes turning the manure over and over again, and exposing it to sunshine and rain/water/tears and waiting, and repeating this process again and again, over and over ad nauseum, that manure eventually becomes fertilizer. How do you know when this process is complete? When it no longer stinks!
Today, as you celebrate, (or studiously ignore) Halloween, I invite you to contemplate this deeper meaning of this day. I invite you to get out a metaphorical shovel (or pitchfork) and stir up the muck and mire hiding in the deep corners of your life. By doing that, you will help it move forward toward fulfilling its purpose of fertilizing new life….your new life.
So, Happy Halloween!