A Shameless Black Devil

Most of us have shame and guilt left over from childhood. What to do? If you interview it you will discover that it contains unrecognized potentials that you long ago disowned. By reclaiming them you will also reclaim some of your long-lost childhood vitality and spontaneity! In this interview we find that the solution lies with a very skewed self-aspect, one that is strong in self-confidence and self-acceptance and weak in everything else. However, that self-confidence, disowned in childhood, is what is needed not only to address shame, but to take productivity to a new level.

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1 Muddy thinking

2 Remembering more dreams; staying out of the drama triangle in my dreams

3 Getting my outlines clear and my texts written

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?

Interviewing shame – childhood feelings of inferiority

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?


Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?

A black devil with a pitchfork – Looks like the ASU devil but black!

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Devil, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I am behind and above him, sticking him in the neck, back of head, and his back with my pitchfork with great delight! Sometimes his butt!

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I am good at tormenting Joseph! I don’t give up! I’m persistent! I do a great job!

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

No! I’m great!

What aspect of Joseph do you represent or most closely personify?

His self-persecution.

Devil, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

Nah. I’ve worked great all these years!

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

Devil, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities:  confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10!

Compassion:   0!

Wisdom:   3 – but I’m smart enough to be effective!

Acceptance: 10/2 (self/others)

Inner Peace:   2  What’s that?

Witnessing:     2  I don’t need it!

Devil, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

I would be out of the devil/tormenting business! I would probably be something on the other side of angelic! But I don’t want to do that!

How would Joseph’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

He would have great confidence! He would risk anything! He would never feel any guilt or shame! He would accept himself totally!  He wouldn’t worry about the other stuff!

Devil, do you feel any guilt or shame? If so, why? If not, why not?

No! Why should I! I would never waste my time on such crap!

If you could live Joseph’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

Of course! I would never feel inferior, guilty, or ashamed! I would take risks! I would be audaciously confident!

If you could live Joseph’s waking life for him today, would you handle Joseph’s three life issues differently?  If so, how?

1 Muddy thinking:

I am very focused! I am intense! I cut through indecisiveness, doubt, uncertainty, and ambivalence!

2 Remembering more dreams; staying out of the drama triangle in my dreams

I would go to sleep with an intensity and focus about it and with the expectation that of course, this is what I’m going to do.

3 Getting my outlines clear and my texts written

Same thing! Focus! Intensity! No doubt! No ambiguity or ambivalence!

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Joseph’s life?

1. Not taking any crap.

2. Not worrying.

3. Snarling at all persecution, especially self-persecution!

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Joseph to imagine that he is you and act as you would?

Whenever he wants to feel good and get stuff DONE!

Devil, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

Of course I do drama!  I AM drama!

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

I don’t. I’m just OK with being me!

Why do you think that you are in Joseph’s life?

To help him have energy and confidence based on fully accepting himself!

How is Joseph most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?

One more self-aspect…

What would you recommend that he do about that?

Just stay unfocused or doubting, or lacking confidence. See if I care!!!!

Joseph, what have you heard yourself say?

This is a very skewed but strong part of myself that I need to be whole.  It thinks I’m foolish to allow myself to be badgered, to feel guilty or shame. It is confident and self accepting and takes risks.

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of yourself, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Don’t take yourself so seriously!  Use your limitations! They are strengths!

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