Facing Demons and Finding Fairies what it really takes to stand in your power and move forward as whole

Facing Demons and Finding Fairies

what it really takes to stand in your power and move forward as whole

SPOILER ALERT: if you haven’t seen Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie yet, avert your eyes.

We live in a culture that actively encourages us to turn away from failure, negativity, darkness, and shadow. Yet these are fecund, fertile, juicy places within the self and in life that have much to show us about living whole and passionate lives.

For example, John Gottman, Phd, in his wonderful (if Math’s laden) book Trust; Emotional Attunement for Couples, found that some negativity in relationship was healthy. Negativity allowed behaviour patterns that weren’t working to be slowly changed over time. If you never tell a partner that what they’re doing isn’t working for you, nothing can change!

In certain New Age quarters it’s taboo to think negative thoughts (is that like trying not to think of pink elephants?) in case you attract what you don’t want. How then can you ever face the shadows within and alchemise them?

I recently had a powerful transformation around deeply disturbing childhood memories that are far too personal to go into here. With the help of a fierce, grounded and compassionate therapist, I faced memories that had stalked me for the last 40 years. Memories I found it impossible to look at without experiencing traumatic and absorbing feelings that shut down my hands, my voice and my willingness to share myself with the world. These ugly visions that have floated to the surface of my awareness periodically, have affected all aspects of my life – relationships, work, money, intimacy, parenting and the rest.

Through an embodied process, I found my way to the wisdom within that allowed me to fully accept my experiences. I was assisted to see them and honour them for what they were. This is mind-blowing. Suddenly, the seemingly darkest aspect of self, that’s been rejected and buried, is part of an integrated whole.

Wholeness is a powerful place to stand. From wholeness we have voice. From wholeness we can take action, not to protect ourselves, but to create change, growth and metamorphosis. From wholeness, life is a creative adventure in which all experiences are embraced for the learning they offer.

The transformational power of embracing our shadow selves cannot be over-stated. It’s a form of radical self-acceptance and one that can turn lives around. It also requires good help!

VortiganGuy Ritchie’s latest movie, King Arthur; Legend of the Sword (2017), vividly illustrates the power of embracing tormenting memories and the shadow self. Ritchie’s East End London Arthur is haunted by childhood flashbacks of the murder of his mother and father by his tyrannical uncle, Vortigan. He refuses the call to save England from Vortigan over and over again, even after he has possession of the legendary sword in the stone. Luckily, he has good help in the form of Sir Bedivere, and a moody, haunting friend of Merlin’s – The Mage.

In the final scene, Arthur not only vanquishes Vortigan in a dramatic battle (no surprises there), but wholly accepts Vortigan’s role in his early trauma and blesses him for making him the man he has become – cunning, courageous, strong, just and persistent. He even kisses Vortigan’s hand as he dies.

Aside from the unsubtle reinforcement of social norms around masculinity (which we can ignore for now), the movie dramatically demonstrates the power of embracing the shadow: Arthur becomes King of England.

Wholeness can never be experienced when rejecting any part of self. Achieving it is the journey of a lifetime.

What can you do to start claiming your wholeness today?

  1. If you have dark or disturbing memories that you can’t look at, get good help. You don’t need to (and nor should you) face them alone.
  2. Notice what you reject in yourself and start practising radical self acceptance. This isn’t about excusing bad behaviour or letting yourself off the hook. Radical self acceptance is about observing what you do, how you do it, what the unwanted results are in your life, and being OK with that. This practice creates space for different, empowered behaviour moving forwards.
  3. Do whatever you need to do to get grounded every day – suggestions here.
  4. Face your mistakes and take responsibility for them. Running away from responsibility separates you from the power of wholeness.
  5. Learn to lean into feelings of discomfort. Most things in life that lead to growth are uncomfortable. You don’t need to feel amazing all the time. If you’re rejecting discomfort, you don’t have access to wholeness. What does ‘leaning into discomfort’ look like? It looks like you saying to yourself ‘OK I’m feeling uncomfortable. This is what it feels like. I’m OK feeling this. I’m going to feel this for as long as I need to.’

If you’d love access to a process that can help you move from stuck, blocked, confused or miserable into empowered, accepting and whole, give this a whirl.

I always love to read and respond to your comments, so please leave them below. And if you loved this, please share it with your networks. 🙂


  • Margaret Bending

    Reply Reply June 1, 2017

    Yes Pollyanna
    Well said. I personally have found the same in life, that the uncomfortable difficult times, and people, who caused me pain and suffering did me a favour
    To become who I am today.
    Without them I would still be living in an ideaslistic unreal place.
    Fantasy land.
    I liken it to working out in the gym,
    You really have to dig deep within yourself to overcome your resistance to the pain and hard work it takes to reach your end result.
    Being in a better place of wholeness,
    And Health.
    Thankyou for sharing your journey
    Pollyanna, it takes courage to face the unpleasant happenings in the past, to move forwards.
    Life is amazing how well it has been structured for evolution.
    X Margaret

    • darling_lover

      Reply Reply June 1, 2017

      Yes Margie, it really is amazing – all these opportunities for growth, sometimes taken, sometimes ignored!! x

  • Deniece

    Reply Reply June 1, 2017

    Thank you for the Spoiler Alert Pollyanna. Am off to see it on Monday night. xx

    • darling_lover

      Reply Reply June 1, 2017

      No worries! Did you read the post or skip to the end? I really enjoyed the movie (apart from the ridiculous stereotyping of masculinity!!!).

      • Deniece

        Reply Reply June 1, 2017

        I just skipped straight to the end. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie..a few of us from work get together every now and then and do a meal and a movie..it’s fun.

        • darling_lover

          Reply Reply June 1, 2017

          That’s sounds cool!

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