Amina Drury reflects on what her training has brought to the surface for her during the pandemic.
The Dark Part of the Soul
Two halves should make a whole
Unless one half is the one which stole
Freedom and fun, rebellion and pleasure
The shocking, thundering, rumbling weather
Inner turmoil, wild spirit and wrath
Swap for that which is docile, fake smiles and laughs
The heart which is empty but sweet on the surface
Is a heart which is lonely, derelict or curs-ed
For the good of the world and yourself and your health
Find a friend or a therapist
Move quickly with stealth
Let open your heart give the shadows some space
This is Humanity
And this is your Fate
Return the half of the dark part of the soul
And feel two halves
Come back to whole.
I wrote this poem during a creative activity on our weekend training. The poem refers to the ways in which many people disregard the parts of themselves which they have undervalued or stifled, creating what Jung called ‘the shadow’.
I used the analogy of the two halves which coincidentally matched with the half-way point in my training and led me to reflect on how this whole training, as well as the difficult circumstances of the last two years of the pandemic, allowed me to see my own shadow side a lot more frequently!
The first half of my training has been characterised by many strange and profound moments. Having heart-to-heart conversations with my course mates when they were near strangers over the internet, but who have since become dear friends. Almost all of our training has been remote due to the pandemic.
My values have been brought into sharp focus. I have relished having them enhanced and challenged. I have found myself bursting into surprise tears more than once. Early mornings and late evenings spent scraping together assignments, or going down the rabbit hole of researching an obscure corner of knowledge. Many light-bulb moments about human nature and my own behaviour, routine burn outs and self-care days, placement and working with children who show me their joys and suffering through play.
What I have learned through this course so far, and through the loneliness of the pandemic is that we need to find each other, listen to each other, see each other, without judgement or condemnation, with warmth and compassion, to begin to melt the divides within and between ourselves.
Life has changed a lot for me since this course began but the thing I am most proud of and the most grateful for is taking the ‘exquisite risk’ as Mark Nepo calls it, to be authentic and exposed in my imperfections and to receive others in theirs.
I’ll finish with this quote which reaffirms what this path means to me:
Fearful people do not want to sit with broken people because they don’t want to be slowed down – don’t want to look at what is broken in themselves…
When we dare to hold those forced to the ground, dare to hold them close, the truth of holding and listening sings & we are carried into the wisdom of broken bones and how things heal.
There are the quiet braves we all need: the courage to wait & watch with all of who we are, the courage to admit that we are not alone, the courage to hold each other to the ear of our heart and the courage to care for things that are broken.
Mark Nepo, The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life
28/01/2022 Christine Lister-Ford