When you drop by Spo-Reflections you see under the every changing header something constant: one of my favorite quotations from one of my favorite playwrights, Henrik Ibsen.  He wrote very disturbing and powerful plays, containing ideas that still controversial.

It was on this day in 1881  Mr. Ibsen’s play “Ghosts” opened on the London stage. Ghosts had references to incest and sexually transmitted diseases; Ibsen refused to give his audiences the happy endings they were used to getting, and he made them look at things most uncomfortable.  The first performance of “Ghosts” caused more than 500 printed articles to be written in response to it, and Ibsen became a household name even to people who had never seen the play or read a book.

In Act 2 one of the characters says –

“I almost think we’re all of us Ghosts. … It’s not only what we have invited from our father and mother that walks in us. It’s all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we can’t get rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see Ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be Ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sand of the sea. And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.”

So much of my job is trying to get people to face their ghosts and exorcise them – or at least diminish them to the point they longer ‘haunt’. Sometimes a ghost is a trauma or hurtful event. More often the ghost is a ‘tribal’ belief. And these ghost types do not go easily or nicely. Despite all our attempts at becoming conscious and ‘our own’, tribal ghosts hold a lot of power.

Gay people have the additional ghost of society hostility and rejection, which is internalized as self loathing and low esteem.

So on this ‘anniversary’ of the premiere of “Ghosts” I encourage Spo-fans to face their ghosts, admit they are there and they still hold power.

Take some deep breaths in, and call your energies from the past back into the present.

Tell them they are no longer in charge.

And if they scream and moan at you, visualize putting a pie in their puss.

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