What do you do when someone or something is bugging you? I can tell you that for many years I would try to get the outer world to change so that I could feel better. Sometimes I might even succeed, but in the end I found that using my power to demand, insist or manipulate someone outside of me to be different simply led to more problems in the end. Blaming someone for my problems and feelings didn’t work so well either. In psychological terminology, this “blame game” is called “projection” by Freudian types and “shadow work” by the Jungians. I call it the “The Magic Mirror.” The idea of it actually roots in what’s known as the “Emerald Tablet,” said to be written by the Ancient Egyptian Master Hermes Trismegistus. In essence the message of the Emerald Tablet is this: “As above, so below, inner and outer are the same.” In other words, if you want to live your life as an empowered person, free to enjoy peace, harmony and fulfillment without requiring the outer world to be different, the pathway is through inner change. The process is one of self-responsibility and acceptance. You can learn a lot about it in my book, Dancing with your Dragon: The Art of Loving your Unlovable Self, but I want to share an exercise that you might find helpful here. I’d love to hear how the exercise works for you. Please feel free to leave me a comment, or send me an e-mail: shaeri (at) dancingwithyourdragon (dot) com.
Practice: Gazing in the “Magic Mirror”
Utilize this practice when you find yourself disturbed by a situation that is occurring in the outer world. Read the exercise all the way through before you try it.
- Grab a pen and paper and sit quietly in a place where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
- Take a couple of deep breaths and spend a moment or two allowing yourself to relax.
- Close your eyes and bring to mind the person in the outer world who is causing you to feel disturbed. Now allow a 2 or 3-word description of this person to form inside your head. Stay with the first words that come and write them down. (This description is not meant to define the other person. It is simply a tool for mirroring the archetype that may be causing difficulties inside of you.)
- Once you have the words in front of you, close your eyes again and ask your intuition to guide you to the place inside of your physical body where the energy represented by these words has taken up residence. Just scan your body and notice where you feel the words resonate inside.
- When you find the place in your body where the energy resides, the next step is to simply let it be, allowing it to exist exactly the way that it is in this moment. You don’t need to change it, get rid of it or make it different.
- If you find the exercise brings up a lot of emotional energy, allow yourself to express it in the safety of your own room until it is out of your body. Make sounds. Do air kicks. Scream, beat pillows, whatever you need to do to get it out.
- If you notice resistance to accepting the energy, than allow yourself to accept the resistance as well. Whatever you notice, simply feel it and accept it.
The acts of feeling and acceptance engage the transformative quality of the heart, which allows the painful, challenging energies to melt and reform. This practice doesn’t require you to condone the behavior of the person that you are upset with, but by recognizing the places inside where you carry the very same qualities that are disturbing you on the outer, you can begin to discover a place of compassion toward these qualities and perhaps begin to relate to the outer person from a different state of being. The practice of acceptance will also lead to detachment from any painful energy that you might carry. A detached view will help you make choices and take action regarding the disturbing situation from a place of clarity, rather than a place of resentment, hurt or anger.
- Make notes of any insights that may arise for you during the course of the process. Also repeat the process as often as necessary until the disturbing energies begin to melt and relax their hold on you.