Am I addicted to shadow work?

July 12th 2017

Blog Post / Journal Entry

In 2013 I met a woman who taught me to go into my pain. This technique of going into the eye of the storm led me to being better-able to follow my joy. It seems that what Teal calls spirituality 2.0 is the best way to achieve spirituality 101. Or at least, I realize that is what I've been doing for years.
I experience joy only after going through a period of intense venom, grief, fear and regrets. The more deeply I go into these emotions, and the more I let them wash over me and consume me, the more complete the peace and joy is at the end of it. Teal talks about this natural progression of emotion in her video How to Express Emotion as well as in her second book.
But in her video Spirituality 2.0 – where she so beautifully shows us her tears – she talks about 2.0 coming only after we give up on reaching joy through external means and we begin to look inward. I feel like I'm trying to look everywhere for joy, desperately, inward and outward. I seek pain out within my internal world in response to the smallest things in my outer world because I'd rather have something real than feel empty. I feel so alive when I'm in the center of my suffering, when I'm on the wave of grief.
What's concerning me is that I seem to be addicted at times to shadow work. I can't tell if I'm healing myself or wallowing sometimes. I'm getting better at seeing the difference between genuine presence with my pain (which is followed, eventually, by joy) and simply moping/complaining/wallowing (which is endlessly followed by more of the same, with no joy following unless I can get to that real place at the center of it).
I can understand, intellectually, that we're here to feel pain in every form. After all, we've chosen to be material beings to see what it is like to not be source consciousness, to not be perfect beings of unconditionally love. Anything that isn't unconditional love will be some form of pain, right?
But what that makes sense to me, and sometimes I can glory in the beauty of this masterful design and feel its truth coursing through me . . . Most of the time I feel uneasy about the ratio of suffering to joy. Am I really so resistant that I must suffer so much at the hands of my self-inflicted pain? Why? Why suffer when I've manifested myself such a beautiful life, where so many of my old dreams are now fulfilled? Am I really doing this just so that I won't get bored? What would be so bad about being bored?
Perhaps I'm such an expansion junkie that I choose this suffering by way of growing pains.
— Raederle