All my life I've had the ability to look into a person's core and see their own innate sacredness. This is a wonderful gift, and most people appreciate it, as you might imagine. However, this capacity also causes me to idealize people in an unhealthy way. When I fail to take into account their foibles and flaws (which we ALL have), I fall into a pattern of blaming myself if they don't like me, or of taking ALL of the responsibility when there is a communication snafu. Even when I work hard (and it DOES take hard work) to see a person's shadow side, his or her divinity inevitably wells up and overwhelms it!
So - what is the solution? Since this pattern happens so automatically, I've learned to deal with it by separating from people for a time and immersing myself in the beauty and wildness of Nature. It makes sense, therefore, that one of my New Year's Resolutions is to spend more retreat time in the natural world - SANS camera - and to allow the Divine Gaze present within the wilderness silence to penetrate through MY shadow side in order to reveal and highlight MY own innate sacredness. This then gives me ample strength to face people - together with their overpowering divinity - without over-personalizing their criticisms, slights and potential dislike of me.
Photo: Alpenglow on the Hewlett Burn, with a dead juniper in the foreground; Poudre Canyon, CO, December 29, 2015
Please visit: http://www.resourcesforspiritualgrowth.com/
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.