In this Trouble, Brenda states that we "defend against knowing the parts of ourselves that are still asleep, that are caught in delusion, and we slip into a cardboard saint trance...the perfected view of who we are rather than the truth of who we are." She offers, "The paradox is in order to be truly free, we need to awaken to the prisons we have erected within and around life and the false idols of purity we have been listening to."
I'm an upbeat person with a cheerful countenance. I'm usually trying to do my part to make the most of a situation and to be helpful--oh so helpful. I used to defend against knowing the part of myself that was depressed, believing it was the latest circumstance present in my life that was bringing me down. At some point in my thirties, depression howled me awake and we spent a long time getting to know each other. And I thought that I had integrated a larger version of myself, which I had, but...
A couple of months ago, I was sitting with Jason Shulman in a study group and he was purposely imitating a very chipper person--lots of energy, super positive, at-the-ready to do good in the world. And I felt like I was looking in the mirror. I felt it in my bones. I felt a flood of recognizable feelings and decisions that I had honed to walk (be) in the world. And I felt the limitation of this single-dimensionality.
Oh to awaken to this prison that I have erected. I am excited to explore the nuances of this persona and to study the false idols of purity that I have been listening to. How do I honor my happy personality while including more dimensionality, more true self? Can anyone relate in some way, shape, or form? I'd love to hear from you.