Who wants to acknowledge her faults?
“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.”
– Carl Jung, “Psychology and Religion”
I’m less good than I imagine myself to be or even want to be?
Me? Is Carl Jung talking about me??
The truth is that the answer is YES.
That’s a hard truth.
And it’s not just me. It’s everyone. It’s all of us.
I can see it much more clearly in others, of course, but I know it’s true about me. It’s just that on most days I don’t want to deal with this truth. I want to live in my world of illusion – the one in which I’m a good person with good intentions. Always.
Or mostly always.
About others, I can see the truth. I see their meanness, their lack of generosity, their narcissism, their judgmental nature, their snide intellectualism, their dishonesty, their hypocrisy. The list goes on and on.
As for me, those characteristics aren’t true . . . can’t be true.
I’m sure my friends and family could point out each and every trait I listed – in me. Plus some. Plus many.
That’s a hard truth.
But it’s one I’m trying to acknowledge.
Because how can I correct my flaws if I don’t even acknowledge them?
Jesus says in the Gospel of John, ” . . . then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
That sounds good, doesn’t it?
Who doesn’t want to be free?
I mean, we’ll be talking about freedom this week, what with Independence Day coming up and all. “Freedom” is a word we’ll hear a lot. We’ll probably think it means freedom from tyranny, which we’ll think means the government or big business or whatever group we think exemplifies tyranny.
But honestly, the biggest tyrant any of us will encounter will be ourselves.
I myself am a tyrant??
The truth is yes. I am. I keep myself from true freedom by what I refuse to acknowledge about myself.
It’s a hard freedom to acknowledge my faults. To see them, own up to them. And to try to change them.
It’s a hard truth.
But if true freedom is what I want, I have to deal with hard truth. I have to give up my illusions, look at my shadow, and choose to change.
That is the road to freedom. One that I need to take. One that I must choose to take.
Now. And every single day for the rest of my life.