15 Apr Confronting Your Shadow Self to Get What You Really Want
All of us come with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Instead of the “u” for ugly, I think more of these words instead: unearth, undercover, uncloak and unmask.
What do the “u” words have in common? They are something we all possess as part of our shadow selves. They are the parts that are so deep, they accompany us as we grow and change in the world.
We get a glimpse of them, but without real work, we never fully address them and they become pushed down into the the far corners of ourselves but they don’t go away just because we didn’t deal with them.
These shadow selves hold us in patterns. Through projecting these very qualities on others, the exact qualities we may struggle with, we unknowingly place them on others, holding us and our relationships back.
What is Shadow work?
It’s the uncovering of all that we’ve pushed away and is very much a part of us. It doesn’t have to be negative. It’s just another version of who we are, yet if it doesn’t get acknowledged, it can have negative impacts on the rest of our lives.
We are born complete but our environment, parents, caregivers, family gives us the message that certain ways that we behave are either positive or negative.
This reinforcement from the outside world plays a large part of shaping us. Where we can run into challenges are where the traits of our true selves or the personalities of who we really are, runs up against what others think is acceptable.
We end up repressing a part of ourselves to please others. Most of who we are is set up to compete with that ‘opposing’ person as a coping mechanism. The irony is that opposition is part of who we are. Often times the very traits we were taught as being ‘not ok’ to someone else, are the traits we need to acknowledge as important to who we are.
We need to deal with those, acknowledge them and sometimes bring those into the light.
This builds up over and over again over time and causes emotional and physical pain that comes out in how we adjust, how we behave, and what our relationships become.
Our minds and bodies show this stress in all sorts of ways. It could be mental health, chronic stress symptoms, where our internal body shows adrenal stress. Our overall weight ratio, our joints and skin can all take a big hit over time.
Have you ever listened to a voice telling you you’re “not lovable”, “not deserving”, “not worthy”?
At some point, we believe these messages. We believe them subconsciously and they wreak havoc on our lives.
Think of a time when a relationship didn’t work. Beyond the other person, what did you bring to the dynamic? What aspects of your shadow self do you have yet to deal with? Traits or patterns that you can’t even describe because they feel so intense, so deep, yet you know they need to be worked out, unearthed, uncloaked, unmasked?
This my friend, is the beginning of doing the shadow work. It doesn’t have to be all dark and difficult. It can actually be fun. It can be the process you’ve waited your whole life to deal work out just the right time. It can even be fun!
I’ll be continuing to highlight our shadow selves as a way of knowing ourselves as a whole so we can move forward doing what we really want in life.
Think about your own shadow self. Who are you covering up? What needs to be brought to light so that you can share your whole self? The one everyone really wants to know?