OK I admit it, this is a gigantic shapeless bag of a category and I am inconsistent with what I toss into it.
Carl Jung defined the shadow as the unknown dark side of the personality.
According to Jung, the shadow, being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is understood as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.
I’m not remotely a bible guy but this is ‘chapter and verse’, my personal recipe from here forward.
“Listen carefully: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves” [have no self-serving agenda].
– Matthew 10:16
To speak from strength, to be trustworthy, own your serpent and own your dove. For that matter, I suppose own your sheep and wolf as well.
“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.”
Future successful adult.
John Prine’s heart-breaking and loving video on the opioid crisis
I may add on to this. We’ll see where it goes.
“First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.
Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.
It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.”
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
Tomorrow being what it is, let’s take a moment to consider unrequited love.
Unrequited love is the the percentage of Love’s iceberg that is underwater.
Hold in your thoughts the millions on earth whose love is not returned.
Imagine the multitudes fretting and pining for Allison, Allen or Akbar.
How many meals ignored and hours unslept?
How many alone in a room feeling more than they can contain but containing it.
How many bearing sorrow.
How many right now are making phone calls they shouldn’t make or texting someone they shouldn’t and will soon spend a few minutes hyperventilating while saying “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid”.
How many have never spoken to the one they love at all?
How many bravely not getting in touch day after day to honor the wishes of one that didn’t love them or didn’t love them anymore.
Here’s to the solitary business of not getting what you want, the commonest love on earth.
“Unrequited love is a ridiculous state, and it makes those in it behave ridiculously.”
― Cassandra Clare