Our Flaws Will Lead Us Home

“Every human being is flawed. We are all flawed. There is no such thing as a flawless candidate. Joe Biden is flawed. I’m flawed. Bernie Sanders is flawed.”

Oddly, this was spoken by a political figure currently in the forefront of our media and someone I want to hear more from. Anyone who speaks with humility, who doesn’t pedestalize their point of view or political party opens the door to my curiosity. This isn’t a political commentary. I am intentional and thoughtful when I make a political statement or endorse a point of view because, at least for me, an intelligent, thoughtful statement on a political point of view for either side of the political spectrum takes time.

Time to listen to an argument in its fullness.

Time to hear and consider all sides of the issue.

And, perhaps most important, time to find the actual words of the individual I’m commenting on – not the interpretation of their words taken out of context or those words used by someone on the opposing side to attempt to coerce and manipulate thinking human beings.

These are the words of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she was interviewed by Michael Babaro on the podcast, The Daily. It was April 17, 2020. She also commented on her constituents, who are overwhelmingly working class. In Jackson Heights alone, over 200 languages are spoken and in New York City, about 65% of all the frontline workers are people of color – delivering groceries, home health care, folks working in the hospitals. Out of the top 10 zip codes in the United States that are impacted by Covid-19 causalities, the top five are in her district, with the top three being all in her district. Whether you agree or disagree with her politics, we can all agree that she is an advocate for her constituents. This is her job.

I’m certainly not speaking cutting edge wisdom here. And regardless of one’s political affiliation, I think most human beings on both sides of the aisle have compassion. Let’s at least hope so. Let’s pray for that if we pray for anything.

But admitting we are flawed? A political figure acknowledging her flaws and that of her heroes? That’s cutting edge, at least in mainstream media. That’s someone I want to listen more to because in the admission of each of us being human, those she endorses for political power and those she does not, there is a leveling of the playing field. Honesty is a good foundation. Reasonable consideration is a good foundation.

I am a shadow work facilitator and coach and prior to my certification, I’ve been on a personal and emotional growth journey to deal with my own addictiveness, family of origin wounds, and to be connected at the deepest level I am capable of, with myself, and with life.

Being an individual with many addictive tendencies, I was privileged to find 12-step spirituality in early adult life. By nature, we seek out our character defects it seems, not to beat ourselves up, although many of us are recovering from that, or for the fun of it, because it’s a painful practice, but so that we are able to see ourselves honestly, I think, to try and heal, and on some level to arrive at acceptance and compassion. We are human and flawed, all of us, and with this awareness, we can choose a different solution, a solution that brings us forgiveness of self and others, and allows us choice, for new behaviors that no longer hurt ourselves or others. In 12-step work, we say it’s a spiritual solution. And that spirituality is individualized for each and every person.

As a Shadow Work® facilitator, looking at our shadows and assisting others to look at theirs is the foundation of our work. Whatever we hide, repress, or deny, for whatever reason, goes into shadow. When it goes into shadow, it doesn’t dissolve or disappear, it just sneaks up on us, takes control, and we lose personal choice.

“One way to recognize what is in shadow for you is to notice what behaviors you have a strong reaction to in others,” said the founder of Shadow Work®, Cliff Barry. “Most likely, this is a part of you that you have hidden and repressed.”

I don’t want to teach Shadow Work® here, that’s not my goal. Nor do I want to make a political statement. That’s not my goal either. My point is this:

Every single human being on the planet is flawed. We all have shadows, parts of us that we hide, deny, and project onto others. When it comes to leadership, I want someone who possesses some degree of humility, vision, and the strength that comes from vulnerability. I want to support individuals who are willing to build bridges with those they disagree with and consider the brilliance of diversity, the various perspectives that must be considered, and trust that what benefits one benefits all.

We need each other. Let’s remember, we are all flawed

Sally Bartolameolli, M.Ed., certified Shadow Work® facilitator, coach, teacher, author, and creator of The Ancestral Weaving™ Process – healing ourselves & our lineage.

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