I found myself feeling frustrated and resentful the other day because I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. I was with a group and someone else was making decisions for all of us. I realized that my frustration wasn’t really about that moment, it was about the many times in my life that I had felt that I had no control over what was happening. Once I realized that my frustration was really about resentful feelings from my past, l was able to see that I did in fact have choices. With this awareness, I could immediately feel the tension leave my body. One of my friends noticed the shift in me and asked me what happened. I told her, I realized what we did was not really important.
I chose to look at my shadow, what was in my past that was really causing my frustration and defuse it. Our Shadow Side is a part of us. We can try and hide it, but we can’t. The harder we try to hide it, the more obvious it becomes.
Our shadow side encompasses traits and characteristics that we are not proud of. There are some traits and characteristics that may not even be in our awareness or consciousness, but they nonetheless show up, without an invitation, when least expected. Our shadow side goes with us wherever we go, even into the darkness.
Our shadow parts where created in times of fear, they come from our past experiences.
We have all gone through experiences that we did not consciously choose. When we bring those pains, hurts and fears into the light and acknowledge them, we can become aware of our natural reactive, fight or flight behavior.
I’ve been resentful, I’ve been arrogant, I’ve been stingy, I have lied, I’ve stolen, I’ve been all of these things and more. All the traits that we consider negative are part of our shadow, part of our human nature and once we own them and say yes, I’ve done that, I’ve been that, we can start to change.
We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge.
When we shine a light in the darkness, it’s not dark anymore. I have seen people look 10 years younger, just by sharing a personal secret, something that they had hidden in their shadow most of their lives.
When I met Steven, he put on an air of being confident and funny, but everybody could see that it was just an act. Steven shared that when he was a young child, his dad did not want him to be afraid of anything, so he would take him to the roof top of their apartment building and hold his feet while dangling his body off the ledge.
Steven’s dad’s behavior back fired, Steven was afraid and felt like there was no one he could trust. He did not feel safe. He felt that if he couldn’t trust his dad to keep him safe, who could he trust.
When Steven chose to be vulnerable and share his fears and lack of trust, his shoulders dropped and a peacefulness immediately washed over his face. He was no longer hiding. He allowed himself to feel the pain and the fear and let them go. When he decided to get real with what he was hiding, he became humble and truly confident and funny.
When we acknowledge our story, our human struggles and quit trying to be something that we are not, we take our shadow into the light and own our humanism.
We have got to quit trying to be perfect because it is literally killing us.
Once we own our shadow side, it becomes easier for us to relax and live in a state of freedom and oneness with others.
We all have a shadow side. When we humble ourselves in communion with others, acknowledging our imperfections, we connect through empathy, compassion and love.
blessings & love,
p.s. If you want to get REAL with your shadow side, we would love for you to join us for the May 5th – 7th Retreat. You can check it out HERE.