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Here’s a bold proposal. How about shaking hands with your shadow?

Don’t just introduce yourself and nervously rush away. Really engage the awkward, stubborn side of something, and then leave on a peaceful note. Does that sound impossible? In the April series, Transformers, we’ll look at doing just that.

The series title is a play on the popular movie of the same name. “Transformers” tells about the epic battles between the heroic Autobots and their archrivals, the Decepticons. Regrettably, life is a lot more confusing than Summer blockbusters; circumstances are rarely all good or all bad.

Why even bother sorting through the complications? Because it is the only way to transform “painful” into “positive”. Confronting the shadow gives you the chance to overcome Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s suggestion that, “A man’s life is the history of his fears.” This was the script running Joel.

Joel started ranting the minute he got into Mara’s car.

“I’m just trying to say that it’s not fair. I told Curt about the auditions as an “oh by the way.” I thought he’d be excited for ME! I never expected him to enter,” Joel complained.

Mara looked confused. “I thought you were friends, not rivals. You’ve known each other since your days at the Culinary Institute of America. I don’t get why you’re upset.”

“Curt’s already received some awards. He should let other people have a shot,” Joel snapped.

“But, by entering, you also have a shot. So he sent his own tape to “Chopped.” You never know – the Food Network could hate it. Are you sure that is what’s bothering you?”

“Of course it is! What if the producers like him more than me? And why don’t you have my back on this?”

She tried to calm him down. “Think of it this way – there are a million shows out there. Maybe this isn’t the right one for you. If it doesn’t work out, audition for something else.”

Mara sat quietly. “Joel, whatever happens, you’re still a great guy AND a great chef. Business is good at the restaurant, and you’re constantly catering for private parties. You don’t need a reality show to be successful. Don’t let this get to you.”

Joel’s feelings are understandable. Yet endless venting and trying to get back at others, no matter how good it felt, was a momentary fix. When we try to frantically outmaneuver our fears, our ego is “edging God out”. Healing happens when we face our insecurities rather than focusing on who or what triggers them.

The news isn’t all bad. A healthy ego can help power your intentions – for everything from believing you should start a company to sing lead in the local band. When you’re self-assured, you can follow inner guidance and shift the desperate “Why me?!” story to a hopeful “Why not me?”

Pride or jealousy might creep in this week. Compassionately accept that your feelings are part of being human and release any need to micromanage or avoid. Allow the shadow to have its say, thank it, and then start gently redirecting yourself back to healthy self-confidence.

You’re not the history of your fears. Be a transformer.