I received the follow ‘humor’ in an email. So often jokes have hidden meaning that most miss. Let’s look at this joke. You will find a whole lot of meaning and deep feelings hidden in these few lines.
A husband and wife are shopping in a supermarket when the man sees a great price on a case of beer and picks up a case, putting it into their shopping cart.
“What do you think you’re doing?” asks his wife.
“Its on sale for only $14.95 for 24 cans,’ he says.
“Put it back. We can’t afford it,” says the wife. He grunts, but puts it back on the stack. They continue shopping.
A few aisles later the woman picks up a $29.95 jar of ‘beautifying’ face cream and sticks it into the shopping cart.
“What do you think you’re doing?” asks the man.
“It’s for my face cream. It makes me look young and beautiful,” she says.
The man replies, “So does 24 cans of beer, and it’s only half the price.”
Its witty and cute, but hides both parties’ “shadow.” The reason we find it humorous is that it touches our own shadow. It is actually a sad statement about relationships; maybe that is why we all laugh, because we all know it.
But first, our “shadow” or “dark-side” is something we don’t really see. It acts much like a shadow. This “shadow” is an inner place that gets polluted by every memory, emotion, or belief that we don’t know how to deal with. We therefore push these down, repressing them in our deepest recesses. These recesses are our “shadows.”
OK, back to the joke. She says to him, “What do you think you are doing?” This phrase should not even be said to a child, yet it is said to her husband. It is disrespectful and carries with it an energy that says, “You’re an idiot, I don’t respect you, and you don’t have a clue what you are doing!” Is it possible this could produce resentment?
She could have said, “Honey, can we really afford that?” This is only viable if she is also being frugal; otherwise it is just a less disrespectful manipulation. He might have thought about the purchase and said yes or no. At least he would not have been manipulated by being shamed.
As we see some lines later, her frugality is reserved for him, but her ‘necessities’ are not included. What do you think would be a man’s response if you asked if ‘beautifying’ face cream is a necessity? But she thinks she has the right to dictate this to him, all the while judging his choices as unnecessary. Even if she was not buying the face cream, a communication that honors both parties is always needed.
His passive aggressive response to her demeaning him is clear. He basically says, you are ugly and I need to get drunk to find you attractive. Ouch! Subconsciously he thinks, touché, I got you back. But it was not an honorable response. He needed to response immediately to her disrespectful remark. No, that does not mean slap the bitch. It means tell her that he felt what she said was disrespectful and it hurts. He clears his energy and they can have a dialog about why she feels that way about him. This might start an argument too, but as long as this dialog is not about hurting the other, it will have a positive outcome.
So what is lacking? First, what is lacking is clear, honest communications. This is all too common in relationships of every kind!
These two have some deep resentful inner monsters rearing their heads that show up within their barbed words. From the outside we can see their hidden resentment just below their words, but they really can’t. It’s just another (unpleasant) day with the bitch, or bastard. Great right?
No! Dialoging doesn’t mean attacking one another from the depths of your shadow; it means talking about how you feel, really feel! That could include how you are feeling angry, unsupported, disrespected, and looked-down-upon, which further fuels feelings of being unworthy and unlovable. This is what you use your resentments to hide; it is the projection of your inner feelings onto others. This means blaming them, making your inner feeling about them, or seeing their faults, which are the faults within yourself that you decided a long time ago that you could not handle. You focus on how they are not doing it right, are not giving you what you need, are not being what you need. This allows you not to look at yourself.
In reality, it is you who are not being what you need, because you don’t know how. Probably it was too painful, and you believed these feelings might be true if you acknowledged them. Your inner shadowy beliefs are not true, they are just feelings, don’t resist them, allow them fully, sit with them without judgment (see earlier blog: What You Resist, Persists). You will find the powerful, life-affecting energy they contain will simply dissipate. It may take a minute, an hour, a day, or months, but it will dissipate.
How is this possible? To understand this dynamic, you must understand how these repressed beliefs that drive so called “complexes,” got their energy in the first place. We not only gave them energy ourselves, but continually feed them more. We do this by resisting them. The simple act of repression, putting these beliefs and feelings into our inner dungeons, created them and requires us to feed these prisoners constantly. That’s why they are so powerful, because we make them so. By focusing our attention on them instead of resisting them we stop feeding them, the cycle is broken and we reclaim all the stored energy. This is the opposite of “what you resist, persists,” it is “what you recognize, resolves.”