Through a Jungian Lens

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Letting Your Light Shine

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Star fruit in Thailand

I found this Star Fruit hanging in a tree in Thailand in January and found that I needed to take its photo because of the “light” that glowed on the fruit. In a way, it was as if the light was within the fruit rather than shining on the fruit. Of course, objectively, the sunshine was touching the fruit from the outside. But, and there is always a “but,” perhaps the light was coming from within the fruit itself – at least that what caught my eye.

It is too easy to dismiss that which comes from within, to deny its very existence, or at the least, its worth in comparison to the outer world of things and people. At least it is too easy for me to dismiss the positive inner light that shines within me. Strange how it is so easy for most of us to see the light shining out from others but so difficult for us to see our own inner light. It is there, in each of us. Sometimes it is buried so deep under layers and layers of denial and repression, under the words of others in our life who somehow felt a need to cut us down to size in order to have a momentary sense of standing taller. For whatever reason, we believe the words that denied our light than the words that speak to our light.

Why is this? For me, it has to do with the idea that to believe the best of oneself is to be egotistical, to be all about me, me, me. Childhood teaches many of us that we must defer our belief in self to the belief in others: belief in parents, in school, in authority, in community – the self comes in last place or else. We learn to sacrifice in order to please and appease and believe somehow in the process that our individual self will flourish in such an environment of self-denial. Of course, it doesn’t work, can’t work.

Denying self doesn’t work. The only result is a sense of diminishment, dis-ease, and disillusionment. We end up trying deperately to fill in the holes in our self with stuff, experiences, addictions of all kinds. And we don’t find the hoped for relief at all. No matter how many new cars, new partners, new toys, new whatever; something remains missing, a hole in the bucket of our lives that refuses to allow us to feel fulfilled. The only way to get out of this trap of placing our sense of self under the authority of others, is to finally risk becoming aware of ourselves, be willing to risk connecting with the inner light that is there waiting, patiently waiting for us to open our eyes. Yes, there is a risk of being called selfish. But, that risk is necessary if one is to rejoin the land of the living, full living.


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