Who we are taught to be by society - the version of us who is “acceptable,” “normal,” or even “lovable” often (surprise) does not reflect our true selves. Society did not have you in mind when they created the mold.
Who at some point in your life has felt like you’re falling short of those standards, and felt the need to create a false image or hide some part of you so that people might not find out that you don’t actually fit the mold of society?
Here’s the secret - those rejected or hidden parts of you…didn’t go away. They’re still you. You cannot let go of them. What they’ve become instead of being part of you, is called your Shadow. They are attached and following you around, many times being expressed by you in unhealthy or unconscious ways. There are times when I say or do something “silly,” and think, “damnit, why did I let my guard down? What was THAT?” And you start shaming yourself for letting down some of your facade, for letting your shadow slip out.
So the shadow is the real us, and most of us are made up of pieces of other people or a modified version of ourselves to try to keep up a certain image.
Just talking about forcing ourselves into a mold feels exhausting! How are you feeling about keeping up an image or managing how others see you?
I’m not going to pretend that there’s a quick and easy way to pick up all those pieces of your shadow and integrate them back into who you are and who you present yourself as to society, no way. But to begin, I can absolutely give you some tips on how to recognize what those parts are and when they show up, because awareness of them, making them less unconscious, is how the integration begins.
So to become more aware of your shadow, there are two questions I’ll ask of you:
What irritates you most about other people?
What do you admire most about other people?
There are two main parts of our shadow to pick back up - qualities that we have been told or see as negative and that we project onto others as irritations, and the positive side of our shadow that we don’t think we’re good enough for, and we project onto others as admiration.
If you can start to notice these two triggers coming out and watch how it affects you, those are the first steps to shadow integration.
And see what happens when you realize that, yes, you have to own those negative parts because awareness of them is what keeps them from biting you in the butt. AND guess what? You ARE those things that you admire most about others. Your current actions just are not aligned because you’ve spent so long trying to be someone other than your amazing self, that you lost your shine.
Feel free to reach out and comment or message me any time to talk about what comes up for you. It can be a painful, triggering, and difficult journey back to your shadow, but it’s so ultimately worth it and I’m happy to support you along the way.
I’m looking forward to hearing what you see in your shadow!
To hear more about my “descent to soul,” or the discovery of my own shadow, you can listen to the Dream Alchemy Podcast by Sun + Moon Dream Alchemists, here.
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