Yet, inside each of us exists our own version of "Mr. Hyde"...some might refer to this as our *shadow* while others go so far as to call this our *dark or evil* side. That is, of course, if one believes in the duality of "good versus evil". Each of us spends a great deal of psychological time trying to *purdy up* our dark side(s) and make this part of ourselves more acceptable...we try to justify the behaviors of our shadow selves in many ways...either by projecting our internal negativity (I prefer this term, negativity, over the use of the word *evil*) onto others or simply overcompensating with extreme goodness in hopes of somehow stamping out or covering up our own negativity.
When good people go bad, there are many behaviors we employ in this process. Gossip, dominance, deliberate withholding, and verbal abuse are just a few of the more benign behaviors "good people gone bad" utilize in expressing their dark selves/shadow selves. Out and out physical violence or malicious intent to defame or steal from another are more of the extremes.
I've personally been encountering a great deal of gossip in my life about others and harmful words others have spoken about me...and, the travesty of my shadow self has also been ENGAGING in this negative behavior as well. When I engage in gossip, it is a primitive behavior and attempt to temporarily make myself feel better or to CONTROL a situation that feels out of my control...and ALWAYS at the expense of others. That's just how gossip works. If it didn't, there would be no impulse to engage in it...a temporary *fix* is sought as a means of finding temporary *relief* from something bothersome in my own psyche. It is also a means of attempting to rally false support for myself when I am feeling weakened by something else. In other words, I PROJECT MY OWN SENSE OF WEAKNESS/SHADOW SELF/LACK OF CONTROL ONTO THE LIFE OF SOMEONE ELSE WHEN I GOSSIP ABOUT THEM. I am in turn, attempting to expose what I deem as the gossip recipient's weakness as a means of hiding or denying my OWN weakness(s)...a "look how bad they are or what they did" attempt to distract from my OWN *badness* or shadow self.
Often times, when I feel weakness in myself or learn someone else is spreading gossip about me, I feel hurt and anger...which only perpetuates my sense of weakness. Rather than examining if what is being said behind my back might be TRUE or confronting my own sense of hurt/anger/weakness, I instead retaliate with carefully crafted COUNTER GOSSIP...after all, if someone is saying something hurtful about ME, isn't it fair game to return the favor?
Sadly, the answer to the above question is "no". The sense of temporary relief/expression of anger via gossip only serves to further perpetuate a vicious and unending cycle of hurtfulness...to myself and toward another...like a hamster on a winless exercise wheel, never going anywhere and always revolving back around to the same place.
I've been worn down recently by a few situations in my life (see previous post on admitting depressive symptoms!) and I'm tired. Like a boozing, over-eating, lazy athlete, I've been letting myself *go*...I haven't been taking the time or care necessary to maintain a healthy psyche because sinking is frankly less effort than breaking the water and surfacing. But just like obtaining a fit physical body, my emotional/mental body requires constant care and observation...lest I fall into negative habits that ruin my "game".
Today I'm going to start by identifying and embracing my "Mr. Hyde"...the little booger is there inside me and the only person I seem to be wasting energy *hyding* from is myself. Today, I'm going to practice acknowledging my shadow self, and then taking RESPONSIBILITY for it...I'm going to refrain from gossip or even LISTENING to someone else gossip. I'm going to pay attention to my shadow self and be mindful of what triggers this side of me to come alive...I'm not going to drink my own potion and transform into this other self. And owning my shadow's existence/Mr. Hyde is the first step in taming this inner negativity.
Not engaging in gossip sure may cut down on my fatigue factor...I wonder if I really have that much to SAY when I'm not focusing on others?!? Hmmm...life just became a quieter journey...LOL.