Clearing Land Mines

Shadow work took off once I knew of it.

Dissolving, disarming painful old stories,
like land mines left from a forgotten war long ago,
still waiting for a trigger.

An idle word,
a casual mis-step
and the internal explosion
shows the next field
to clear.

Meditation alone did not “fix” this.

Sudden upwellings of emotion
out of proportion to the “external” triggering event,
ending in a crooked finger of blame,
now understood, embraced, dissolved.

An example:

A few days ago, I stopped a local sandwich shop for lunch;
one of those with dozens of photos of the food and descriptions and prices
high up on a large, colorful menu.

The restaurant was almost empty;
no customers in line,
no cars at the window.

A young woman immediately asked for my order as soon as I walked in.

There had been no time to scan the extensive menu above her.

I balked (interiorly) and sat down,
scanning the menu.

She asked if I was waiting for someone.

I said no,
still sitting,
amazed and resentful at being rushed,
making no effort to hurry,
deliberately taking even more time,
all the time I could find excuse to take
to scan every single menu item
blatantly making her wait as long as possible
until finally picking
the exact same thing
I had last week.

I even imagined hiding next time
behind the seats and partition
to make her wait
to ask me
what I wanted.


Resistance !? Resentment ?!
Passive-aggressive responses ?!
Hiding behind furniture !?!
Unbridled lunacy !!
What the @#%^&* is going on ??

Remembering back to childhood…
the childhood of a slow boy.

A boy who moved too slowly,
acted too slowly,
did his work too slowly
to satisfy
his women elementary teachers
those maternal stand-ins
of early childhood.

This slowness of movement
came up
again and again
through the years of growing up,
a source
and embarrassment.

Surmounted this tendency effectively
in the work world, once and for all.

I received awards for efficiency
and annual evaluations
which included
not a few
words of praise.

If something needed doing ASAP,
I am your go-to guy !

Decades later,
the story of the slow boy
waits to go off,
the trigger
a perceived pushy,
(read disapproving)

Any perceived pushy, impatient woman
will do just nicely.

Doesn’t happen with men.
Didn’t have men teachers in elementary school.
Dad was not part of this story.

Triggers are emotional reactions to thought stories
that lead to highly irrational behavior.

I am no longer slow, nor a boy.

The identity story remains
washed up on the shores of memory
from another stage of life
and has no light to shed on this now.

The young woman who works at the sandwich shop
jumps to take orders from a chime
set off by the door opening
and by vehicles at the drive-up window,
all day long.

Patience is not a virtue in her position,
and she can only do what she can
to stay on top of it all.

She quickly and accurately relays customer’s orders
and then dashes off to another task
before the next customer arrives.

She will not have to wait for the next order I have.
She will not even have to ask for it.

The slow boy
grew up,
long ago.

Now the story
has also

and allowed
to dissolve.

************* ******** ***** *** ** * *

For further reading along these lines:


2) Shadow Work by Scott Kiloby

3) Interesting discussion about Shadows:

4)For further reading :

5)Fun quotes about Shadow Work from famous people:

Land mine photo came from here:

Menu photo comes from here:

Metronome came from here:

About dominic724

A former seeker starts blogging.
This entry was posted in Human Experience and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Clearing Land Mines

  1. Simply a beautiful dissolving story, thank you.

  2. I love this. Thank you. The same has happened here, and I’m so grateful that keeps on.

  3. aalif says:

    Wow thank you for sharing this – getting this message from almost everywhere these days… Just read this amazing piece by Jeff Foster a few minutes ago. You might like it:

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