“Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Jung.
I love this quote by Carl Jung in which he addresses the importance of knowing yourself in order to have a fulfilling life. In the Hero’s Journey, the Hero (or Heroine, in Meylyne’s case), has to overcome myriad external obstacles (demons, curses, hurricanes, etc.) in order to reach their destination. But often those external obstacles are not nearly as tricky as the internal obstacles they have to overcome, such as fear, jealousy, a lack of self-worth and so on. For these latter obstacles, it is essential to face up to one’s personal demons and that is a lot easier said than done!
Carl Jung said that we all have a shadow—a part of ourselves that we refuse to accept. Often this is because we are ashamed of it. Maybe it’s a longing to be adored by our peers or family. Maybe it’s a desire for revenge. In fairy-tales, the shadow is often represented by the ugly crone that does not get invited to the party, so she places a curse on the parties’ hosts, like in Sleeping Beauty or Beauty and the Beast.
Similarly, when we refuse to accept our shadow … refuse to invite a part of ourselves to the party that is our life, our shadow curses us. This usually shows up in bad, self-destructive behaviors like deliberately doing badly in school, bullying, smoking, vandalism and so on. Do you know anyone like this?