You said that you know that true love is on the way. You just know it. Yet I wonder will you be able to recognize it even if it was staring at you right in the face? Would you be able to fish it out, like a starry diamond amidst the vast swamp of mud all around you? Perhaps or perhaps not? You might think, ‘if he loved me, he would know exactly what to do and say.’ But is that not the voice of resentment talking? No one has a direct line to your wants and needs – not even you. If you were to try to figure out exactly what you want (and moreover truly need, which are two different things altogether), you might find out that it is much more more difficult than you think. When dealing with others it is better to assume ignorance before malevolence. No one is trying to oppress you anymore than you are getting in the way of manifesting your own wishes because of your personal flaws and limitations. Is the pursuit of true love not the same?

Indeed, sometimes when we try to manifest and it doesn’t work, this happens because there is a lack of harmony in our lives. It is not our destiny or karma at that time, since no matter how hard we have tried to make it work, we have also conspired against our own success in some sinister way. Often we are blind to ourselves, and deny our own complicity. The thing is we all have a right to self express, yet not at the expense of harming others. So if in trying to manifest we express ourselves in a way that brings others down, this is an act of disharmony which will never lead to our success. Sometimes it can be frustrating, and it can feel like we are banging our head against an impenetrable brick wall or as if the universe is conspiring against us to fail. But more often than not it is us that is guilty in delivering the coup de grace to the desire that we are trying to manifest.

And furthermore I agree that being ‘nice’ to people is often fake and insincere. We ought to live life more honestly and interact with others in a way which authentically conveys how we feel towards others. However, being mean or lashing out rudely at people is not the answer either, even if the other person deserves it because we perceive them (judgementally) to be horrible, underserving people. This smacks of resentment and lack of self control, since the dark side of you (your shadow), if you are honest, secretly derives pleasure from seeing others suffer, in retribution for the suffering you have once endured. True integration of your shadow means that your are exercising full control of the dark, malevolent side of your being at all times. Instead of being ‘nice’ to people, it is more appropriate to be sincere with them while treating them with a minimum level of dignity and respect (which you would want to be treated with), regardless of whether the other person deserves it or not. As the old adage goes, one should “speak softly and carry a big stick.” We are all capable of horrific violence and evil, but we dont need to threaten people with our darkness to gain their respect or just to be blindly honest with them. There are too many charlatans claiming to speak truth, while using it as a cover to be mean to others in a self-serving, malevolent way.

Integrating one’s shadow is no easy task. The dark side of you if unconstrained can make a hellish situation even worse. History is littered with countless examples, from the Russian Gulags to the Nazi concentration camps. Yet, I think there is a more fundamental question to ask here. Where is the control point on your shadow? Can you control the dark thoughts you have before they lead to dark actions? Personally, I find it nearly impossible to control my mental darkness (self-serving intentions, malevolent thoughts towards others, selfish desires, etc.). They stream through my consciousness regardless of how hard I try to avoid thinking about them. However, I recognize that just because I have dark thoughts, doesn’t mean that I have to act on them. I can choose to control my actions, and in so doing keep my shadow in check. So integrating one’s shadow seems to me to be more about keeping the dark side of you, that is always bubbling up under the surface, muzzled and leashed (i.e., preventing it from acting or speaking out) in almost all circumstances. Perhaps the only exception that comes to mind is when your life or the lives of loved ones are in danger. Only then it is acceptable to unleash the dark violent force within you.

From this line of thinking I have arrived belatedly at the realization that now I must let go. I must not hold on anymore to you or the idea of you. It is not because I have given up on true love, but because I realize that the tighter I hold on to you the less I am able to manifest. So for now I walk through this life in a blur, without color, taste or texture. Yet there is no love lost. For no matter what you do or don’t do, or say or don’t stay, the love that I have for you remains undiminished. S.D.G.

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