The Bloody Slipper: Amputitng our Toes for Redemption.

The glass slipper wouldn’t fit either of the sisters. One took a knife and cut off her big toe. The other cut off her heel. By the time Cinderella got to the shoe it must have been full of blood. These stories get bowdlerized over time. In our civilization we prefer the violence to happen offstage. We’ve also chosen, via Walt Disney, to make the step-sisters ugly and stupid.

I’ve been hanging out with the shadow side of myself a bit these past few days. It’s tricky, because that side of me isn’t full of joy. He’s tired and often depressed. The stigmata of childhood injury stand out very clearly on his body. His thoughts are often dark, and the dogs of mayhem open their eyes and regard him with interest.

But you know, he’s not he, he’s me. I still keep a certain dissociative distance by using the third person singlular, but it’s a pretty flimsy device. No matter how sharp the knife, I can’t really cut him off to make the glass slipper fit. The result is that it only appears to fit, or only fits sometimes.

I know this guy. I can deny him the right to a first person singular, and maybe that’s okay, but I don’t think he can be redeemed until I can be him. I don’t know that parts of ourselves that we disidentify with, that we lock away, ever allow for the touch of the Holy Spirit. Who are we to decide that parts of ourselves are other than God’s work? Maybe by naming them so, we hand them off to the other guy, who’s only too glad to make use of them.

But part of me thinks that just to wear the slipper for a bit is worth it. To be in that light only for a little while maybe justifies the amputation or imprisonment of that shadow self, that maybe it’s what, necessary?, inevitable? to hand him over to the other guy so I can dance with the Prince for a little while.

I know this guy. I can deny him the right to a first person singular, and maybe that’s okay, but I don’t think he can be redeemed until I can be him. I don’t know that parts of ourselves that we disidentify with, that we lock away, ever allow for the touch of the Holy Spirit. Who are we to decide that parts of ourselves are other than God’s work? Maybe by naming them so, we hand them off to the other guy, who’s only too glad to make use of them.

But part of me thinks that just to wear the slipper for a bit is worth it. To be in that light only for a little while maybe justifies the amputation or imprisonment of that shadow self, that maybe it’s what, necessary?, inevitable? to hand him over to the other guy so I can dance with the Prince for a little while.

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