Signs Someone is Passive Aggressive
The Advantages of Being the Scapegoat

The Long Bag We Drag Behind Us

Robert Bly writes about "The Long Bag We Drag Behind Us" which is filled with all the things we deny in ourselves, our Shadow parts.  If we think it's bad to be angry, we may throw our anger in there.  Some members of my family think humor is a waste of time, so they throw their silliness in there.  Sad, I know.  Some religions may require you to throw your sexuality in the bag.  Men may throw their sensitivity in the bag, women may throw their strength into it.  If, when you were young someone made fun of your artwork, you may have thrown that in the bag.  Many of our "negative" emotions get put in the bag;  jealousy, hatred, vanity or fear.  The seven deadly "sins" go in the bag;  anger, envy, lust, gluttony, sloth, pride or greed.  

Whatever you throw in the bag, you don't have access to it.  And the more you throw in the bag, the heavier the bag you drag behind you.  And the more you put in the bag, the less that is left of you.  Pretty soon there is only a sliver of you left.  And this is the part that you present to society.  

The parts of yourself which you deny become twisted and contorted to where they are unrecognizable.  If you put anger in the bag and you are angered, instead of expressing it directly, openly and honestly, it may come out as barbed sarcasm, sabotage or even retaliation.  

And the parts we put in the bag at 5 years old or 15 years old don't develop or mature.  They are frozen in that primitive, undeveloped state in which we first put them in the bag.  Primitive and immature they erupt from the bag when they can be contained no longer, twisted and contorted into something we no longer recognize as human.  

"Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is."  Carl Jung

The parts we deny have the power to drive us.  A man who denies his sexual desires to himself and in public may spend vast hours watching porn in the secrecy of his home.  A woman who denies her anger may seethe behind a sugary sweet smile.  A child denied his playfulness may retreat into a make believe world in his mind.  








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