Just like the intestinal parasite that comes home with you from Peru, this self-deprecation bug is not us, it is something that comes into us to live, to feed on our essential energy. Many people never rid themselves of this parasite, and it feeds on them their whole life - and through them, it feeds on their children, spouses and others. The self-esteem parenting movement in the 1980's, which is now roundly ridiculed as "kids getting trophies for last place," was cosmetic. It didn't remove the parasite, it just put rouge on cheeks drained of life energy by the self deprecation parasite. In the weakened state as the parasite feeds, we become more vulnerable to other parasites: fear, depression, anxiety.
The self-deprecation parasite infests individuals, but it also spreads to an entire culture, making an entire people so hungry that no luxury or privilege they receive is ever enough. Well, this is a huge topic that can barely be opened here, but hopefully you get the idea.
So how can we rid ourselves of the parasite? Here are four ideas:
1) The teacher I mentioned above has a very good book about dealing with the seven parasites that infest humans. I frequently use this book in classes and it's required reading in my shamanic training programs.
2) A book is helpful, but it's a cerebral approach, and it is best accompanied by ceremonial healing work, which takes a non-rational approach. We can analyze and think our way out of many traps, but the mind really is not the tool to remove embedded energetic and spiritual patterns. The "Summer Mini Apprenticeship" mentioned below is a way to get some actual healing of the parasite.
3) Ready for the crazy? We are coming into the last full moon of full summer, and as absolutely crazy as it may sound, moonlight is medicine. That sounds crazy because a) the parasite tries to convince us to look for medicine everywhere that will be ineffective, so that it can continue to feed on us and b) moonlight is free and does not depend on an ordained man to dispense it to you. Nature is medicine.
So, try this: in the next couple of days, make prayers to the moon to remove the parasite. These prayers need to he deeply heartfelt. Tell Madre Luna (Mother Moon) how tired you are of being controlled by this goddamned parasite that drains your energy, makes your relationships suffer, your art-soul suffer, and how it separates you from the love of life.
Sometime during the three nights of the full moon, (or all three nights) stand in the moonlight and let it bring you the medicine. While She is pouring the medicine into you, accept it. This is the hard part. Let it flow into every nook and cranny in you. Visualize it doing so. The parasite (which infests every level of our culture) will be telling you this can't possibly work - it's too simple, it's too woo-woo.
But it's not simple. When you call on moonlight as medicine, you are calling on a vast system of energy to come and work on your behalf.
4) We will be doing work like this at this Saturday's drum circle/ceremony. There are some spots open - email me to make a reservation: firstname.lastname@example.org
I leave you with this poem, my adaptation of Rumi:
Come, play your drum
Now the skin of your soul has been touched.
Now the body of your soul has been opened.
And that moonlight
Hidden on the other side for too long
Comes dancing across your face.
You are new.