In her wonderful book, The Power of Receiving, Amanda Owen shares a powerful technique for integrating parts of your shadow self. In essence, you plan a party, go to your Monster closet, open the door and see who pops out. Then you invite them to the party you’ve planned.
It might be Arrogance who shows up, or Ingratitude, or Shame. Maybe Fear, or Disgust or Bigotry. Then you welcome them, listen to them, and see how it goes. It’s a way to start embracing the parts of you that you dislike. The parts of yourself you wish would just go away.
Amanda Owen asks that you open the door and see what aspect of yourself comes out, but I’m a rebel. When I throw a Monster Party, I like to know who I’m inviting.
Recently I was surprised to have a different kind of Monster Party, one that had a deeper lesson not just for me, but for all of us. I threw a Monster Party for Disillusionment.
I opened the door of my Monster Closet, and there was Disillusionment, ready for our date. He looked very thin and drawn…and blue. I escorted my Disillusionment down to a beautiful beach bonfire for a weenie roast.
I wrapped Disillusionment in a thick blanket and helped him be more comfortable – He feels the coldness of the world so acutely. We sat in the dark, lit only by the flickering firelight, and looked out at the ocean as we roasted our hot dogs and talked.
Usually, in my Monster Parties, I get to know my Monster better even though I don’t like a lot of what they have to say. This time, though, we were in perfect accord.
“It’s just so terrible that the people with most of the money in the world hoard it and create suffering for so many others.”
“I know! It’s such a waste.”
“And the laws and policies that seem like they should exist to help the masses, just end up hurting people more and more.”
“It would take so little to make life better for most folks. Free and honest trade, business that benefits workers, clean environments, an economic base where a single wage earner can support a family so children and neighborhoods can thrive…it shouldn’t be so hard.”
“But it is.”
“Yes, it is.”
At first it felt so right. We were perfectly aligned, my Disillusionment and I….but that can’t be right. That can’t be right at all. Not for a Monster...
“Hey,” I asked, “If you’re a part of me I don’t fully embrace, how can we agree on everything?”
“Because,” Disillusionment answered, “You only started to see me as something separate from yourself when you started to be more spiritual. You thought you shouldn’t feel disappointed or disillusioned by the world, no matter what. You think you have to be positive and optimistic all the time or you aren’t being a good Lightworker.”
“But you still feel these things. You still get hurt by the ways of the world, you still feel heartsick at injustice and cruelty.”
I sighed and laid my head in the lap of Disillusionment, and stared up at the stars. Light from the fire flickered on the side of my face as I felt the coldness of Disillusionment creep slowly into my bones.
“What’s the point?” I wondered despairingly, “What’s the point of it all if we’re always going to be disappointed, If we’re always going to be let down by the world?”
Looking up at the sky, I wondered what the stars would think. Do stars ever feel disappointed? Does their optimism get kicked in the teeth again and again? So many stars….what is it like for them? So many, many stars…do they ever feel alone?
Suddenly, I sat up. Of course! It was time to invite other people to the party, so they could meet my Monster!
Dozens of lightworkers trickled in to sit around the bonfire. Some were people I know, others were strangers. One may have been you. Everyone grabbed sticks, talking and laughing as they started to roast their hot dogs.
I nudged my Disillusionment, “Look! All of these are good people! They come from a whole range of socioeconomic levels, all kinds of religions, all kinds of races, some are in positions of power, some are in poverty, they’re all good people. They’re doing the best they can to make life better for as many others as possible. They’re right here. They’re working hard and they’re making a difference. Yes, there are stupid, unfair, corrupt systems out there, but just because that’s the way things have been doesn’t mean that’s the way things have to be. We might be disappointed again and again, but we ARE making a difference.”
Out in the shadows, something caught my eye. Turning my head, I saw a circle of thin, blue creatures standing in the darkness just beyond the light of the bonfire.
The shivering Disillusionment Monsters of all the people at my weenie roast shifted their feet and seemed embarrassed to be noticed.
I smiled and motioned with my arm. “What are you standing out there for? Come on over by the fire and grab a hot dog! There’s room for everyone. We’ve got regular dogs, kosher dogs, turkey dogs, veggie dogs – whatever you want, we’ve got it!”
Bit by bit, the Disillusionment Monsters came into the light, to be welcomed by all with a hug and a roasting stick. Bit by bit, they started to warm up and get a little less blue.
Yes, it was a good party. The smell of roasting hot dogs filled the air. We sang songs and danced around the fire. And later there were s’mores.
When the party was over, we each took our Disillusionment Monsters back to their closets and said goodbye. Then my beautiful, varied group of worldchangers exchanged a wordless smile and each went on his or her way, strengthened by the shared knowledge that we each exist out there in the world somewhere, doubts and all.
Kay Adkins is the author of Community Reiki: The Reiki Practitioner's Guide to Healing the World, available on Amazon. In addition to being an Usui/Holy Fire II ad Karuna Reiki Master, she has a Master in Public Health. Reach her through her website www.communityreiki.com. Watch for a review of Community Reiki in the October 2017 edition of TOUCH Magazine.