The reason for this is twofold. The first is for participants to better understand the behaviours of others, thus avoiding some of the pain of taking things personally. The second reason is to give insight into our own inner landscapes through which we step in to our own power.
If you spend any time in Facebook land you will witness projected anger, bile and generally unpleasantness. People picking online fights because the other person is seen by them as less than human. Especially if they hold a differing opinion or represent something that is despised by the responder. All their bile and hatred of self then comes pouring out on screen.
Just this week I witnessed a prime example of this. One kind and caring young lady was concerned because she had picked up an injured rabbit. She posted online to a community group asking what to do with it.
Within seconds she was subjected to name calling such as snowflake, derision, laughter and hateful comments. She deleted her post. Yet, someone took it on board to put up another post about her claiming she was all things wrong with the world.
Seems not many people these days understand that adage – when you open your mouth (or type on the keyboard) - you say far more about yourself than others.
She was obviously considered a prime target by a spiteful bully because she demonstrated something they could not – kindness and compassion. Like a pack of hyenas baying for blood, others of a similar ilk jumped in.
This begs the question of why they are demonstrating these sorts of behaviours. Feelings of disconnect can lead to aggressive outbursts and picking fights. Ironically the basis to this is often a yearning for closeness. If you cant get close physically or emotionally then trying to trigger others will at least make you feel dysfunctionally close for a brief time.
As people turn in droves to substances, yoga, meditation, mindfulness and a whole host of other distraction techniques, some are finding that fundamentally nothing quite hits the spot.
After all, at the end of the day they still got to live with themselves. Living with someone you don’t really like is just a terrible strain - so no wonder something gives.
The Shadow is a term conceived by the famous psychotherapist Carl Jung. It refers to aspects of our psyche – those parts we are not consciously aware of. Wellwood describes this as all our undigested experiences.
Babies are not born with Shadows. However. very early on we learn certain parts of our psyche are ‘bad’. Anger, frustration, gluttony and greed are all examples of the natural lived human experience. Yet, these are often the qualities that get trodden down and squashed into our dark, damp and mouldy internal cellars.
When left unattended, our shadows thrive in that environment. Kept in the moist darkness of our psyches, toadstools can build up a force of energy that bursts through with a blinding toxic brilliance. A brilliance that threatens to poison everything we see as positive in our lives.
That is what you witness in facebook land. Toadstools exploding and shedding toxic spores over unsuspecting punters.
We can stop our Toadstools developing a life of their own by going into those damp dark scary cellars and letting in light. We can’t destroy the cellars, but we can at least learn to nurture a less destructive fungi.
If you are interested in shadow work, then keep an eye open for our upcoming workshop on Detox your Toadstool.