Mythologist Joseph Campbell said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek!” But to rise above the fear, you first have to understand it.
In the first Star Wars episode, young Luke Skywalker enters a cave he is not ready for. Because he hasn’t faced his fears, he cannot recognize the healthy ones. So, like the proverbial fool rushing in where angels fear to tread, he enters saber-to-saber combat with Darth Vader and decapitates him-only to realize that the head inside the villain’s helmet is his own.
There are things Skywalker does not yet know about himself. He is “in the dark,” unable to handle the “disowned part.” Only when he comes to terms with it can he thrive. For now, his greatest strength doubles as his greatest weakness.
The critical distance between your greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses is what I call LifeSpace-the “cave” where you meet the enemy and the enemy is you.
We all have “disowned parts” that undermine our results in life. Because our outcomes don’t match our expectations, we either deny the damage or try changing how we “do” life. Determined to capitalize on our strengths and fight the darker side of our personalities, we inadvertently give the darkness more power to take us down, often within inches of the victory.
What we really need is to recognize our non-strengths…the “dark side”…our “own worst enemy”…the perceptions (inferiority, unworthiness, etc.) that influence our choices and hinder our advancement. When these villains are overcome and reconciled within, success is realized.
Beloved, it’s not enough to “have” our feelings and thoughts. We need to “know” them intimately-where they come from and where they lead us…